THE GASHAKA GUMTI LANDSCAPE
In the far east of Nigeria lies 6,731 square kilometers of Africa’s most scenic landscapes. With its soaring mountains, pristine forests, and undulating savannahs, Gashaka Gumti National Park is a vast mosaic of wilderness that protects some of the most ancient forests of the continent.
This incredibly varied park sits along the Cameroon line, a dramatic volcanic mountain chain which supports some of the highest levels of endemism and rates of biodiversity in Africa. As such, Gashaka Gumti serves as a stronghold for many threatened species including the critically endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, white-bellied and giant pangolin, yellow-backed duiker, golden cat, forest buffalo and a wide range of other primates and antelopes. The park also contains Nigeria's tallest mountain, Chappal Waddi, and is one of the most important watersheds for the river Benue (the country's second-largest river) which sustains the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians downstream.
Unfortunately, this beautiful park is threatened by logging, poaching, illegal settlement, mining and livestock grazing. Chronic underfunding left rangers poorly trained and underequipped to deter these illegal activities, leading to significant deterioration of the landscape. As a result, animal populations crashed, and in 2017 scientists from the Chester Zoo said that if nothing is done, the park would be irretrievable within five years.
ANI AND GASHAKA GUMTI
In November 2017, ANI signed a Public Private Partnership Agreement with the National Park Service to protect and develop Gashaka Gumti National Park. This co-management agreement was the first of its kind for a national park in Nigeria and established a framework for private sector investment into enterprises to support the protection of the park. Since the signing of the agreement with NPS, ANI has focused heavily on improving security and park infrastructure. Systematic ranger patrols have already dramatically decreased illegal activities in the park and improved the security of the region. ANI’s vision for Gashaka Gumti is a well-protected park that is financially self-sustaining and serves as a catalyst for economic development of its communities and this part of Nigeria. We eventually plan to establish a transboundary protected area connecting Gashaka Gumti to Faro National Park and the proposed Tchabal Mbabo National Park in Cameroon.
Creating a Gashaka Gumti that benefits everyone.
VISIT GASHAKA GUMTI
ANI is currently working to pilot eco-tourism in GGNP, but more work needs to be done until the park is fully ready for visitors. To stay up to date on how tourists can enjoy the park, make sure to follow our news and connect with us on social media.