Ecotourism in Nigeria: The Okomu National Park Context

AJAYI, Omolola Oluwakemi, EVESO, JonathanOdafe


Nigeria is a country rich in biodiversity and natural landscapes hence making her an ideal destination for ecotourism especially in the national parks.There is a death of information with respect to ecotourism in Nigerian National Parks despite Several studies having addressedecotourism dynamics in national parks round the world. This study thus assessed the status and significance of ecotourism in Okomu National Park. Semi-structured questionnaire distributed using the simple random sampling techniquewere used: fifty (50) and one hundred and twenty (120) for visitors and residents respectively totaling one hundred and seventy (170) as well as in-depth interviews.Visitors travel motive were mostly for the purpose of education/research (56%). Visitors’ primary attractions to the park were Forest elephants Loxodontaafricanacyclotis; white throated monkey Cercopi the cuserythrogasterand the 140 feet high tree house. The ecotourism management strategies in the park include the use of code of conduct, conservation education, tour guides and eco-lodges. Tourist influx do not influence trade and businesses in any way as acclaimed by 47.1% of the community respondents.Ecotourism in Okomu National Park is still at an infant stage with respect to visitors’ influx, attractions and socio-economic contribution.

Keywords: visitor experience, community-based tourism, management


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