Remember our last post on tourism in Nigeria? If you missed, click Road Trip – South West
This time, I assume my starting point is Abuja because it is connects virtually to everywhere in the North.
Starting Point: Abuja
USUMA DAM | FCT, ABUJA
For some weird reason/logic, Usuma Dam is a tourist attraction in Nigeria. My first time here was in 2006, during a club excursion at secondary school. It was LIT!
The Lower Usuma Dam is located 26 kilometres from the Abuja city centre, along the Dutse-Bwari road, and 10 kilometres away from Bwari. It is built across the River Usuma. The River Usuma, the second largest in the FCT after River Gurara, is a perennial stream with a relatively large network of tributaries.
The Usuma drainage basin is the largest of the six drainage basins in the FCT, draining more than two-thirds of the waste water in the FCT. It flows majestically through the Aso-Bwari hill ranges, running across the north-eastern part of the FCT.
The Lower Usuma Dam has a reservoir capacity of 120 million m³ of raw, untreated water. The sources of its water are the Usuma River from Nasarawa, River Gidna from Kaduna, and the Gurara Dam.
GURARA FALLS | NIGER STATE
The Gurara Waterfalls was reportedly discovered in 1745 by a Gwari hunter called Buba, as he was travelling from Zaria to hunt for animals. The Gurara falls and river were named after two gods once worshipped by Gwari people: “Gura” and “Rara”.
Gurara waterfalls sits between Suleja and Minna in Nigeria State, about an hour’s drive from Abuja. The waterfall spans about 200 meters across and drops 30 meters below (The highest waterfall in West Africa is Owu Waterfalls located in Kwara State which spans about 200 meters across and drops 100 meters below).
The community around the waterfalls used to worship the falls. If they had any problems, they used to go to the waterfall to pray and make sacrifices. When some Europeans discovered the falls in 1925, they turned it into a recreational area, and so the sacrifices were stopped.
The fall is at its peak between April and November, and at its lowest between January and March.
Read Bukky’s experience – Gurara Waterfalls | Niger
KAJURU CASTLE | Kaduna State
The Kajuru Castle was built in 1978 by a German Explorer who had come to settle in Nigeria. He blew of the top of a rock and used the stones to build himself a Princess Styled Castle (AMAZING right?).
The castle has a strict policy that allows only 12 people to spend the night. So the chances of getting 12 adventure lovers together to have an awesome and well-rounded weekend was slim.
The castle is made up of a magnificent large stainless steel swimming pool and well equipped kitchens (it is self-catering for those who can gain entry). It is Private Property, and entry to this place is not so easy. You will need to have permission from a German lady (some say a dragon) who looks after the place. There are beliefs that the German expatriate who built the place was deported during the Ibrahim Babangida Administration.
Read Tayo’s experience here – #AdventureTravel: Royals For A Night
YANKARI GAME RESERVE | Bauchi State
Yankari was originally created as a game reserve in 1956, but was later designated Nigeria’s biggest national park in 1991. Yankari Game Reserve is located about 225km east of the Nigerian city of Jos and it covers an area of 2,244 sq km. Yankari Game Reserve has been described by the Lonely Planet Guide as holding “about the only remnant of wildlife left in Nigeria.
There are some 52 known species of mammals, 350 of birds, 17 of reptiles, 26 of fish, 7 of amphibians and perhaps hundreds of insects. Among the large mammals include African elephants, buffalo, roan antelope, Bubal hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog, hippo, lion, Anubis baboon, Patas monkey and Tantalus monkey.
Cultural and historical features include ancient wells at Dukkey; Marshall caves (the only known man-made caves in west Africa) at Barkono; ancient iron foundry sites at Ampara and other locations; and several sites in a number of locations with stone walls, stone mounds and terraced hillsides as evidence of early settlements by mostly unknown people. Wikki resort itself is located on the site of an old village.
Geologic features include 5 warm springs Dimil, Gwana, Mawulgo, Tungan Maliki and wiki, waterfalls and gorges at Barkono and Tonglong, river valleys, natural caves at Filiyaram, buttes, isolated hills and hill ranges, and beautiful sceneries in the Tonglong and Sha’aman Hills. Many of these are visited by special arrangements, as they fall outside the regular viewing routes.
Read SocialPrefect’s experience here – Winning the Explore Bauchi Contest
ASSOP WATERFALLS | PLATEAU STATE
Assop Waterfalls is one of the notable Waterfalls in Nigeria. It is located at the edge of Jos Plateau, about 70km away from Jos.
The waterfall occurs naturally at the bottom of the famous Hawan Kibo which is a rocky undulating hill stretching a long distance below.Going to the waterfall, you will find a huge rock formation along the way and concrete steps paths.
It is a place you can enjoy the easing silence paused only by the tweeting of birds hanging around, the splash of water against rocks and rustling of trees.
P.S. Irinajo, Globe Jaunters, Truppr and Unravelling Nigeria are organising tours soon. Don’t miss out on them.
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