“Mountain of Death”- A Trip Through The Forest of Taraba
It is said that you’ve not seen it all in Nigeria if you’ve not seen Mambilla Plateau.
No road in Nigeria offers more mystery than the one I am about to tell you. It’s the best if you set out on this quest with friends equally young because then all of you will be carried through days of long drive and infrequent “pee-stops” across the massive undulating snake-like road to Mambilla. You’ve likely never been there, never been to any place like that. Mambilla plateau is the greatest gift of the creator to this nation as God packed lots of beauty to behold.
Among the coldest region in Nigeria (sometimes colder than Jos), there is no heat, no mosquitoes, no tension, no panicking just perfect tranquillity.
Typically, this is not an area that attracts tourists and tour operators but the place is a jewel that must be tapped into.
Home to the highest point in Nigeria, the largest tea farm in Nigeria and largest national park-Taraba, the adventure is life changing and will leave you speechless. From the undulating road leading towards Gembu to the monkeys roaming freely, you meet and feed on the road – Taraba is a dream. Taraba is Nigeria’s throbbing heart, a crazed, sultry range of mountains, a lush and rural tea farm, red clayey road and magnificent parched landscapes split up by the bizarre flowing River Donga. With about 73 spoken languages around the region, not to mention some unknown local languages, the state is a vast ethnic and linguistic jigsaw, yet one that, in contrast to so many of its neighbours, enjoys a great deal of stability.
With a reasonable road infrastructure, travel is a lot easier here in Sardauna LGA, southeast of Taraba State in Nigeria with the Capital in Gembu. Still, you’ll miss none of those indicators that you’re in the middle of this fascinating haven: everyone seems to be carrying a basket on their backs, So o (a specially made weaved basket), pronounced like the sound of tonic solfa notation “f” sets the rhythm of women going to their farms, the street smells like roasting plantains and Taraba bliss is just a piece of chilled Fura dai nunu away.
Mountain of Death-
The name Gangirwal translates as “the mountain of death”. With the heavens as your roof and after the exertions of the day, you will rest knowing that you are higher than the other 120+ million people who are sleeping below you in Nigeria’s crowded cities, towns and villages. Chappal Waddi- popularly known as Gangirwal at above 2000m is Nigeria tallest point.
Mambilla Plateau- Mambilla people popularly known as Bommi people is one of the major towns in Sardauna LGA. The local government was renamed twice by the military government to suit the then prime minister of the north- Sir Ahmadu Bello. Historically, the Bantu language spread across Africa is said to have originated from Mambilla. Here women go to the farm and men go to war. The average woman from Mambilla is stronger than the male counterpart.
Gashaka Gumpti National Park-
The park covers 6,600 sq km (roughly 6 times the size of Lagos) and is Nigeria’s largest National Park.
Kakara Tea Farm, Gembu-
You’ve probably drunk Gembu tea if you’ve drunk tea in Nigeria. Two of the biggest tea companies in Nigeria buy their tea from Gembu. It’s the biggest tea estate in West Africa. Their tea is called Highland Tea. The temperature there is about 12 degrees or lower in the night.
Other places you can see in Taraba are:
✅Cave at Maisamari
✅Mbu, the cloud village
✅Human footprint inside a rock
✅Bang central waterfall
✅Barup waterfall (Mambilla hydro dam)
And many other waterfalls…
✅Ndumyaji cave (the biggest cave on the plateau, it can accommodate 10,000 people comfortably)
✅Flat rock at Lekitaba
✅Ancient rock seat (Chairs inside the rock at Bang central)
✅Ngel Yaki game reserve
✅War trench at Kara