This Nigeria wildlife park is located in the south eastern tip of the country in the cross river state. The Cross River National park shares an eco-system and biodiversity with Korup National park in neighboring Cameroon. Together, these Africa national parks make one of the richest biodiversities the world has known over the years The park is largely made up of tropical lowland rainforests, swamps and flooded savannah vegetation. The rainforest in this part of Nigeria are considered one of Nigeria’s last remaining great tropical rainforest and coastal mangrove swamps.
The cross river and its tributaries drain in this park creating swamps in the northern part of the Oban hills division while river Calabar, Kwa and Korup run through the southern parts of the park. Parts of the rainforests in this region are Guinea-Congolese with broad leafed canopy of trees rising to highest of 40-50m. Some of the trees are recorded to have been planted more than 6 million years ago.
The Park covers an area of 40,000sqm on the Oban hills and the other part on Okwangwo. Oban hills division (28000sq km) have most of the wildlife habitat while Okwangwo division is dominantly a rich vegetation zone of more than 1,500 different species of trees and plants of which 98 are endemic to the region. Examples of the notable species are Anceistocladus korupensis and Prunus Africana which have high medicinal value for treating HIV/Aids and Prostrate cancer.
More than 75 mammals are recorded in the park including forest elephants, chimpanzee, drills,African buffalos, Cross river gorillas, grey checked mangabey, red colobus, guenon and 42 snake species. Six species of primates have been recorded in the park More than 250 birds are recorded in Cross river National park and they include Spot breasted ibis, Black guinea fowl, grey parrot, golden greenbul, sparrow hawk, hawk eagle, flufftail, tiger heron, wood-dove, Nkulengu rail, cuckoo, barbet, tinkerbird, owlet, spinetail, hornbill, bee-eater, kingfisher, roller, Turaco and many others
The rainy season is recorded for the months of March to November with more than 3500 mm of rainfall received in a year. The rest of the year is a dry season.
There are about 66 villages in the buffer zone surrounding the park, with the villagers dependent on the park for their livelihoods. With a growing human population, the forest is being lost to slash-and-burn agriculture and illegal logging.
There is accommodation at Kanyang tourist village which is 1 hr drive from Calabar-a lodge with restaurants and museum. The lodge offers adventures like gorilla trekking, boating, fishing, bird watching and botanical walks among others
Other attractions in Cross River Park include the Spectacular Kwa falls on Kwa river flowing over a steep narrow gorge creating pristine pools below. The Agbpkim waterfalls are also another attraction in the park on Cross River.