Osse River Park, formerly know as Ifon Forest Reserve is located in Ondo state, South Western Nigeria. Established through Government a Government Gazette No.2 of 4/1/1951 particularly for the protection of Wild Game. The Park covers an area of about 282.35km2 lying between 60 54’ & 70 14’ N and 50 43’ & 50 54’ E as a remnant of the previously contiguous forest bloc in the defunct Western Region of Nigeria. It is bounded on the West and south by Akure Benin Express Road; on the North West by Ipele-Idoani Expressway and on the East by River Osse and Asaboro Rubber Plantation. The Park is strategically located and is accessible from any part of Nigeria, about 20km from Owo, 80km from Akure, 6km from Ifon and about 80km from Benin City. About five and four hours drive from Abuja and Lagos respectively.
Why Conserve Osse River Park?
Osse river Park is rich in biodiversity and high in species endemism. Thus, Osse river Park is a hoe to many wildlife species recognised by many international treaties and conventions such as the Convention on trade in Endangered Species (CITIES).
Some of these species include the African Forest elephant, the Nigerian Chimpanzee, White Throated Guenon, the endemic and endangered Ibadan Malimbe as well as the African Grey Parrot, which is restricted to forest in West Africa.
The Park is also richly endowed with an array of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) of great economic values which can significantly be exploited as alternative livelihood sources to reduce pressures on forest products and associated wildlife.
Boosted by remarkable geographical cultural, historical and aesthetic attributes, the Park is a potential pearl of ecotourism in the world. Well drained mainly by River Osse and Uwesse and their tributaries and the Park offers opportunities for recreational activities such as nature watching, sport fishing, rapid boating, picnicking, touring, wilderness experience and primitive camping.
The main natural vegetation are low land rain forest interspersed with savanna mosaic and the Riverside Forest along the river courses with multiple landscapes patches and high biodiversity. Exotic species of birds are abundant to attract Bird Watchers, Researchers and Primitive campers.