national park in Nigeria
Africa > West Africa > Nigeria > South South Nigeria > Cross River State > Cross River National Park

Cross River National Park is a national park in Nigeria, located in Cross River State, South South Nigeria. There are two separate sections, Okwangwo (established 1991) and Oban (established 1988). The park has about 4,000 km², most of which consists of primary moist tropical rainforests in the north and central parts, with mangrove swamps on the coastal zones.

UnderstandEdit

The Kanyang tourist village, about one hour's drive from Calabar, will give visitors a base from which to view the park, with a lodge, restaurant and wildlife museum. Activities include game viewing, bird watching, gorilla tracking, mountaineering or hiking, sport fishing, boat cruising and the Botanical Garden and Herbarium in Button. There are many animals in Cross River National Park which include gorillas, Leopards, Red Foxes, Baboons, Buffaloes, Elephants, Drill Monkeys, chimpanzees and Orangutans.

HistoryEdit

 
Park locations

The park was first proposed in 1965, but severe planning did not start until 1988. The World Wide Fund for Nature - UK played a leading role in establishing the park in two divisions separated by farmland and the Cross River valley, with a budget of $49.9 million. The plan envisaged villagers in the buffer zone running the park and being given development aid.

The Cross River National Park (CRNP) was established by Federal Ministry Government Decree in 1991, with the Cross River gorilla chosen as the theme animal. The original plan was not fully implemented, and the park established in 1991 only included existing forest reserves. After a small amount of initial aid, the funding dried up, and the villagers became hostile to the park administration. An amending decree in 1999 converted the Nigerian National Park Service, which runs the park, into a paramilitary outfit with increased powers.

LandscapeEdit

Flora and faunaEdit

Cross River National Park is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot for primates, especially the endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) and the drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus).

Both divisions of the park are threatened by illegal logging, slash and burn farming and poaching. Eco-tourism may support efforts to preserve the park fauna. Assisting villagers in buffer zones to practice sustainable forestry also holds promise.

ClimateEdit

The climate within Cross River National Park is tropical-humid with wet and dry seasons, with average temperatures ranging between 15°C - 30°C, and annual rainfall between 1300 – 3000mm.

Get inEdit

 
Map of Cross River National Park

0°0′0″N 0°0′0″E

  • 1 Oban Hills Division — the southern part of the park is closest to Calabar, and protects 2,800 km² of lowland rainforest
  • 2 Okwangwo Division — the northern part of the park is closest to Ikom, and protects 920 km² of forest, which is home to about 78% of the primate species that are found in Nigeria, including the vulnerable common chimpanzee and western gorilla.

Fees and permitsEdit

  • Entrance is free as of 2021.

Get aroundEdit

The park can be accessed from the Kanyang tourist village, about one hour drive from Calabar. Visitors will have a base from which to view the park, with a lodge, restaurant and wildlife museum. The natural park's visitors can walk around and see wildlife. It offers guided trips and safari vehicles.

SeeEdit

 
Kwa Falls
  • 1 Kwa Falls.  
 
Agbokim Falls
 
Agbokim Waterfalls
  • Agbokim Falls. The Agbokim Falls on the Cross River descend in about 7 plunges over a cliff in the tropical rainforest.
  • Mini Zoo. There is a mini zoological garden with animals rarely seen in Nigeria, it saves rare species from going extinct.

DoEdit

BuyEdit

EatEdit

DrinkEdit

SleepEdit

They have lodging available and in the park. The price ranges from ₦10,000 - 20,000

Stay safeEdit

The community around Cross River National Park is peaceful and safe but one can never be too careful, especially as a tourist, keeping safe is a crucial activity that has to be done. Beware of deals or businesses that sound too good to be true (especially e-mails soliciting your help), and do not openly flaunt your possessions, especially in public places.

While it is rare for a tourist to be a victim of a violent crime, it is still wise to stay safe and be alert, especially during late-night outings. Stick to crowded streets and make sure to go out in groups as against going out alone.

There are some police officers who are corrupt and inefficient so you should stick to places and people you know and avoid going anywhere without a trusted guide if it is the first visit.

COVID-19 protocols are taken before you enter the park and while at the park.

ConnectEdit

The park is a dead zone, with no network, but its surroundings have 2G/3G coverage. However, 4G coverage is spotty. Because signal strength isn't always steady, you may suffer network disruptions for all or some mobile phone service providers in specific areas. All major mobile phone service providers are functional; however, dependability and usability vary. In different regions and times, various provider networks are more solid and reliable.

Suppose you plan to visit the park, like many other areas in Nigeria. In that case, you should bring multiple SIM cards, ideally from all cell service providers, because you never know which will be more stable and reliable at any given time. And if you don't have any of them, you might as well avoid the MTN network because it seems to perform better than the others despite its high costs and stringent offers and services.

Airtel is another service provider that offers reasonable pricing and network stability. Sure, Glo (or Globacom) has a fast network for browsing, but you may not be able to use it in all areas. It also has location restrictions and a higher data rate than 9Mobile (previously Etisalat).

Go nextEdit

This park travel guide to Cross River National Park is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!