Kainji National Park is a national park in Niger State and Kwara State, Nigeria. Established in 1978. It covers an area of about 5340.82 km² in total. The park includes three distinct sectors: a part of the Kainji Lake in which fishing is restricted, the Borgu Game Reserve to the west of the lake, and the Zugurma Game Reserve to the southeast.
The Nation’s premier National Park was established by the amalgamation of two former game reserves-Borgu and Zugurma in 1976 and the legal instrument setting it up was promulgated in 1979(i.e. Degree 46 of 1979).The park was subsequently reconstituted under Acts 36 of 1991 and 46 of 1999 now Cap (act) 65 of 2004 which established additional National Parks in Nigeria.
The Lake Kainji National Park can be found in Kwara State and was founded in 1979. This park integrates the Borgu Game Reserve as well as the Zugurma Game Reserve which is to the southeast in Niger State.
The Bourgu sector by itself covers an area of over 3,929 sq. km. which consists of savanna forest. The Zugurma region covers an area of almost 1,370 sq. km. The Kainji National Park is also home to the Kainji Dam, which is a man made lake – the town of Old Bussa used to be at this location. It is believed that the voyager, Mungo Park, experience great grief at this location in 1805. It is for this reason that this lake was build so that it could conceal the scene of the accident.
Lake Kainji is 136 km long, and tourists would be glad to know that tours of the dam are available – special permission should just be obtained from the Nigeria Electric Power Authority. The Borgu Game Reserve office, at Wawa, can also arrange trips on the Lake Kainji. In order to decrease the cost, it is advised that several visitors plan these trips together. Visitors are also allowed to fish on the Lake Kainji.
The Lake Kainji National Park also boasts numerous animals which include the big five – a sight that many wants to experience in Africa. Other animals include antelopes, roan antelopes, jackals, baboons, hartebeest, monkeys and crocodiles. This park is open from December until June, and a definite must see.
The gorgeous water features and rampant bird life puts this park a step above the rest. The accommodation at the park includes 49 standard chalets and a conference facility which can host 140 people.
LOCATION AND AREA:
Kainji lake National Park is located in the northwest central part of the country between latitude 9°40’N and 10°30’N and longitude 3°30’E and 5°50’E in Niger and Kwara states ,500km from Lagos and 385 km north east of Abuja the Federal Capital.
An effectively Protected National Park with a total area of 5340.82sq/km separated into two distinct non-contiguous sectors namely Borgu sector with an area of 3970.02 sq/km and Zugurma sector with an area of 1370.80 sq/km respectively.
The Climate exhibits wet and dry seasons April to November and November to April respectively. The mean annual rain fall is 1100 to 1200mm about 200 days.
Temperature ranges between 10oc and 30oc (Mean is 30oc) and the average relative humidity is 53%.
The Park is a typical inselberg landscape with round hills wide pediments/plains separating them and incised river channels slopping down towards the River Niger valley. Some of the Rivers in the Park include. Oli Menei, Doro and Manyara Rivers etc.