Travelling Northeast Nigeria
The Northeast Nigeria consisting of Bauchi, Adamawa, Gombe, Yobe, Taraba and Borno is one of the least visited places in Nigeria and yet, has the most beautiful natural resources with huge tourism potential. It is home to ranges of Mountains, the highest point in Nigeria, three national parks and also numerous waterfalls doubling almost that in the whole of the remaining part of Nigeria put together.
Northern Eastern Nigeria is an untapped gift to the nation and should be on your bucket list. Due to the proximity of Bauchi to Abuja, Yankari reserve in Bauchi is among the favourite spots in Northeast Nigeria and makes it quite an excellent place to stop by. Yankari reserve previously a national park but now a state-owned park is also home to one of the only surviving blue natural spring water or pool in Nigeria. It offers game viewing with 4×4 vehicle available to take you through a safari journey of the reserve.
Marshall caves are the icing to the cake for your Yankari trip; these caves with numerous networks of hollow openings and artistic textures served as a settlement many centuries ago sheltering communities from wild animals and invaders.
At the outskirt of Bauch is a beautiful settlement surrounded by hills and a serene lake; Dumi is a beautiful settlement with many hills and a lake. Due to the presence of so many hills, the adventurer or tourist can decide which on which one of them to hike. On average, each takes 50 minutes hiking up to the top to view the beautiful magnificent sunset and the beautiful sky. Some parts of Bauchi City can also be viewed from the top. The elevation of the hills is not specific but estimated to be around 350-400m.
Three hours from Yankari is the jewel of the Savanah. Gombe is more for adventure travellers and backpackers. It is a hiker’s paradise, a cyclist’s bliss and an adventurer’s fantasy land. There are about 24 named Mountains in Gombe, Tangale peak being the highest point. Among other famous ones are the Kaltungo hills. The most prominent among them is the Kilang hills which protrude out to the onlookers. Kilang hill stands out as soon as you enter the Kaltungo local government area and is 1000ft above sea level. In the same state is a rock nicknamed ‘mysterious’, Dutsen Mamaki which in the Hausa language loosely translates to wonders is a unique arrangement of granites that is a wonder to behold.
Getting to Taraba is most convenient by flight. At present, there is no direct flight from Lagos, the flights available are through Abuja. In about an hour and thirty minutes, you should get to Jalingo. The best of Taraba is still about six hours bus journey from Jalingo through the undulating mountainous road. As you approach Gembu, you are welcomed by a beautiful display of a sultry range of mountains. Taraba’s beauty is locked in its diverse ethnic group, varieties of languages spoken and home to highland (Green Label) tea farm in Kakara, Mambilla Plateau.
Among the three national parks in North-East Nigeria, the largest is Gashaka Gumpti National Park, which in terms of size, is more prominent than the commercial capital Lagos. The Flora and fauna of Gashaka Gumpti extend on 6400sq km, and it is one Nigeria biggest park and least visited. Gashsaka Gumpti extends along Taraba and Adamawa up to the border of Cameroon. About 2100m above the sea level inside the same park is Chappal Waddi, Nigeria’s highest point and highest mountain.
There is a direct flight which runs within the week from Lagos to Yola. About 103 km from the capital Yola in Adamawa state is the Lamurde hot spring. Hot water springs occur in two different locations in Lamurde where they all last through the rainy and dry seasons. The Lamurde hot spring which the natives call ‘Ruwan Zafi’ which means ‘Hot water’ is above 50C at its hottest spot. From far sight, it looks like any other spring till you dip your legs into it. This hot spring is part of the Sukur cultural heritage, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
In the same Adamawa, are series of volcanic plugs located in the Mandara mountain range stretching across the Cameroon-Nigeria border, the sight is a fairy tale and worth the adventure.
Desert Safari takes after Dubai. A picture taken in Kuri Wakko dunes could quickly escalate an argument on if it is Dubai. In Tulo Tulo, Yusufari L.G.A in Yobe state, are enchanting brown dunes surrounded by a lake. Tulo Tulo is home to the Manga, Shuwa, Kanuri and the Fulani farmers and herders, each co-existing peacefully in this picturesque and quiet place. The terrain with its endless land and abundant mineral resources has camels everywhere. Herds of cattle are a common sight.
Next time you think of an epic adventure, think Northeast Nigeria.