Visit the Warm Springs of Wikki
Wikki Warm Springs, in the Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria, is a veritable river flowing out from beneath a sheer rock cliff. The water is so pure that it’s bottled and sold. Tens of thousands of gallons flow out every day at a constant 75-degree temperature. The water comes from under the cliff into a wide rock basin floored with white sand that varies in depth from one to seven feet. The whole area is shaded from the hot African sun by tall verdant trees. Baboons were the only thing that kept it from being utterly perfect. We were warned that they might swing or sneak down as people swam and make off with their things. We set a guard and fortunately, weren’t much bothered by them.
In the south-central part of the Bauchi State lies Nigeria’s biggest national park. The Yankari National Park is an exceptional place where you can pretend you are actually at home in the comfort of a warm bath, apart from taking off your clothes that is. It is however home to over 50 species of animals and a spectacular freshwater ecosystem due to its freshwater springs and the Raji River.
There are four different warm water springs in the Yankari National Park that came about due to underground geothermal activity. The area is called Wikki springs because it was named after the largest of the four which is approximately 13 metres wide and 1.9 metres deep. The name Wikki means “where are you?” in the local Duguri language while the other warm water springs are named Dimmil, Nawulgo and Gwan. There is a fifth spring in the park but it only sprouts cool water, named Tungan Naliki.
Wikki spring, on the other hand, sprouts out beautiful spa-bath-worthy warm water that has a temperature of 31.1 degrees celsius all year round and amazingly it pushes out 21,000,000 litres of clear spring water out in the Gaji River. Located about 42 kilometres from the main entrance of the park, you can stay in one of the many furnished chalets at the “Wikki Camp” which is the tourist centre of the Park and you can make use of this graceful and elegant natural phenomenon!
How to get to Yankari National Park
There is no direct connection from Lagos to Yankari National Park. However, you can take the taxi to Jibowu Terminal, take the bus to Port Harcourt, take the walk to Port Harcourt, take the train to Bauchi, then take the taxi to Yankari National Park. Alternatively, you can take the drive to Yankari National Park from Abuja which is 34o km from the capital.
Where to stay at Yankari National Park
Wikki Camp is the tourist centre of the Park located about 42 kilometres from the main entrance gate beside the Wikki warm spring. There are 110 furnished chalets with varying size and quality, ranging from suites to a youth hostel, all of which are being upgraded in phases. The camp also has a restaurant and bar.
|Size & Location|
|How to get there|
|Areas of interest|
|When to visit|
|Where to stay|