Known as the “Home of Peace and Hospitality,” the state was named after a popular hunter known as Baushe, who settled in the region before the arrival of Yakubu, the first traditional ruler of the Bauchi emirate, founded between 1800-1810. Bauchi in Hausa means land of freedom and tourism.
There are 20 local government areas in Bauchi State, and these are: Bauchi, Tafawa Balewa, Dass, Toro, Bogoro, Ningi, Warji, Ganjuwa, Kirfi, Alkaleri, Darazo, Misau, Giade, Shira, Jama’are, Katagum, Itas/Gadau, Zaki, Gamawa, and Damban LGAs. Bauchi State has a population of about 5 million people, and it is bordered by seven states: Kano and Jigawa to the north, Taraba and Plateau to the south, Gombe and Yobe to the east and Kaduna to the west.
Seven top travel destinations in Bauchi State are:
1. Yankari Games Reserve
The Yankari Games Reserve is more or less the largest games reserve in Nigeria. It covers about 2,244 sq km of land, and located nearly 225 km east of Jos city in Plateau State. Yankari is the most developed wildlife park in the country with over 250 species of flora and fauna. With over 550 elephant population among other fascinating animals and birds, the wildlife are best seen between November and May when they come to the Gaji River for a drink.
2. Wikki Warm Springs
The Wikki warm springs is located within the Yankari reserve and a park for all tourists to visit. It is about 200 meters long and 10 meters wide with crystal-clear warm water with a temperature of about 31 degree Celsius. The natural springs is the reason many tourists visit the reserve, and the springs park is usually lit up in the evenings for visitors to savour its freshness.
3. Shau Shau Iron Smelting Works
The Shau Shau iron smelting works in Bauchi State is a sight to behold with the 60 furnaces used to melt and forge iron tools among other farming implements. With over 100 ironsmiths working to forge iron tools such as cutlass, hoe, dane guns, arrows, household utensils and other relevant equipment, the iron smelting works is a tourist attraction to behold.
4. Marshall Caves
This cave is called Marshall Caves because it was discovered in 1980 by P.J. Marshall, a white explorer. The cave contains 59 dwelling caves in total – dug into sandstone escarpments, and must have been used by early settlers who wanted to escape enemy invasion and animal attacks. Rock paintings and wall engravings made into the caves give credence to the fact that early settlers abode in the recesses of the ancient caves.
5. Tunga Dutse
The Tunga Dutse is a rock formation that features ageless engravings and writings that are quite legible but meaningless to all people. Researchers are still trying to decipher the age and meanings of the rock writings with a view to understanding the ancient people that dwelt in the rock, leaving their marks.
6. Ancient Hills
There are over 10 ancient hills in Bauchi State, but the three most popular ones among them are the Kalban hill, Kariyo hill, and Paliyaram hill. Some of these hills are located within or close to Yankari games reserve, and they present a scenic view of the park for as far as the eyes can see.
7. Dukkey Wells
They Dukkey Wells have over 139 wells that are well connected via shafts to portray an elaborate water storage system that was in use in ancient times. It is a site to explore and see the ingenuity of ancient folks in preserving water for both domestic and agricultural use in the arid region.
8. Other Attractions
Other places of interest in Bauchi State include the Panshanu stone heaps (Kwandon Kaya) in Toro Local Government; Lame/Burra Game Reserve; first mining beacon in Nigeria located at Tilden Fulani in Toro Local Government; Babban Gwani at Kafin Madaki in Ganjuwa Local Government; Shadawanka rock paintings located in Bauchi Local Government; Geji rock paintings located in Toro Local Government; Shira rock paintings (Dutsen Damisa) located in Shira Local Government; and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s (first Prime Minister of Nigeria) Tomb Monument.