Kamuku National Park is located in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State of Nigeria. It is situated between latitudes 10°40’N; Longitudes 6°11’E and 6°36E in the north-central part of Nigeria and it is the closest unit Park Headquarters, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Kamuku National Park was initially by gazette of 1936, a native Authority Forest Reserve under the defunct Northern Nigeria Government. It boasts of land area of about 1,120sqkm of typical Savannah Woodland vegetation.
Kamuku shares the same ecosystem and boundary with the luxuriant Kwiambana Game Reserve in Zamfara State, separated only by a natural boundary-the River Mariga. Thus, the Park distinctly represents one of the best remaining blocks of the Sudan-Guinea Savannah vegetation in the country’s protected area system.
The Park has rich, close canopy vegetation of Savannah woodland type with dominant species of Isoberlina, Afzelia, Daniellia, Detarium, Raphia, etc and a few lily plant species. Tall, tough grass cover populates the marshy areas of the Park especially during the rainy season. For example, Andropogon gayanus, Penisetum purpureum, etc are the most common grasses found here.
Kamuku National Park has an enviable biodiversity profile. It supports about 19 species of mammals including elephants (a major ecotourism attraction for visitors to the Park). However, Western hartebeest seems to be the most ubiquitous animal species that can easily be sighted with a little patience.
List of Animals in the Park
Animals found in the Park are: Elephant, Roan antelope, Western Hartebeest, Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Grimm’s Duicker, Red-flanked Duiker, Oribi Patas Monkey, Green Monkey (tantalus), Baboon, Warthog, a variety of birds, insects, reptiles, rodents, etc. bird watchers would easily observe rich offering of various birds at any given time.
Interestingly, about 177 species of birds (both resident and African migrant) as well as several reptiles, fishes and insects have been sighted and documented in the Park. Important species of birds like Sagittarius serpentarius (Secretary bird) Ground hornbill, Neotics dertham and Bucarus Abyssinica (Ground hornbills), which are not commonly found elsewhere in Nigeria, exist here.
The Kamuku National Park is a Nigerian national park in Kaduna State, Nigeria, with a total area of about 1,120 km². The park has a typical Sudanian Savanna ecology.
The park is located in the west of Kaduna State, and is adjacent to the Kwiambana Game Reserve to the north west and 14km away from main town. It was established in 1936 as the Native Authority Forest Reserve of Birnin Gwari under the Northern Nigeria Government. It was upgraded from a state Game Reserve to a National Park in May 1999, in part due to the success of a community-based project promoting sustainable resource usage, managed by Savanna Conservation Nigeria, a national NGO. The Federal government has been seeking to partner with foreign investors to develop eco-tourism in this and other national parks.
The park has generally flat terrain, sloping gradually upwards to the Birnin Gwari Ridge along the eastern boundary. Natural features of interest include the Dogon Ruwa Waterfalls; the Goron Dutse, a large isolated inselberg with a smooth surface stratified in a pattern of black and white squares; and the Tsaunin Rema, a hill made of large boulders piled on top of each other, with a large population of rock hyraxes.
Vegetation is Guinea Savanna with some transitional Sudan Savanna elements in places. The park and the nearby forest reserves have some of the best preserved blocks of this ecosystem in the country. Dominant trees include Isoberlinia doka, Terminalia avicennioides and Detarium macrocarpum. Other common trees include Daniellia oliveri, Nauclea latifolia, Acacia, Lophira lanceolata, Parkia biglobosa, Prosopis africana and Isoberlinia tomentosa. The riparian forests that line small, seasonal rivers often include oil palms (Elaeis guineensis). Other common plant species include Afzelia, Monotes and Raphia shrubs.
Mammals include elephants, roan antelopes, duikers, hartebeest, baboons, warthog, bushbuck, patas monkeys, and green monkeys. There are at least 177 species of birds, including migrants and residents. The park is important for species such as the secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius), Denham’s bustard (Neotis denhami) and the Abyssinian ground-hornbill (Bucorvus abyssinicus) which are rare in other parts of Nigeria.
The area in and around the park is the home of the Gwari and Kamuku people, traditional farmers, hunters, pastoralists and craftsmen, noted for weaving, mat making and pottery. The Gwari are said to have originated from Zungeru in Niger State, and the Kamuku are said to have come from the Sokoto and Katsina areas during the Fulani jihad at the start of the 19th century. The park includes places considered sacred by these people, such as hills, rock outcrops, marshes and streams, and the ancient Parnono Shrine. The present town of Birnin Gwari was founded in 1957 by Gwari people who had migrated from an earlier settlement about 50 km to the north. Hunting and illegal cattle-grazing by the pastoralist settlements on the edge of the park pose threats to the park environment.