Over the past weekend, I attempted to visit the Okomu National Park in Benin. After a few failed attempts at locating the place, my friend and I were able to get a driver to lead us to the right place. He actually lead us to the Okomu Oil Palm Plantation but we were then able to get someone to take us to the office of the National Park.

Okomu National Park is one of seven national parks in Nigeria. The other six include the Kainji Lake, Chad Basin, Cross River, Gashaka Gumti, Kamuku and Old Oyo National Parks. Okmou National Park is located in 45km west of Benin City. It covers an area of about 19,712 hectares, making it the smallest of the seven.

We arrived the park office and met with a few members of Staff  who said we would need about four hours to get to the park itself and drive around. They advised that it was better to plan an overnight trip rather than a day trip.

We heeded to the advice and proceeded to see the facilities they had around the office. First we met this little guy who was rescued and nursed back to health by staffers. It’s something of a pet now.

Next, we were shown the animal orphanage, a micro zoo with a few crocodiles and two ‘white-throated’ monkeys, also rescued from the forests.

Lastly, we visited the museum which contained fossils of animals that can be found within the park, (all died naturally). There were fossils of elephants, buffaloes, monkeys and so on. We were told that the park still has a number of these animals roaming freely, although they have to contend with poachers on many occasions.

The museum also contains items seized from these poachers.

I am planning to revisit later in the year and stay for a night or two in the tourist camp. I hear that the park offers activities such as wildlife viewing, bird watching, a canopy walk and fishing on rivers Okomu and Osse.

I am really looking forward to going back. If you’re interested in joining me, please let me know and if you plan to go on your own, remember to place a reservation in advance. Accommodation and four wheel drives are limited, so you’ll need to confirm before going.

Have you been or even heard about the Okomu National Park? Let me know in the comment section below

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *