Saturday, September 01, 2007

Okomu Eco Resort

One of the highlights of our first trip to Nigeria together in 2000 was a day trip to the Okomu National Park, not far from Benin City. Once inside the tropical rainforest, the almost continuous canopy creates a shaded light, while the sound of tropical fauna echoes through the huge sinewy trees. With over 200 species of birds, 700 species of butterflies and rare monkeys and chimps (as well as the odd crocodile and elephant), its a nature-lovers treasure trove. The best bit was climbing an enormous 40m+ cotton silk tree with a trunk the width of two or three cars, via a ladder leading up into infinity. Its good to see that the place has been developed recently with eco-tourism in mind - the website linked to above is not at all bad. If you're thinking of visiting Nigeria and want a relaxing tropical rainforest experience away from it all, this might be a good option.


Anonymous,  4:51 pm  

Hey Jeemy,

I thought you would love to see this. It's the most hilarious and stupid thing EVER!!! I think it's worthy of embedding?


Anonymous,  5:18 pm  

OOOOOOOO! Don't let us lose the steam of the dinner party post. Han han!

Zahratique 5:28 pm  

Wow, never heard of this place... wud try to visit next time i'm in Edo state.

Anonymous,  5:33 pm  

thanks for this. another place to explore

Anonymous,  6:00 pm  

nice. i've been looking for sites on our national parks. hopefully a decent one is made of Cross River State national park.

Anonymous,  6:49 pm  

Does anybody know if Yankari has got a website yet?

I heard last year that they were upgrading it all for Xmas 2006 but have heard nothing since and can't find anything on the web.

I really want to go but with 2 little kids want to know if the accomodation is now manageable

Anonymous,  10:11 pm

links for yankari and gashaka

Ugo Okafor 1:57 am  

Its good to see that a few of the Ecology or wildlife parks in Nigeria have websites but the big question is the security situation in the country.

Who would feel safe taking his friends or family to these places when you have marauding robbers in bulletproof vests etc roaming about attacking people from Lafia to Lagos from Port Harcourt to Sokoto.

Anonymous,  8:12 am  

Thanks for the weblinks...the yankari one is very colourful and flashy but sadly lacking in meaningful content. They don't even have a contact page that is functioning so once again I have no way of making direct contact.

Anyone reading this have a number?

anonymaus,  3:49 pm  

Many times, I've read stuff about the flora and fauna of Africa and always looked to see where Nigeria ranked. Time and time again, foreigners regularly rated Southern Africa and East Africa as tops (quite deservedly). Even within West Africa, Nigeria couldn't compare with Cameroun, Senegal or Ghana, they all did Wildlife better! Nigeria was always close to the bottom, scarcely better than Gambia, which is so small (it can fit into shoe box), so they couldn't spare land for lush game resorts.

But the website for Okomu is indeed an eye-opener. At least Nigeria has not been reduced to the status of Haiti (no direspect to Haitians), there are still patches of relatively untouched patches of land and trees are standing.

Despite Okomu's relatively small size (100 square kilometres), the variety of species there is amazing. What a rich cultural heritage, one can get an idea of where some inspiration for those ancient artifacts that were produced from that region came from.

I believe the Cross River forest reserves are even richer and more extensive (though still relatively modest when compared to other Central African parks).

To really boost it's poplularity, they could always invite David Bellamy or Mr Attenborough there to shoot a couple of programmes, or the makers of the "survival" series. That would really boost it's profile.

Wonderful, a small yay for Nigeria. Well done to the government of Edo state for having the foresight to sustain it for future generations to enjoy. My first all good post on Nigeria!!

Anonymous,  3:05 am  

I've had many adventures at Yankari: crazy parties, sport fishing, hippo tracking, illegal camping, thieving babboons...the list goes on and on... Very interesting to see the improvements being made! I hope it will attract enough tourist to be sustainable, but not render the park completely unafordable for most Nigerians! I've been there with ex-pats and members of the Nigerian upper class elite, but by far, the best times were with shoestring budgeted uni students from Bauchi and my village friends from Adamawa.
-Baturen Adamawa

Anonymous,  3:12 am  

Not to be overly critical of the Yankari looks great! However, two things regarding the info provided on Wikki Warm Springs (I have backpacked across most W. African countries and regard these springs as one of the most outstanding natural attractions ANYWHERE): 1) while the temp. quoted is correct, the flow is much greater than 100 liters/day...perhaps 1000 L/sec
2) they claim the spring is free fish and reptiles: i have personally come across fish and crocs in the spring.
-Baturen Adamawa

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