Chad Basin National Park

Chad Basin National Park is situated within the ancient Kanem-Borno Empire (present day Borno and Yobe States).

The Empire was established prior to 10th Century A.D. It was one of the famous and politically well organized Empires comparable to its contemporaries of Songhai and Mali Empires in Africa.

The then Borno Empire developed mainly within the Conventional Basin of the Lake Chad which Chad Basin National Park is now located. The Empire played a prominent role in the growth and expansion of the Trans-Saharan Trade, Arabic and Islamic Learnings, Scholarship and diplomatic ties with Countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,Libya, Morocco and Spain. As a result of the Continental Trade, Islam was first introduced to what is today Nigeria around the 11th century A.D through Borno Empire.

One of the noticeable relics of the material culture of the ancient Borno Empire which is still outstanding is the Rabeh’s Fort at Dikwa. The Fort thereafter served as a Military Operational Base for the French, German and British Colonial Troops during the colonization of West Africa at various times in the early 1900s.The Fort was eventually declared a National Monument on 23rd April, 1959, even before Nigeria’s Independence. The culture of the local communities surrounding the Park is fundamentally Arabic-Islamic in nature due to the long interactions between the Arabs, the Kanuri’s and the Shuwa-Arabs during the Trans-Saharan Trade, amongst others.

The infiltration of the European colonizers into the then Empire has to a certain extent influenced the local peoples’ way of life at various socio-economic, political and religious levels. Borno Empire was (and Borno-Yobe States are still) very famous for their renown Durbar; a grandiose royal festival of horses, camels, Procession of Princes and Princesses in regal attire, assorted war weapons, leadership and military hierarchy and martial music, with likely origin from North Africa, or even as far as India.

Location and Size:

Chad Basin National Park falls between the two States of Borno and Yobe, covering a total land area of 2,258km2. It is geographically situated between latitudes 11.o00’-N13.o00’N and longitudes 13.o00’ – 15.o30’E.The Park is composed of basically three Sectors which are spatially remote from one another i.e. one Sector: Chingurmi-Duguma in: Borno; and two Sectors; Wetlands and Bulatura Oases in Yobe.

Legal Status:

Chad Basin National Park is one of the seven (7) National Parks in Nigeria, under the overall administration of the Nigeria National Park Service (NNPS), a Federal Parastatal under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Environment established by Act 46 of 1999 (LFN Cap 65 of 2004). The Park has the same organizational structure as the six (6) sister Parks, being operated under Category II of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources otherwise known as the World Conservation Union (WCU).