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Historical Sites: Gashaka-Gumti National Park

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Historical Sites: Gashaka-Gumti National Park

Gashaka-Gumti National Park is one of the largest parks in Nigeria. It is located in Gashaka local government area of Taraba state and stretches to parts of Toungo local government area of Adamawa state.

The park is rated highest in term of beautiful scenery, waterfalls, ever green mountains and above all the park houses over 500 different forms of wild life and close to a million birds.Gasahaka – Gumti National park is among the seven National parks in Nigeria. It is the largest, most scenic and biologically diverse conservation enclave.

Similarly, thousands of birds migrate to the park yearly from across the globe ,making the park to be a refuge of different species of birds in the entire West African sub region

The park is also located at the foot of the famous Mambilla plateau ,which is also one of the best tourist’s attraction in the country, and it has both tropical and temperate climates.

All around the Gashaka -Gumti National park is natural scenery .The park covers 6731 square kilometers ,and shares a common boundary with the republic of Cameroon..

Gashaka_Gumti National park started as a forest reserve in the 70s and was transformed into a national park in 1999 by federal Decree, because of its richness in biodiversity and eco system. It derived its name from two of the area’s oldest and most historic settlements, the Gashaka Village in Taraba state and Gumti village in Adamawa state.

 

It is a beautiful place that reveales more of the natural content of the park that attracted tourists and researchers from across the globe, more especially from Europe and America. The tourist guide, a ranger, told a tourist that there are few conservation enclaves in the world that can boast of such unique spectacular and diverse scenery ,as the vast and relatively unspoilt wilderness.

Beautiful scenery and the mountains as well as waterfalls and rivers with fast flowing water, were there from every direction you look at. According to the tourist guide, it was not surprising that foreign tourists coming into the park were on the high side compared to local tourists.

The conservator of the park Mr.Saidu Yohana said that local tourists have not really understood the richness of tourist’s attraction of the park. He explained that Nigerians under scored the richness of the park, and that was why they go to other parks ,or even travel abroad for holidays. Mr Yonana said the park is the largest in the whole of Nigeria and even the West African sub -region. According to him the park encompasses, Savannah,forest, wetland and montane habitats in a continuous ecological system that makes it rare if not unique in the entire West African Region.

The largest and multi diverse conservation enclave in the country, Gashaka- Gumti national park has the highest mountain peak in Nigeria, the Chappal Waddi is 2400 feet above sea level. The footage one sees of parks across East Africa do not match or rival what is obtainable in the park, and that was why until recently the park was a Mecca to hundreds of tourists and researchers coming from different parts of the world.

It has a beautiful scenery starting from the coolness and quietness of the environment, it is indeed a good place to spend days in relaxation, but yet not even people in Taraba where the facility is located , appreciate the unique beautiful attraction inside the park.

The park is said to be suitable for adventure and recreation because of its beautiful scenery, fine subtropical climate conditions, flora and fauna. It also offers an amusing opportunity to a visitor to watch wild animals, birds as well as for sport fishing. Out of the seven National parks in the country, it was further gathered only Gashaka- Gumti offers potential of sport fishing and one of the recognized places is the Mayokam Hippo-pool. “Because of many rivers and streams inside the park ,vehicles have limits to where they take visitors, the rest is by trekking and it takes hours to move into all the zones” a Ranger said.

Its altitude according to the tourist guide, is 450 meters 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 is at 2,400 meters above sea level, and this point represents Nigeria’s highest mountain.

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