Wildlife: Yankari Game Reserve Bounces Back


By Justina Okpanku
Not a few will be visiting Nigeria once international flights resume on August 29, 2020. Some of them will be visiting home for family reunion, burial of loved ones as well as people who are coming to be close to nature. Experts have said Africa Diaspora tourism market boasts about 200 million potential tourists coming into Africa.
Just last Monday, this writer got a call from a Diaspora person who said she would like to visit Africa as “ we get our lives back after the Corona crisis. “Do you take tours outside Nigeria?” She asked. Adding: “I would love to get away to Kenya or Tanzania (East Africa countries) for a few days. I fancy to visit Kenya.” Of course she has certain exotic destinations on her mind while thinking wildlife.
I know Kenya is hot and Tanzania is a must-see wildlife destination. In fact, Nigeria which is home to the rarest animals in the world is also a rich ecotourism destination. Nigeria’s Yankari is run down now”, she responded. Not anymore.
Yankari is back. Certain administrative inefficiencies must have made tourists to look elsewhere from Yankari Game Reserve which is a home to more than 50 species of mammals including African Elephants, olive baboon, patas monkey, Tantalus monkey and roan antelope. It also boasts western hartebeest, West African lion, African buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck and hippopotamus among other endangered species. Tourists enjoy the safari.
Interestingly, Yankari Reserve is on people’s itinerary now as they are coming out slowly after the corona pandemic lockdown. It is a beautiful place to explore. It is understood lots of picnickers have been there lately especially during the last Eidel Kabir (Sallah celebrations). It is a nice place for picnics.
The management of Yankari Game Reserve, under the stewardship of Alhaji Mohammed Ladan had urged tourists to visit. “Alhamdulillah! Allah in His infinite mercy has sustained us to witness yet another Eid’ el Kabir. In order to make this Sallah celebrations a memorable one we want nature lovers and adventure seekers to know that the game reserve is ready for service to our esteemed visitors.”
Yankari leisure management therefore urged patrons to “take this great opportunity to catch lots of fun with your family and friends, enjoying our exotic features such as the Wikki Warm Spring, Game Viewing and museum.” Accommodation that suits your taste is
“affordable.“ Enjoy the safari and natural wellness Spa (Grotto).
Yankari Game Reserve is situated in Bauchi State, about two hours drive to Jos, Plateau State capital. Jos airport is about an hour from Lagos airport.

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