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Gashaka-Gumti National Park

Gashaka-Gumti National Park is located in a mountainous region of North-east Nigeria adjacent to the international border with Cameroon, and immediately to the North of the Mambilla plateau. No roads cross this remote region and only a few lonely footpaths wind through the forested mountains towards Cameroon.

 

It is the largest park in Nigeria, covers 6,731 sq km of wilderness. The park's name is derived from two of the region's oldest and most historic settlements: Gashaka village in Taraba State, and Gumti village in Adamawa State. Gashaka-Gumti National Park was created by Federal Decree in 1991 by the merging of Gashaka Game Reserve with Gumti Game Reserve.

 

The Northern, sector of the park is relatively flat and covered with woodlands and grasslands, whilst the Southern, Gashaka sector is more mountainous and contains vast expanses of rainforest as well as areas of woodlands and Montane grassland. This area is characterised by steep, thickly forested slopes, deep plunging valleys, precipitous escarpments and swiftly flowing rivers.

Its altitude ranges from 450 metres above sea level in the wild savannah plains of the Northern sector, to the peaks and pinnacles of Gangirwal in the Southern park sector, which at a staggering 2,400 metres above sea level, represents Nigeria's highest mountain.

 

The fauna of the national park is very diverse and contains about 103 species of mammals. Species include yellow-backed duiker, African golden cat, African buffalo, the largest population of chimpanzee in Nigeria, African elephant, klipspringer,  West African wild dog, hartebeest, the world's largest antelope, the giant eland,  Roan antelope, Kob antelope , oribi, Black-and-white colobus monkey, baboon, warthog, and the rare mountain reedbuck. Its largest unspoilt rivers contain hippos, crocodiles, otters and a wide variety of fishes.

The avian fauna is very rich with about a million birds. The park is officially labelled as one of Africa's "Important Bird Areas" - and with more than 500 species found, and visiting bird watching enthusiasts are constantly adding new species to the list.

Visitors to the park are able to enjoy lush forests, wide sweeping grasslands, cool highland plateaus, rugged moody mountains, abundant wildlife, and fascinating ethnic cultures, all combined within a single protected area.

 

Gashaka Waterfall

 

Sources

en.wikipedia.org

www.ucl.ac.uk

www.travelhubnigeria.com

sites.google.com

treasurenigeria.blogspot.com.ng

Photo Credit

www.flickr.com

news.mongabay.com

treasurenigeria.blogspot.com.ng