Gashaka-Gumti National Park (GGNP) is a national park in Nigeria, It was gazetted from two game reserves in 1991 and is Nigeria’s largest national park. It is located in the eastern provinces of Taraba and Adamawa to the border with Cameroon.
The total area covers about 6,402 km2, much of the northern GGNP is savannah grassland, while the southern GGNP sector of the park has a rugged terrain characterized by very mountainous, steep slopes as well as deep valleys and gorges, and is home to montane forests.
Altitude ranges from ranging from about 457 metres (1,499 ft) in the northern flatter corner of the park, up to 2,419 metres (7,936 ft) at Chappal Waddi, Nigeria’s highest mountain in the park’s southern sections. It is an important water catchment area for the Benue River.
There is abundant river flow even during the markedly dry season. Enclaves for local Fulani pastoralists exist within the park boundary that allow for farming and grazing.
Education and research
The National Park also fulfils an important role of providing educational opportunities for local people. With the influx of scientists and researchers to the park, information on climate, weather, and methods of agricultural practice are richly dispensed while at the same time baring itself to the inquisitiveness of every researcher.
Conservation of biodiversity
With the unique mix of vegetation, altitude, soil type, ever flowing tributaries and climate, the National Park is virtually equipped to support a large range of habitats, which in turn supports exceptionally high biodiversity of plants and animals.
A sound knowledge of symbiosis would help appreciate the role the park serves as the main catchment area for the Taraba River, a major tributary of Nigeria’s second largest river, the Benue. Protecting forested slopes within the park, known as watersheds, ensures that essential water resources of the Benue are conserved.