Gashaka Gumti National Park, established in 1991, is the largest national park in Nigeria, and is located at the international boundary of Cameroon in the North Eastern region of Taraba and Adamawa states .
Gashaka Gumti National Park is a national park located in the north eastern provinces of Taraba and Adamawa in Nigeria, up to the Cameroon border. The park's name is derived from two of the region's oldest and most historic settlements: Gashaka village, in Gashaka local government area of Taraba State, and Gumti village, a part of Toungo local government area of Adamawa State.
Gashaka Gumti Ntional Park (GGNP) was established in 1991. This conservation area covers a total area of 6,731 km2 (2,599 sq mi) of the wilderness. The park is contiguous with Faro and Tchabal Mbado National Parks in the Republic of Cameroon. Gashaka Gumti National park is an important water catchment area for the Benue River. There is abundant river flow even during the markedly dry season. Enclaves for local Fulani pastoralists exist within the park boundary that allow for good farming and grazing.
Fauna and FloraEdit
The national park has real diverse fauna. It is on record that there are up to 103 species of mammals in the park.
The Northeastern area of the park, is relatively flat convenient for savanna woodlands.
In year 2000, the Gashaka Primate Project was launched as a means of protecting and preserving the animals and the ecosystem at large. The activities of the project were: Park protection, Park boundary demarcation and patrol, eco-tourism development, community outreach, development of the Park infrastructure and biological research.
Gashaka Gumti National Park has different favourable weather conditions, depending on one’s location within the Park. These ranges from tropical dry humid, tropical moist humid in the lowlands to sub tropical highland weather on the high plateau around Chappal waddi, Sabere and Fillinga. Infact. There is a wide range in humidity from 26 - 78%. The wet season is usually during the months of April to October while the dry season is during the months of December to March. Severe weather is relatively uncommon in the park. The annual temperature range is approximately 21°- 32.5°C (69.8°- 90.5°F). The predominant wind direction is South/Southwest and is affected by the Northeast trade winds and the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)
Visitors and tourists can access to to the park either by means of air or by road transport. The Gashaka sector of the park is accessible through Katsina Ala-Takum-Bali-Serti –Bodel Gate and the other part from Jalingo-Mutum Biyu-Bali-Serti-Bodel Gate, while the major entrance to Gumti sector is from Yola-Mayo Belwa-Ganye-Sugu-Toungo, with the closest airport located at Yola. Howbeit, there is an airstrip for light aircraft in Serti, which visitors can use to gain entrance.
The park entrance is at Serti in the Gashaka province, a 10 hour drive from Jos.
Gashaka Gumti national park has some historic sites one of which is the pre 1918 German fort and garrison top of Gashaka Hill once used as a “ watch tower ” by the German military expedition to that area. Tombs of some fallen German soldiers could still be seen dotted around the Fort. In the same vein, there is an English army post near Gashaka village built by the British Frontier Force who overthrew the Germans to gain the Mambilla pass, a narrow passage that gave access into Cameroon through the Mambilla Plateau at that time.
(Not all areas are open year round. Best to check before you go)
- Bat forest: Known for a large population of fruit bats, this area is also populated by wild animals (monkeys of various types, deer, wild pigs). Can be visited as a day trip from Gashaka.
- Daneji: On the border with Cameroon, this area has elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, and harte beasts. A 6-8 day trip (on foot) from Toungo.
- Kwano forest: A three hour trek from Gashaka, the forest can be visited as a day trip. Kwano is a lush rainforest that has chimpanzees, monkeys, leopards, and other animals.
- Gangirwal Mountain: The highest (7,936ft) in Nigeria, the Gangriwal mountain is on the border with Cameroon.
- Hippopotamus Viewing Pool: An easily visited pool with many hippos can be seen bathing in the dry season. A short walk from the wooden bridge at Mayo-Kam.
- Serti Tourist Camp; sited near the Serti entrance. Chalets and camping are available at the camp. The camp also has a restaurant inside.
- Gashaka Tourist Camp. The camp has no restaurant in it but there are self-catering facilities available for visitors and tourists.
- Toungo Tourist Camp
- Kwano Forest Research Facility. They make advance accommodation reservations for visitors who contact them early enough.
While at the park or its vicinities, you should be able to connect to the 2G/3G/4G mobile network coverage. But be informed that service may be disrupted and you might occasionally experience network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers while in some locations. Different networks also tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations at different times.
If you are planning a visit to the park, you should probably consider having multiple SIM cards preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seems to perform well than the others, though its rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.
Airtel is another service provider which is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network stability. Of course, Glo (or Globacom) boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, but that might not be enjoyable in some locations. And 9Mobile usually also performs well in internet browsing speed but not without locational limitations.