There is a country I know, more beautiful than most are aware.
At the tail end of 2003, I found myself starting a journey from the dense forest of the Niger Delta, Cross River State, in the South-South Geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The journey took me across the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria and as at 2019, with over 4 million images, I am still here capturing more images to document the landscape of this beautiful country which I always refer to, as the world best-kept secret.
This is a personal attempt to document and present to the world in a whole new light, the rich heritage and promising future of my homeland. I have traversed the length and breadth of this country, known, seen and felt its magic intimately.
There is a country that I know... it is called Nigeria!
SUNGBO EREDO, LAGOS STATE, SOUTHWEST NIGERIA
Sungbo Eredo is located in Eredo, Epe, Eredo Local Government Area of Lagos State. Built around 1000 AD and taking two centuries to complete, Sungbo's Eredo 100-Mile-Long wall is a system of walls and ditches that served as boundary and protective defense.
It is reputed to be the largest single pre-colonial monument in Africa. During construction, it required more earth to be moved than the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The Eredo is linked to the Queen of Sheba, a story retold in both the Bible and the Koran.
The Old Testament version recounts the Queen of Sheba sending a caravan of gold, ivory and other goods from her kingdom to King Solomon. The Koran tells of an Ethiopian incense trader and sun worshiper named Bilqis who converts to Islam. According to local legend, the Eredo is a monument to a wealthy, childless widow named Bilikisu Sungbo. Her grave is located in Oke-Eri to the north. Pilgrims of Christian, Muslim and traditional African religions visit the site annually to pay homage.
AGBOKIM WATERFALLS, CROSS RIVER STATE, SOUTH SOUTH NIGERIA
The Agbokim Waterfalls is located at about 17km from Ikom and 315km from Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, Nigeria. The Waterfall is surrounded by lush greenery, valleys and steep hills which are enveloped like a rainbow.
This is a spectacular falling sheet of water, attractive and impressive tourist spots and a highly recommended place for picnics. It is the ideal location for a vacation to getting back into nature and regaining your creative productivity and general well-being.
The growth and development of Agbokim waterfalls, dates far back before the advent of tourism development. Members of the Agbokim community work collectively to make the water falls a developed area by discouraging deforestation and encouraging afforestation as the source of the river is from death remains of plants and animals. They help in afforestation which aids the increase in the volume of water.
AWHUM CAVE, ENUGU STATE, SOUTHEAST NIGERIA
Awhum Cave is situated at Amaugwe village of Awhum Town in Udi Local Government Area, Enugu state.
The valley town which also boasts of numerous pristine lakes, some of them with beautiful white sand beaches is located about 24 kilometers from Enugu and it is bounded on the north by Okpatu, in the east by Nike, in the south by Ukana and in the west by Egede communities. But, separating the town of Awhum from her bounded communities are beautiful rolling grassy hills, majestically adorned in green.
Also, the mystic auras from Awhum’s caves emits on her a unique kind of beauty.
However, the graceful Awhum Cave was birthed as a result of massive outcrop of granite rock with water cascading over the top, forming a stream at the end of the cave.
The waterfall is 30 metres high and it is famed to have both healing powers and the capability of dispelling satanic or evil forces. It is for these reasons the falls have become a place of Christian pilgrimage and a prayer centre.
RIYOM ROCK FORMATION, PLATEAU STATE, NORTH CENTRAL NIGERIA
The rock formation is located in Riyom Town, Riyom Local Government Area, 25 kilometres to the southwest of Jos, the capital city.
The Riyom Rock is one of the most enchanting scenes in Nigeria and taking a look at the way these mighty boulders are arranged on top of one another in that delicate position for thousands, if not millions of years, one cannot but be awed by the majestic wonders of nature.
It is also a metaphor for Nigeria, no matter our challenges, we shall overcome. The manner in which the boulders sit stately on top each other side is sure to leave you mouth agape. The formation is also popularly known as Three Rocks.
There are several hills and natural rock formations in Plateau State with each qualifying to be treated on its own account. The area surrounding the Riyom Rock is popular for hikes.
MAMBILLA PLATEAU, TARABA STATE, NORTHEAST NIGERIA
Mambilla Plateau is a plateau in Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, Nigeria. It has an average elevation of about 1,600 metres above sea level, making it the highest plateau in Nigeria.
The journey to Mambilla starts on a snake-like road from the foot of the mountain to the top, about 25 to 30 minutes’ drive where you start savouring the beauty of the plateau.
There are rolling hills, back dropped with exotic flora and fauna. It has a lot of scenic views to behold, which while watching the mountain chain and the curvaceous valleys you will have a breath of fresh air that is uncommon in many other parts of Nigeria.
The climate is comparatively cold and daytime temperature hardly exceeds 25 °C, thereby making it the coolest region in Nigeria. Surprisingly, it is Mosquito and Tse-Tse fly free. It is the only region of Nigeria that grows the tea plant on a large scale. Mambilla Plateau would give you a uniquely magnificent and adventurous experience.
GORONYO DAM, SOKOTO STATE, NORTHWEST NIGERIA
The Dam is located near Keta Village 25km East of Goronyo Town and 90 km away from Sokoto, the capital of Sokoto State. The Dam was completed in May 1984.
It is a multi-purpose storage dam designed to store nine hundred and forty two million cubic meters (942 x 106 m3) of water for irrigation and development of downstream areas from Goronyo to Argungu, covering an area of over seventeen thousand hectares (17,000 hectares).
The reservoir created by the dam is the second largest man-made lake in Nigeria and covers an area of 200km2. River Gagare, River Bunsuru, and River Maradi are the main tributaries of Goronyo dam. While constructing the dam, 31 villages were affected and resettled to the nearby area with total population of over 20,000 people.
Lake formed by the dam has boosted fishing activities in Kebbi and Sokoto states, tourism, irrigation, recharging of aquifer, flood regulation and provided more employment to a lot of the populace. The dam also supplies water to Sokoto and Kebbi States.
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