Holidays and events
|January 1||New Year|
|February||Eid al-Kabir (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May 15||Mouloud (Prophet’s Birthday)|
|October 1||National holiday|
|November December||Eid-al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
Source: Countryaah – Nigeria Holidays
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the feast day Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid al-Kabir and Eid-al-Fitr last 2-10 days depending on the region.
The following regional festivals are also celebrated in Nigeria:
In the predominantly Islamic north, the Sallah festival is celebrated three months after the Eid al-Fitr. In addition to music, dance and processions on horses, in some places there are riding demonstrations by the Borno riders or Durbars, long lines of riders led by a chapel. Various religious festivals with masquerades take place in the south every year.
The end of the rainy season is celebrated in Oshogbo in August and September with the Oshuna Festival. Thousands of childless women make pilgrimages to the city to seek the help of the Yoruba fertility goddess.
In the western regions there are masquerades in June, the Oro Festival in July and the Shango Festival in August. The Igue Festival is held in the city of Benin in December.
The climate in Nigeria varies within the two large areas, the south on the coast and the north.
The coast has a predominantly tropical climate with a long rainy season from March to the end of October. About 1,800 mm of precipitation falls annually. The air humidity is approx. 85% during this time, but can also rise to values of up to 90%. The average temperatures during the day remain relatively constant all year round at 31 – 34 °C. Except between July and September, when it rains the most, it cools down to around 28 °C. At night the temperatures drop to 22-23 °C.
In the interior of the country, the climate is warmer and drier. The rainy season only lasts from June to early October, and only about 800 mm of precipitation falls. During the rainy season the humidity is around 79%, otherwise only around 30%. From July to September and from December to February the average daytime temperatures are 31 – 33 °C. In the other months, temperatures rise to 40 °C. At night from December to January, temperatures are below 15 °C. Then they rise continuously to up to 26 °C in May and then decrease again.
Nigerian culture feeds not only on the cultural influences of the diverse ethnic groups, but also on Islamic and Arab in the north and European in the south. A rich artistic heritage can be seen especially in the sculptures, wood carvings and terracottas of the Iron Age Nok culture. Musically, Afrobeat artist Fela Anikulapo Kuti achieved great fame. But Nigeria is also famous for musical styles such as Apala, Fuji, Jùjú and Sakara. With the nollywood industry, Nigeria has one of the largest film factories in the world. The films and series filmed in Lagos in particular can be seen all over Africa. In the meantime, Nigeria is the largest film maker in the world alongside India and ahead of the USA. But also in terms of writing, Nigeria can speak to writers like Wole Soyinka,
You treat older people with a lot of respect. It is considered disrespectful but also towards younger people to look the other person in the eye for too long. Older (but also younger) people are never given anything with their left hand. That is considered an insult. Elderly people are also usually not shaken hands. You should also avoid stepping over the legs of someone sitting on the floor, for example. That means bad luck.
Especially among the Yoruba it is quite common to bow slightly to older people and women, for example when greeting older people. You don’t have to do it, but you should show some form of respect. It’s got a little out of style in cities. If you are visiting a family as a man (in Muslim areas), you should register beforehand so that the women can prepare for it, i.e. veil themselves. Then when you knock on the door, you should wait for someone to “come in”. Sometimes you have to wait a while for the women to veil themselves. But don’t take that as an insult, because it’s not.
Women, especially in the Islamic north, should dress cautiously (avoid trousers) and observe local customs.
English or English? – The language
Even if English is one of the official languages in the country, you shouldn’t be surprised if you quickly discover that Nigerian English so often contradicts the well-known English. Would you like some examples? Instead of “I don’t know” one usually hears “I no know” and instead of “I know” “I know now”. Instead of “don’t”, “done” is often used, and in Nigeria people prefer to use “no” instead of “don’t”. The strong Nigerian accent makes things just as difficult as the fact that in the country – as in other parts of Africa – politeness is usually not used, which can sound very harsh. It is not meant to be rude. Therefore, one should not flinch offended if, for example, instead of a friendly ”
In markets it is expected that the commodity is traded. An exception to this is bread; this is offered at a fixed price. As a general rule, remember that the real price is about half of what was first asked. Trading is always considered to be an intention to buy. Acting without buying intent is perceived as very offensive.
Despite the enormous wealth of oil, the majority of the population lives in poverty. A middle class has only developed in a few cities. On the whole, however, one only seems to find the very rich or the very poor. Child labor is very widespread in the country for reasons of poverty. It is estimated that around 13% of all Nigerian children under the age of 14 must work. Even more frightening is the fact that many children are recruited by militant and/ or criminal groups or even abducted to other countries where they have to go to war as child soldiers. The general life situation for girls is almost even more serious; they are often the target of sexual violence.
Gay and lesbian couples in Nigeria should urgently avoid any physical contact in public, as local Sharia criminal law provides for same-sex love to be stoned to death in more than ten northern states. Elsewhere, Nigeria faces a long prison sentence. This is even regulated by law.
It is illegal to smoke in the streets of Abuja. Even smokers who smoked in their own car have been fined.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that NI stands for the nation of Nigeria as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Cultural landscape of Sukur
Sukur is an ancient cultural landscape in Madagali in the state of Adamawa in northeast Nigeria. The villages in the area are well preserved, they were ruled from a palace that stands on a higher hill so that the ruling chief has a good view of the surrounding villages. The residents’ fields are arranged on terraces in the hills.
The cultural landscape was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999.
Sacred grove of the goddess Oshun in Oshogbo
The sacred grove of the goddess Oshun is located on the outskirts of the city of Oshogbo, southwest of Abuja.
The grove, a piece of forest, became the center of the Yoruba – a religion that also contains Christian elements and to which African religions belong such as Voodoo, Santería, Umbanda, Candomblé, and Macumba.
The Holy Grove was designed and built by the Austrian artist Susanne Wenger (1915-2009), who later turned to the local Yoruba religion and became high priestess of religion under the name Adunni Olorisa. To this end, she designed and manufactured shrines, sculptures and works of art in honor of the Yoruba deities. She was the founder of the archaic-modern art school “New Sacred Art.
You can visit her house-high sculptures in the “Oshun Grove”. Wenger and her husband, the linguist Ulli Beier, emigrated to Nigeria in 1950, after studying painting in Vienna and for a while working for the communist children’s magazine “Unser Zeitung”.
She died in Nigeria in 2009 at the age of 94.
The shrine was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005.
Abuja, Nigeria’s capital since 1991, is located in the west of the country and spreads with its 1.5 million residents exactly between the Christian south and the Muslim north. It is the seat of the Secretariat of the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS), a federation of African states that was created on the model of the European Union. Abuja is a drawing board city – clean, safe, artificial and controlled in its growth. In contrast to the preppy flair of the urban artifact, there are hardly any, and if so, only overpriced leisure opportunities in Abuja.
There are no theaters and no opera houses. There are only two cinemas and only one small animal park, which for financial reasons cannot afford to care for predators. The cityscape itself is characterized by modern buildings. At the moment, the 170 meter high Millennium Tower is still being built, a gigantic leisure complex that, for financial reasons, cannot be completed until the next few years. Buildings worth seeing in Abuja are the National Mosque, the Christian Nigerian National Church, the Presidential Complex and the Abuja Stadium. The largest park is the Millennium Park in the center of Abuja.
Since smoking is illegal in the streets of Abuja and even smokers who have smoked in their own car have already been punished, it is better not to get caught with a glowing stick.
The capital of the Nigerian state Oyo is inhabited by about 3,600,000 people and is – after Lagos and Kano – Nigeria’s third largest city. Ibadan spreads in the southwest of the country and is architecturally characterized by Africa’s first high-rise, the Cocoa House, as well as the Bower’s Tower, an observation tower on the Oke Aàre hill. Ibadan also has Nigeria’s oldest university, founded in 1948, and the Mapo Hall, a colonial-style town hall.
Around 1,500,000 people live in Kaduna, a city that is one of the political and religious strongholds of the Muslim north of Nigeria. Kaduna, also known as the trade fair city, is also economically important and the headquarters of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited.
Nigeria’s second largest city has a population of around 3,600,000 and spreads across the north of the country. The clay remnants of the former city wall are among the structurally outstanding components of the city. These are almost 20 kilometers long and are reminiscent of the pre-colonial urban structure. Architecturally, Kano is dominated by the Great Emir’s Palace and the Great Mosque. Kano is also known as Kaniwood, as up to 2,000 films are made here annually at extremely low cost.
Nigeria’s largest and former capital, Lagos, with around 9.7 million residents, is one of the largest and most populous cities in Africa and the world, alongside Cairo and Kinshasa. More than 13.1 million people have settled in the metropolitan region of Nigeria’s most important transport, cultural and economic center. In terms of area, this is roughly the same size as the German state Schleswig-Holstein. Lagos spreads along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and, in addition to the mainland, extends over several islands that are connected to the Nigerian mainland by three bridges.
The city, which is blessed with numerous beautiful beaches, is the focus of inner Nigerian migration. The gigantic number of immigrants is reflected in urban chaos, in which life predominantly takes place on the streets. The city is also the center of the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood), has one of Nigeria’s most important theaters, the National Arts Theater, and is the country’s financial and banking center. But Lagos is also the most expensive city in Nigeria. The most outstanding buildings in the city include the National Museum in Onikan, the National Theater and the Surulere National Stadium.
The capital of the Nigerian state Rivers spreads out with about 1,150,000 residents in the south of the country. It was founded by the British in 1912 and has recently had to look back on a violent past, which was marked by ethnic-religious conflicts and the kidnappings of foreigners.
Abuja Stadium in Abuja
The imposing stadium in Abuja is not only used as a venue for the games of the Nigerian national soccer team. The sporty design by the German architecture firm Schlaich Bergermann & Partner was opened in 2003 and offers seats for around 60,000 spectators. In addition to sporting events, the Abuja Stadium also hosts religious and cultural events.
Millennium Tower and Cultural Center in Abuja
The Millennium Tower and the Cultural Center are both part of the Nigeria National Complex, which has been planned for the Central District of Abuja. The tower is a total of 170 meters high, which makes it the tallest structure in Nigeria. The building, which sits enthroned in the immediate vicinity of the Nigeria Cultural Center and the Municipal Building, was designed by Manfredi Nicoletti, who combined three cylindrical structures.
Nigerian Presidential Complex in Abuja
The Nigerian Presidential Complex, which is very conspicuous because of its size, is the political heart of Nigeria. It was completed in 1991 – just in time when the military junta under Ibrahim Babangida moved the capital from Lagos to Abuja. The complex consists of the State House and the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, i.e. the office and residence of the President.
Jos open-air museum
The architecture museum houses replicas of the different traditional building methods in the country.
Museum in Ife
The museum in Ife exhibits bronze and terracotta sculptures from the 13th century.
National Museum in Benin City
The museum contains an exhibition of royal art.
The Ibibio and Efik carvings are particularly worth seeing.
The collection of ceramic objects from the Nok culture has been brought together from all over the country.
Nigerian National Museum in Lagos
In Lagos’ Onikan district is the National Museum of Nigeria, founded in 1957, which exhibits the country’s most important art historical, archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. In addition to wood carvings and bronze sculptures, terracottas from the Nok culture from Jemaa can also be seen, the oldest pieces in the museum. They go to the time between 900 and 200 BC. BC back. Attached to the museum is a craft center, where artisans offer traditionally made Nigerian items for sale.
Abaraka, Auchi, Sapele, Sapoba and Warri
These villages of the Cross River State are also accessible by road, they are interesting because of their handicrafts and the traditional rituals.
National Theater in Lagos
One of the most striking buildings in Lagos is the National Theater. It sits enthroned on an oval base and shows not only plays, but also masks and sculptures.
The film industry in Nigeria, which operates under the name “Nollywood”, is now making the most films worldwide. The productions, however, are mostly films with a low budget and often with amateur actors.
Archeology – The Nok people
Excavations are being carried out under the auspices of the University of Frankfurt/Main to research the way of life and culture of the Nok people. The people lived on an area of around 80,000 km² in a region that includes today’s Abuja. The research center is located in the village of Janjala, not far from the Jos mountains. It is estimated that this society originated around 2,500 years ago, at a time when such a culture was not expected in this region of Africa.
Particularly impressive are the numerous exhibits, which are formed from clay and baked into terracotta at temperatures around 700 °C. The largest of these works of art are up to 1.5 m tall. Iron parts in the form of bracelets, knives or arrowheads were also found. What is completely missing are the remains of the people of that time. No remains of houses or temples were found either. It is controversial among scientists whether an independent culture developed here without outside influence or whether the people came into contact with the residents of northern Africa.
In the town of Schwaz in the Austrian state of Tyrol there are around 50 Nok figures in the “House of Nations”. The museum is considered to be the most important collection of its kind in the world.
HAUS DER VÖLKER – Kulturverein
St. Martin 16
Tel. 0043 – (0) 5242 – 66090
Mosques and churches
Great Mosque of Kano
In Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city, the central mosque stands proudly in the eastern city center right next to the Emir’s Palace. The building, which is one of the largest Islamic places of worship in the country, is visited by up to 50,000 believers every Friday. Historically, the mosque dates back to the 15th century, but did not get its current shape until 1963. The main green dome and the two architecturally modest minarets are characteristic of the mosque.
National Church of Nigeria in Abuja
The National Church of Nigeria is located in the capital Abuja and is the religious center of the approximately 45% Christians in the country. It is located in the Central Business District in close proximity to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Mosque. It was built between 1989 and 2005, with none other than Archbishop Peter Akinola, the Nigerian Anglican primate, consecrating the national church. The church was designed in the neo-Gothic style and provided with an altar that automatically rotates around its own axis every ten minutes. Outside of prayer times you can visit the church and join one of the guided tours.
Nigerian National Mosque in Abuja
The country’s national mosque is located near the national church. It was created in 1984 and was part of the planned construction of the drawing board city of Abuja. The interesting building with its golden dome and four minarets is one of the city’s landmarks. Components of the mosque include a library, a prayer hall, a Koran school and a conference hall. Only Muslims are allowed access.
Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria
Nigeria’s second largest university is located in Zaria. About 35,000 students are enrolled at the college, founded in 1962 as the University of Northern Nigeria. The educational institution bears the name of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna (= Caliph) of Sokoto and the first Prime Minister of Northern Nigeria. Ahmadu Bello University has one of the largest clinics in the country, the university clinic. It was set up to treat the underprivileged who could not afford the expensive treatments in regular hospitals.
Art School in Oshogbo
The Art School of Oshogbo enjoys an international reputation. From it emerged the painter Twins Seven Seven, who shaped the modern Yoruba style typical of the school.
University of Ibadan
There is another state university in the city of Ibadan. It was created in 1947 and is the oldest in Nigeria. There are currently around 12,000 students enrolled at it.
University of Lagos (also Unilag)
The state university of Lagos was founded in 1962. It is made up of 10 faculties and, with currently around 39,000 students, is one of the largest and most important universities in the country.
Badagry used to be the location of one of the largest slave markets and ports in West Africa. The state museum offers guided tours to this historical site. Components of such tours are museum tours, a hike to the so-called point of no return (i.e. the former ship docks), a visit to the house of the last slave trader and, of course, a visit to the former slave market. The three-hour tour is quite expensive, but definitely recommended.
Jankara market on the island of Lagos
The Jankara market spreads out on the island of Lagos in the Nigerian capital. It is a must-see trading center and offers everything your heart desires, from spices, leather items to hand-woven fabrics.
Lower Usuma near Abuja
This dam on the Usuma River was built in 1990 near Abuja. Since then, it has been supplying the huge city with drinking water. At the center of the dam is a gigantic earthfill dam, which causes a storage volume of 93 million cubic meters.
Aso Rock near Abuja
Together with Zuma Rock, the 400 meter high Aso Rock is one of Abuja’s natural landmarks. It rises majestically on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital and is its most distinctive landmark. Around it are such important institutions as the Presidential Complex, the Nigerian National Assembly and the country’s Supreme Court. “Aso” means “victorious” in the Asokoro language.
Bauchiplateau (also Josplateau)
The grassy highlands of Nigeria named after the federal state are up to 2,010 meters high. It covers an area of 7,770 km² and is characterized by volcanic elevations and large tin deposits. Because of the mild climate, the belly plateau (also called Josplateau) has become a popular travel destination for foreigners living in Nigeria over the decades.
The island is located in the middle of the capital and is connected to the mainland by two bridges and to the islands of Ikoyi and Victoria by further bridges.
Lagoon of Lagos
The lagoon of the former Nigerian capital Lagos extends up to 60 km long and up to 15 km wide in the Gulf of Guinea. It is connected to the Lekki lagoon via the 25 km long lagoon of Epe. The lagoon, on average less than two meters deep, is home to various bacteria and microorganisms, creates many swamps and mangroves and is surrounded by coconut trees and rainforest.
Lighthouse Beach in Lagos
Right next to Tarkway Bay, the Lighthouse Beach spreads out, named after a 110 year old lighthouse that used to guard the entrance to the harbor and is now a popular sight. Highly recommended and atmospheric is a walk between Tarkwa Bay and Lighthouse Beach, especially since with a bit of luck you will be the only one there.
Millennium Park in Abuja
Abuja has one of the largest public parks in Nigeria, Millennium Park. The park extends in the Maitama district and was opened in 2003. It is in a posh neighborhood, as the presidential palace and many of the most important administrative buildings in the Nigerian capital are not too far away.
The park, which is cut in two by a river, documents Nigeria’s different forms of vegetation, but also includes garden sections that were laid out in a strict Italian style. The Millennium Park is further structured by numerous fountains. One of the most spectacular parts of the park is the gigantic cotton tree, which is believed to be sacred in Abuja.
Tarkwa Bay in Lagos
Tarkwa is a bay that, like Tarkwa Beach, was man-made when the city’s port was established. The sheltered beach is easy and inexpensive to reach with the help of a boat from the Tarzan ferry port in Morocco. It is pretty and offers a pleasant bathing experience, even for children. But surfers and fans of jet and water skiing will also get their money’s worth there.
The largest lake in Nigeria is Lake Chad, which is located in the border region of Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon and its area cannot be specified precisely because it varies with the seasons and also shrinks over longer periods of time. Lake Chad is extremely shallow (only 3 m in the south, 7 m in the north), and its size has therefore always been subject to extreme fluctuations. Scientists assume that about 30,000 years ago Lake Chad still had an area of 370,000 km² and was therefore the largest lake on earth at the time. Since then, it has been steadily silting up. At the last high point, in 1963, the lake had an area of 12,700 km². The region around the lake is a paradise for ornithologists.
Zuma Rock near Abuja
At 300 meters, Zuma Rock, a free-standing rock, rises about 55 km west of Abuja on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway. Zuma Rock, also known as the geographical center of Nigeria, is often referred to as the “gateway to Abuja”. The roughly one kilometer long rock formation, together with Aso Rock, is a striking landmark of Abuja despite the distance.
The rock can only be seen from the capital when the weather is clear. The Zuma Rock is currently not (yet) used for tourism, because a superstition of the locals opposes it. It is generally assumed that Zuma Rock is an enchanted mountain that should only be approached with caution and respect. The superstition manifested itself in an interesting way in a hotel project, which is still reminiscent of an unfinished shell near the mountain. After various accidents on the construction site, there was no longer any worker who wanted to work there.
Nigeria: national parks
Chad Basin National Park
The national park was opened in 1991. It covers an area of 2,258 km².
The park can be divided into the following three regions:
– The 1,228 km² Chingurmi-Duguma region is located in the state of Borno, right next to the Waza National Park in Cameroon. During the rainy season, the Dorma River floods a large part of the region. In these flooded areas one can find & nbsp; Waterfowl, including the black crane (Balearica pavonina), guinea fowl (Numida meleagris, demoiselle cranes (Grus virgo) and white storks (Ciconia ciconia), it is estimated that around 100 elephants live in this sector.
– The 92 km² Bulatura region is located in the state of Yobe and has a series of swampy valleys separated by sand dunes.
– The 938 km² bathing Nguru wetland is part of the wetlands of Hadejia-Nguru. It is located in the state of Yobe. The second includes the Dagona Waterfowl Sanctuary, an important resting place for migratory birds. There are also five forest reserves here.
The floodplains are being reduced by dams, with partially devastating consequences for the flora and fauna
Cross River National Park
The Cross River National Park was opened in 1991. It covers an area of 4,000 km².
The national park is located in southeastern Nigeria in the state of Cross River. It consists of two geographically separated protection zones, the Oban protection zone and the Okwangwo protection zone. The last contiguous lowland rainforest areas in the country can be found in the two protection zones. The local giant trees are up to 50 m high:
– The Oban protection zone covers an area of approx. 3,000 km² and lies on the border with Cameroon. Understandably, the local plants are determined by the rainforest. The trees that occur in the forest include Berlinia confusa, Coula edulis, Hannoa klaineana, Klainedoxa gabonensis, Khaya ivorensis or Lophira alata, which are the dominant species. Numerous ferns and orchids also grow here.
Among the mammals, drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus) – a type of monkey – Nigeria blue-mouthed monkeys (Cercopithecus sclateri), Prussian colobus monkeys (Piliocolobus preussi) chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are worth mentioning.
Furthermore, around 350 different bird species fly around here. These include, among others, eye ropes (Canirallus oculeus), bat hairs (Macheiramphus alcinus), yellow-cheeked entrogons (Apaloderma aequatoriale), gray-throated flycatchers (Myioparus griseigularis), crested guinea fowl (Guttera pucherani), honeysuckle Olive cuckoo (Cercococcyx olivinus), Rachelweber (Malimbus racheliae), black-axed eagle (Aquila africanus), or the Xavierbülbüle (Phyllastrephus xavieri).
– The Okwangwo Protection Zone covers an area of approx. 1,000 km² at altitudes of up to 1,700 m in the north and 1,000 m in the southwest. The vegetation of the protection zone is determined by extensive flat rainforests and grass savannahs. Among other things, the Anceistocladus korupensis and Prunus africana grow here to which special healing powers are attributed. In addition, the zone is a retreat for the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and the Buntkopf rock hoppers (Picathartes oreas).
Gashaka-Gumti National Park
The national park was opened in 1991 by merging the Gashaka and Gumti wildlife reserves. It covers an area of 6,731 km², making it the largest national park in the country. It is located in the east of the country in the provinces of Taraba and Adamawa on the border with Cameroon.
The tree species Daniellia oliveri, Lophira lanceolata, Afzelia africana, Isoberlinia doka or Burkea africana can be found here in the western Sudan savannah. In the rather flat areas of the northern region, limba trees (Terminalia superba), Khaya grandifoliola and Iriko (Milicia excelsa) grow in the lowland forests. In the mountainous southern part of the park, in the rainforests Syzygium guineense, Prunus africana and Ilex mitis grow, and in the mountain grass savannahs you can find Loudetia simplex and Andropogon.
Over 100 species of mammals live in the park, including the largest population of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in the country. African elephants (Loxodonta africana), African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), giant eland antelopes (Taurotragus derbianus), roan antelopes (Hippotragus equinus) and mountain ruminants (Redunca fulvorufula) are also at home here.
Kainji National Park
The national park was opened in 1991. It covers an area of 5,382 km².
The park is located in the west of the country and is divided into the following two areas:
– The Borgu Game Reserve with an area of 3,929 km² in the west – around 10 km from the border with Benin. Here the dry savannah with tall grass and forests dominates. The local Oli River, which has water all year round, flows into the Niger.
– The Zugurma Game Reserve with an area of 1,370 km² in the east. In between lies the Kainji reservoir, which has a maximum size of 1,240 km². In the Zugurma Game Reserve east of the lake you will find tropical rainforests.
There are around 60 species of mammals and around 240 species of birds, 28 reptiles and amphibians in the park. Among the mammals are African buffalos, white rams, bushbucks, roan antelopes, hippos, hyenas, caracals, kobs, crown ducks, lyre antelopes, leopards, lions, baboons, reedbucks, red flank duikers, prickly hedgehogs, warthogs and West African hartebeests.
Kamuku National Park
The Kamuku National Park was opened in 1999. It covers an area of 1,121 km².
The park is located in the center of Nigeria in the state of Kaduna. The local plants are acacia, Isoberlinia doka, Terminalia avicennioides, Detarium macrocarpum, also Danellia oliveri, Nauclea latifolia, Lophira lanceolata, Parkia biglobosa, Prosopis africana and Isoberlinia tomentosa. The Elaeis guineensis is mainly found in the gallery forests on the floodplains.
Particularly noteworthy among the local animals are the African elephants, lions (Panthera leo), roan antelopes (Hippotragus equinus), reedbucks (Redunca redunca) or the West African hartebeest (Alcelaphus major.
In addition, around 190 different bird species are native here, including the northern ground hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus), the secretary (Sagittarius serpentarius) or Denhem’s bustard (Neotis denhami).
Okomu National Park
Okomu National Park opened in 1999. With an area of 181 km² it is the smallest national park in Nigeria. The park is in the state of Edo. The park is relatively flat and lies on nutrient-poor alkaline clay soils. In the local forests one can find the kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra), the Celtis zenkeri, the abachi tree (Triplochiton scleroxylon), Antiaris africana, Pycnanthus angolensis and Alstonia congoensis.
They form the last larger contiguous rainforests west of the 4,184 km long Niger.
Around 35 different species of mammals live in the park, including African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), collared monkeys (Cercocebus torquatus) – from the family of vervet monkeys (Cercopithecidae) – red-bellied monkeys (Cercopithecus erythrogaster), and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis).
In addition, around 150 species of birds fly around here, including the golden helmets hornbill (Ceratogymna elata), all four types of finch and the black helmets hornbill (Ceratogymna atrata)
Old Oyo National Park
The Old Oyo National Park was opened in 1991. It covers an area of 4,000 km².
The national park is located in the northeast of the state of Oyo, which is located in the southwest of Nigeria on the ridge of the Upper Guinea Swell. The national park got its name from the local place Oyo-Ile, the former power center of the Kingdom of Oyo. The palace complex of the last kings of Oyo is located in Oyo-ile and is one of the most famous sights of the national park.
The vegetation of the national park is determined by the Guinea savannah, a moist savannah with tall grass and trees that have developed into a forest here and there. The park can be divided into three types of vegetation zones:
– In the south-eastern part there are dense forests
– In the central part there are mixed open savannah forests
– In the north-east there are floodplains and marginal forests – especially in the plains and valleys along the Ogun River.
The following mammals live in the park: antelopes, anubis baboons, buffalo, bushbucks, elephants, river pigs, lions, hyenas, crown ducks, oribis (a type of gazelle), hussar monkeys, baboons, pin ear pigs (river pigs), porcupines, tantalus vervet monkeys, Waterbuck or west kob (a species of antelope)
Among the local reptiles are the rock pythons, the Gabon viper, the tortoise or the Nile crocodile,
There are around 30 different bird species in the national park, including: Bannerman Weber (Ploceus bannermani), Buntkopf Rockhoppers (Picathartes oreas), Crossley Ground Thrush (Zoothera crossleyi), Double Spurred Frankoline (Francolinus bicalcaratus), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius), gray coconut (Tockus nasitus), gray heron (Ardea cinerea), hammerhead (Scopus umbretta), guinea fowl (family: Numididae), Senegalese marants (Lagonostica senegalus), black-headed parrots (Poicephalus senegalidae), rain paddock
Yankari National Park
This national park covers an area of approximately 2,224 km² and has numerous hot water springs. The park offers a large flora and fauna and extends in the heart of the West African savannah. The Yankari National Park, one of Nigeria’s most popular attractions, plays a major role in promoting (eco) tourism. In addition to the typical savannah, it consists of larger forest areas and hills.
The park has typical savannah vegetation, including swamps in the floodplains of the rivers, as well as grasslands and large bushes.
You can find over 50 different species of mammals, including numerous species of monkeys, buffalo, lions, hippos and waterbuck. In addition, over 350 different species of birds fly around here. The national park takes its name from the Kainji reservoir, which has a maximum size of 1,240 km². The national park is in the state of Niger (not to be confused with the state of Niger)
It can be reached from the town of Bauchi, from where it will take about five hours by bus. The buses then stop at Mainamaji Gate.