Kainji National Park Travel Guide

Kainji National Park in Nigeria is a remarkable destination for all types of travelers. Discover the best things to do, places to visit, and more in our comprehensive guide.

Located in North Central Nigeria, Kainji National Park is a remarkable destination for all types of travelers. This 5,341 square kilometer park is home to a variety of landscapes, wildlife, and cultural attractions. From outdoor adventures to historical places and cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone here. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan your visit to Kainji National Park.

Introduction to Kainji National Park

Kainji National Park was established in 1979 and is the oldest national park in Nigeria. The park is situated in the savannah region and encompasses part of the Kainji Lake and the Borgu Game Reserve. Here, you’ll find a diverse landscape that includes woodland, savannah, and riverine floodplain. The park is home to several critically endangered species, such as the African Elephant, West African lion, and the Hippopotamus.

List of Places to Visit in Kainji National Park

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Kainji National Park has a rich cultural heritage with several important historical sites and museums. The New Bussa town is the entrance to Kainji National Park and has a museum that showcases the cultural heritage of the people in the area. In the town of Lade, there’s the Lade Hills, which were once the site of a pre-colonial civilization. You’ll also find the Kainji Lake National Park Museum, which houses historical and cultural artifacts from the park’s history.

Natural Attractions of Kainji National Park: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Kainji National Park has no shortage of natural attractions. There are several scenic views throughout the park, including the Kainji Lake and the Gurara Falls. You can also take a guided tour of the park to spot wildlife and see the beautiful landscape up close. Outdoor activities in the park include fishing, birdwatching, hiking, and camping.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Kainji National Park

For those that enjoy exploring on foot or by bike, there are multiple trails to explore around the park. One of the most popular hiking routes is the Kainji Lake Nature Trail, which is a 4km trail that takes you through the woodlands and riverside forests. Another popular route is the Kainji Hill Trail, which takes you through the hills and offers beautiful views of the surrounding area.

Best Things to Do in Kainji National Park: Activities and Tours

Kainji National Park offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages. Some of the top things to do include:

  • Take a guided tour of the park
  • Go birdwatching
  • Fishing in Kainji Lake
  • Enjoy a boat ride across Kainji Lake
  • Camp in one of the park’s many campsites

Week-Long Itinerary for Kainji National Park

If you’re planning to visit Kainji National Park for a week or more, here is a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in New Bussa and settle into your hotel. Day 2: Take a guided tour of Kainji National Park to see the wildlife and natural scenery. Day 3: Visit the Kainji Lake National Park Museum and learn about the park’s history and culture. Day 4: Go fishing on Kainji Lake and enjoy a relaxing day on the water. Day 5: Explore the Lade Hills and learn about the pre-colonial history of the area. Day 6: Take a hike on one of the park’s many trails. Day 7: Depart Kainji National Park.

Food and Drink Scene of Kainji National Park

Must-Try Dishes

Kainji National Park has plenty of delicious food options to try. One of the most popular dishes is Suya, which is grilled meat on a skewer with spices. You’ll also want to try Jollof Rice, which is a spicy rice dish cooked in tomato sauce. Other popular dishes include Eba, which is cassava flour, and Akara, which are deep-fried bean cakes.

Local Beverages

In Kainji National Park, you can find several local beverages to try, including Palm Wine, which is made from palm trees. You can also find Ginger Beer, which is a sweet drink made with ginger, sugar, and water.

Where to Stay in Kainji National Park: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Kainji National Park has several options for accommodation, depending on your preference and budget. Some popular accommodations in the area include:

  • Kainji Lake Resort
  • Ladi Kwali Conference Hotel
  • Holy Trinity Hotel
  • Campsites in the park

What to Buy in Kainji National Park: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Kainji National Park has several souvenirs and local products to bring home with you. You can find wood carvings, traditional textiles, baskets, and pottery. You’ll also want to try the local honey and shea butter, which are both produced in the surrounding communities.

Local Culture and Customs of Kainji National Park

The local culture in Kainji National Park is diverse, with several different ethnic groups represented in the area. The most common language spoken is Hausa, although English is widely spoken as well. Traditional music and dance are an important part of the culture here, and you can often see performances during festivals and events throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit Kainji National Park

The best time to visit Kainji National Park is between November and March when the weather is cooler and drier. During this time, the wildlife is also more active, making it easier to spot animals on a guided tour.

Do’s and Don’ts of Kainji National Park


  • Take a guided tour of the park
  • Respect the local culture
  • Dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites


  • Litter in the park
  • Disturb or harm the wildlife
  • Ignore safety warnings

Safety and Health

Safety in Kainji National Park

Kainji National Park is generally a safe place to visit if you take precautions such as staying in well-lit areas at night and avoiding traveling alone at night. You should also stay on designated paths and follow safety guidelines while participating in outdoor activities.

Health in Kainji National Park

Before visiting Kainji National Park, you should check with your doctor to see if any vaccinations are recommended or required. Mosquitoes in the park can carry malaria, so be sure to take precautions to protect yourself from insect bites.

Getting to Kainji National Park: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Kainji National Park

The nearest airports to Kainji National Park are Minna International Airport and Ilorin International Airport.

Bus Stations Near Kainji National Park

The New Bussa Bus Station is the main bus station near Kainji National Park.

Other Options

You can also rent a car or hire a driver to take you to Kainji National Park from nearby cities.

How to Get Around in Kainji National Park

The best way to get around Kainji National Park is by car or minibus. You can either hire a driver or rent a car from one of the rental agencies in New Bussa. You can also take a guided tour of the park, which includes transportation.

Where to Go Next from Kainji National Park: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you have time to explore more of Nigeria, there are several nearby destinations and excursions to check out, such as:

  • Abuja
  • Lagos
  • Idanre Hills
  • Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove


Kainji National Park is an amazing destination for all types of travelers. Whether you’re interested in wildlife, history, or outdoor adventures, you’ll find something to explore here. By following this guide, you’ll have all the information you need to plan a memorable trip to Kainji National Park.