Friday, 7 January 2011

Christmas Holiday Adventures

I live in the far north of Nigeria in Jigawa State, a predominantly Muslim State. So to enjoy the Festive Season I travelled right to the very south of Nigeria where it is predominantly Christian with a gang of fellow VSOs.

Here are some highlights of an amazing trip.

Starting with a delicious barbequed fish supper at Abacha Barracks which used to be a fun place to hang out and soak up a chaotic bustling atmosphere. We were very sad to hear that this placed was bombed on new year’s eve, killing many women (who cook the fish and work in market stalls), their children and men who went there to relax and see in the new year. There were several bombings during this period, said to be related to the up coming elections.

For the majority of our travelling, of which there was a lot, we squashed 4 people into the back of a car and 2 in the front seat. Not because we wanted to but because this is the way that Nigerians use public transport here. If you want the luxury of a seat to yourself you have to pay the cost of another person. So we just grinned and bared it! (For one 2 hour journey we actually had 5 in the back because we struggled to find another car, that was an adventure in itself!)

Happy to be sharing the front seat for a couple of hours, hitching my leg up everytime the driver needed to go into 4th gear. Most often handbrakes don't work so luckily for me it was not needed.

We enjoyed beautiful scenery and breathtaking views at Obudu Cattle Ranch, staying in Abebe’s Lodge for a fun and relaxed atmosphere. We enjoyed the coolest weather we have experienced yet in Nigeria and were pleased to be able to finally wrap up warm in the evenings.

Hiked down and up a mountain to a waterfall for a cold swim.

Enjoyed a canopy walkway amonst the treetops in the jungle.

Stayed in a tree top cabin with only mosquito nets for the walls at Afi Mountain Drill Ranch in the rain forests of Cross Rivers State. The conservation project here rescues monkeys and attempts to release them back into the wild or take care of them. Felt a bit like the setting of ‘I’m a celebrity – get me out of here!’

How many monkeys can you spot?

We spent Christmas day in a tiny village in which we spent the day learning the name – Akpap Okoyong. Woke up very hot and sweaty to blue skies, green grass, palm trees and banana trees. We cooked some wonderful food, relaxed and enjoyed ourselves in the sticky humid atmosphere. Then on boxing day we travelled to the city of Calabar for 2 days of carnival.

I then enjoyed the cooler weather of Kagoro, where a group of VSOs live, climbed their mountain and joined in New Year celebrations, more carnivals and partying.
Here I am at the British Village, a relaxing haven in which VSOs are given free entry.

After these enjoying these wonderful adventures I am now surprised find that I have finally got a tan - a Christmas Tan.


  1. its good to see that you have enjoyed a little after suffering for a while.

  2. I am a Nigrian citizen. I am scared to travel anywhere for fear of armed robbers, kidnappers and religious terrorists. I am impressed that foreigners like you have the guts to get around and ENJOY my country. This will surely encourage me to get out of my cage (literally) and do some traveling! Keep it up, and thanks!

  3. Simply mind blowing! You guys planned a perfect trip for your Christmas holiday. A cheap flight to Lagos is what it takes to get to this outstanding African destination. Likewise many foreigners head towards Nigeria on such special occasions and go through an amazing holiday experience.