Share This Article
This Park was named after the ruins of Oyo-lle (Old Oyo) a former political capital of the ancient Ypruba Empire and was thus formerly referred to as Upper Oyo-lle forest reserve. The park divided into 2 forest reserves of Upper Ogun and Oyo-lle which were gazetted in 1936 and 1941 respectively. The two were joined in 1952 into a game reserve and later gained status as a national park.
More than 2500sq kms are covered by the park in the south western region of Nigeria in the states in Oyo and Kwara. This region is ecologically gifted with different attraction, wide variety of flora and fauna to protect the best of Nigeria’s endemics.
The highest point in the park stands at 508m above sea level while the gentle slopes are covered in forests and savannah. The Ogun River runs down in the valleys draining in the forest. Other rivers in the park include Owe, owu and Tessi which drain in the south and northern region respectively. The north eastern parts of the park have occasional granite outcrops stretching up to Oyo-lle and isolated hills for the central parts.
The park has the four types of vegetation which are dense woodland and forests outliers in the southeast part; mixed open savanna woodland in the central part, outcrop vegetation in the northeast and riparian grassland and fringing woodland occupying the forest plains and valleys along the Ogun River.
Some of the species of animals in the park include the endangered painted hunting dog, western kob, roan antelope, western hartebeest, Grimm’s duiker, oribi, crested porcupine, anubis baboon, patas monkey, tantalus monkey, buffalo, red river hog, gaboon viper, spotted hyena, nile crocodile, rock python, land tortoise, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog and others.
More than 100 birds are recorded in the park with regular sights for grey hornbill, Senegal parrot, African fish eagle, guinea fowl, hammerkop, Senegal fire finch, Crossley;s thrush, Grey heron, bush fowl, Yellow mantled Whydah and many others.
Access is via Oyo-Iseyin road to the office in Oyo-Isokun where the park headquarters and booking office are located. The nearest cities and towns adjoining Old Oyo National Park include Saki, Iseyi, Igboho, Sepeteri, Tede and Igbeti for accommodation and other Nigeria holidays and tourism options
There are eleven waters falls within Oyo State each with fascinating beauty. Other attractions in the park include Ikere Gorge Dam/River Ogun and the archaeological site of Oyo-lle for cultural safaris in Nigeria. Some of the cultural sites include the royal tombs at Oghobo and Bara, Asabari shrine at Shaki, Ibuya pool and Yemeso hills…to mention a few.
Accommodation is available at Akoto base camp and lodge near the wildlife museum. The camp offers adventures like sport fishing, bating, hiking, cruise ships, game viewing and bird watching besides its excellent overnight accommodation and dining. Other camping options are available from Ibuja camp at River Ogun.