Preserving nature at the Afi Moutain Wildlife Sanctuary

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Legally established in the year 2000 to protect endangered wildlife, Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary has made inroads in saving the lives of some endangered primates such as the Cross River Gorilla and the Nigerian Chimpanzee.

The Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary the result of a concerted effort of several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) but started in 1993 by Pandrillus.org when it initiated a community protection campaign of these primates found in 17 villages surrounding the mountain. Pandrillus got the Cross River State Government to convert a section of the forest reserve to a wildlife sanctuary.

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What to see

Drills –

They are closely related to baboons. Drills are a short-tailed monkey that looks similar to a Mandrill but without the red and blue colours on the face of the latter. The male Drills are usually three times bigger than the female in size and can weigh up to 45kg while the female weight far less at just 15kg. The Drill Ranch at the Afi Mountain houses orphaned Drills whose mothers have been killed by hunters. Visitors can have a close look at the Drills in the sanctuary.

Cross River Gorillas

The Cross River Gorillas are the most threatened Ape in Africa. These mammals are found in mountain area on the borders of Nigeria and Cameroon. With only about 300 surviving in this region, these mammals have been hunted almost into extinction. The gorillas are big and can weigh up to 200kg. Apart from the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, the Cross River Gorillas can also be found in Cross River National Park and Mbe Mountains.

Chimpanzee

Another endangered wildlife found in the sanctuary is the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee. They are an endangered subspecies of Chimpanzee.

How to get to Afi Mountain

For international visitors, you are likely to touch down in Nigeria in any of the four international airports in the country, namely;

  • Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos
  • Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja
  • Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano
  • Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt

From any of these airports, visitors can connect a flight to Calabar then go to the Afi Mountain Sanctuary by road. There are two access routes, from the south and from the north. Averagely, by road the journey takes about 5-6 hours from Calabar while from Obudu Cattle Ranch, it takes just 1.5 hours to get to Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary.

Where to stay in Afi Mountain

Visitors that want comfort can book make hotel reservation in any of the top hotels in Obudu. You can get a decent hotel with good amenities and quality services about one and half hour drive away from Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tour Tip
To have a smooth experience, visitors are advised to come with mosquito nets, hiking boots, backpack, tent (if possible), food, sleeping pad, a compass (people that have), change of clothing, drinks, etc. Visitors can hire a tour guide for just N1,000. Accommodation at the sanctuary vary from N750  to N6,000 per night with varying amenities.

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