Bauchi, usually referred to as Bauchi State to distinguish it from the city of Bauchi, is a state in northern Nigeria. Its capital is the city of Bauchi. The state was formed in 1976 when the former North-Eastern State was broken up. It originally included the area now in Gombe State, which became a distinct state in 1996.
The Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University is located in the capital city Bauchi. Other educational institutions located in the state include Bauchi State University, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnicand Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi.
1. Yankari Game Reserve
Yankari Game Reserve and National Park is one of the few places where you can actually go on a Safari in West Africa. It is also one of the most popular millennial travel spots in Nigeria. You can find a variety of animals ranging from the African Bush Elephant to the olive baboon, patas monkey, lions, the African buffalo, Hippopotamus, and many more.
The open country and villages that surround Yankari National Park are populated by farmers and herders, but there has been no human settlement in the park for over a century. There is, however, evidence of earlier human habitation in the park, including old iron smelting sites and caves.
In 1934, the Northern Regional Committee made a recommendation to the Executive Council to establish a pilot game reserve in the Bauchi Emirate. This was supported by Alhaji Muhammadu Ngeleruma, a minister in the former northern Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Around this time, he had been impressed by a visit to a Sudanese game reserve while on a trip to East Africa. On returning, he encouraged the moves to establish something similar in Nigeria.
In 1956, the Northern Nigeria Government approved the plans for the creation of a Game Preservation area. Yankari was identified as a region in the south of what was then Bauchi Province where large numbers of wild animals existed naturally and could be protected. In 1957 a Game Preservation area was carved out and the area was constituted as a Bauchi Native Authority Forest Reserve.
Yankari was first opened to the public as a premier game reserve on 1 December 1962. Since then, the Northern Eastern State Government and then the Bauchi State Government both managed the Yankari Game Reserve. The park is now managed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Park Service.
In 1991 it officially became a National Park by decree 36 of the National Government.
2. Wikki Warm Springs
Wikki springs is a natural warm spring located inside the Yankari Game Reserve. Its water is crystal-clear with a natural temperature of about 31 degree Celcius. It spans about 200 meters in length and 10 meters in width.
3. Emir’s Palace
The Emir of Bauchi’s grand palace is where the paramount ruler of Bauchi resides. It was constructed with mud by a master builder from Zaria in the 19th century and has stood majestically for over 200 years ago. The palace is open to the public to walk through and to take pictures of the beautiful arched balconies and windows.
4. Tafawa Balewa’s Tomb
The first Prime Minister of Tafawa Balewa is buried in this tomb at Ran road, Bauchi. The tomb doubles as a museum because it contains some of his personal effects such as his wrist watch, radio and cap, displayed in glass cases.
5. The Bauchi Durbar
Bauchi is one of the best places to experience the Durbar festival, which is a periodical celebration. Durbar festival, or Hawan Daushe, is Northern Nigeria’s cultural treasure. The Durbar is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, Eid el-Fitr, and at the start of the pilgrimage to Mecca, Eid el-Kabir.
6. Marshall Caves
The Marshall caves were brought to public attention by P.J. Marshall in 1980 when he found about 59 dwelling caves dug into sandstone escarpments. The caves also contain rock paintings and wall engravings that are a must-see.