Folu's Travel Diaries: Videnda x Folu Explore Calabar & The Obudu Hills pt.1
Cross River state is home to some of the most beautiful forests, mountain ranges and plateaus in Nigeria.
The Obudu plateau itself is 5,630 feet (1,716 metres) above sea level, on the Oshie ridge of the Sankwala mountains, in the Obanliku Local government area of Cross River State. Bordering the Cross River national park, home to one of the oldest rainforests in Nigeria.
There are a few ways to get to the Obudu Hills : You could fly to Calabar then board a Chartered flight to the Obudu air strip, If flying is not you think you could travel by road from: Calabar - Obudu(7 hours) or from Enugu - Obudu (4 hours). The Videnda trip was scheduled to be by air, however due to cancelled flights, we ended up on a bus for 7 hours from Calabar to The Obudu hills... and what a journey it was!
We eventually arrived at the top of the mountain at atbout 11:35pm on friday night, still in good spirits but mostly needing to get out of the bus and stretch and quickly settled into our Cabins.
You see the mountain has a light schedule: 6:pm -12Midnight and 6:00am- 10:00am, because it's cool on the mountain and it's a hiking holiday! So we quickly plugged in everything we could, gratefully wolfed down some Eba and Afang soup as provided by the locals, and got ready for a day full of sight-seeing around the Obudu Hills.
The next morning dawned bright and clear with patches of clouds rolling around the hills, like tumble-weed in an old-school western; and it was the only signal we needed to turn into tourists.
We picked up our camera's, took photos of the scenery from our mountain villa, and went off to to our first stop, the Becheve Nature Reserve.
The reserve is virgin rainforest(trees that have never been cut) and the walk allows you to experience some of the vegetation (and if you're lucky and very quiet ) and animals that roam the forest freely. Also in the forest is a short canopy walk along the tree lines and a viewing tower to gaze out into the forest canopy.
Leaving the Canopy walk we moved on (about a 20 minute hike, or 30 if you're being leisurely, lol) to the natural rock pool garden with clean spring water gushing from between the rocks. It's a pretty cool thing to see.
Also just geek mode and it reminds you that the world is so much more than cell phones and office walls and it is worth going out to see. So we scale back up to head towards Holy mountain, continuing our exploration for the day.
Walking is a fun way to see the sights and get a little more fit while you are at it. However to enjoy the ramble, pack proper walking or hiking shoes/boots.
The weather around this time of the year is cool and during the day there's bright sunlight. Pack a little sunscreen but as it's cloudy on the plateau, it is a comfortable walking temperature! Alternatively you can take a bus part of the way to most hiking trails, and cut down your walking but as usual, that will cost you! lol! Yeah from The Grotto to Holy mountain, we took a bus a part of the way. You also have the option of taking Okada's there, which I find pretty fun!
By the time we were done with holy mountain the sun was setting on our Obudu visit but we still wanted to hit one more stop on our way. And it was a babbling brook (i kid you not...not really..) around which the Swimming pools were built. Now sadly the pools were out of order on our visit( whispers about payment squabbles between management and operators) but mother nature came to our rescue and we wound down in style outdoors.
If the chartered flight operators hadn't cancelled we would have spent more time on this beautiful plateau however with time running out and a 7 hour journey ahead, we opted to end our obudu trip with a lovely bonfire and bbq , a little drink and laughter, and a lot of great moments shared.