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”I stood on the Mambilla and I thought of Obudu”

Post 205 of 218
 

For Naijatreks, By Nseobong Okon Ekong (Deputy Editor at THISDAY Newspapers)

Nseobong Okon-Ekong takes a long, tiring walk through one of Nigeria’s toughest terrains to reach the summit of the Mambilla Plateau, Nigeria’s highest point above sea level.

There is not much to Jalingo. There aren’t so many tarred roads in the metropolis, yet, tucked away in the southern end of Taraba State, is the enchanting Manbilla Plateau, a spell-binding haven of beauty miles away from everywhere. The Mambilla Plateau is not one of those quick-fix destinations you get to and then decide to leave on a whim. Except you have a helicopter on the ready to fly you back to point of departure, you simply arrive at the place and zero your mind to stay  for a day at least; and even if you were to come through the state capital Jalingo, it takes all of seven hours (by road) to get to the peak of the plateau. Add another two hours if you have to fly into Yola (capital of Adamawa State) where the nearest airport is located.

Entrance to Gembu, Mambilla Plateau.©picasaweb.google.com

The people of Mambilla Plateau (Sardauna LGA, with headquarters at Gembu) occupy a vantage location, living at an altitude of 1840m above sea level, the highest point in Nigeria. But they don’t even know it! The Plateau has one of the most fertile soils in Nigeria. Almost everything grows here and it is no longer a secret that some of the country’s men of influence own farms in this parts.
Some of the large billboards – mounted by the United Nations Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) – caught my eye during the drive uphill. In the main, they preach peaceful co-existence and are a constant reminder of the two bloody ethnic clashes that have so far taken place on the Plateau between the Fulani herdsmen and the farmers. Previously, the Fulanis were not considered as one of the tribes on the plateau. That was before they abandoned their known proclivity towards the nomadic and began to settle down, build houses and raise children. Today, fulfude the Fulani language is the lingua franca on the Plateau.
As waters cover the sea, so does overlapping hills drape the Mambilla. As far as your eyes can see, there is no end to the interlocking highlands. Natural formations stimulate the senses and fire the imagination. Bodies of waters – big and small – snake their way in a cool run between the hills. The Nigerian Mambillan appear more attached to Cameroon, evidenced by their preference for Cameroonian television and radio stations. Even the staple musical diet is Makossa. Incidentally, many of them can’t even speak French.
The Tambi waterfall is one of the uncountable awesome sights to behold on the plateau. A marked incomparable tourist’s delight on the hills and it forms a natural boundary between Nigeria and Cameroon. I left the waterfalls wondering how much Nollywood could achieve by making use of such great locations as this for their scene shots. “If only..” “if onlu…” I kept thinking. (Watchout next week for Part 2 of my peregrinations on the Mambilla).

Exploring the Hill Range, Mambilla Plateau.

Sunrise on Gembu Ranch, Mambilla Plateau. ©picasaweb.google.com

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This article was written by Nseobong

15 comments:

omidiji_ronke@yahoo.com' Ronke OmidijiJanuary 21, 2011 at 10:56 amReply

Great photography and article.
thanks for sharing it.

Folarin KolawoleJanuary 21, 2011 at 5:29 pmReply

@ me…yeah, the photos are awesome…thanks to Nseobong Okon-Ekong for the article…and thanks for dropping a note.

Tweets that mention An awe like the Obudu in NW Nigeria | NàìjáTreks — Topsy.comJanuary 22, 2011 at 12:20 amReply

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by fola kol, fola kol. fola kol said: Sunrise photos of the spell-binding Mambilla mountains http://t.co/ZkJtWiZ via @naijatreks.com [...]

suzan@kivuliholidays.com' SuzanJanuary 25, 2011 at 10:11 amReply

The Sunrise on Gembu Ranch, Mambilla Plateau is a sight to behold – totally breathtaking!

True – a great location for a great Nollywood movie but are the producers/directors/location managers really listening?

Folarin KolawoleJanuary 25, 2011 at 10:27 amReply

@ Suzan…we will keep drumming it into their ears till they start listening…and yeah, the sight is awesomeand breath taking.

suzan@kivuliholidays.com' SuzanJanuary 26, 2011 at 11:00 amReply

@Fola…please do that – I wouldn’t mind watching some new Nollywood movies with such breathtaking scenarios.

kaitlenturn@live.com' kaitlenturnFebruary 4, 2011 at 8:22 amReply

Loving your blog from what I have read so far… grats!

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dez1zrxr@gmail.com' AudreyFebruary 6, 2011 at 6:04 amReply

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aziemode@yahoo.co.uk' Omeiza AbogundeNovember 16, 2011 at 11:34 amReply

When one considers the the expressions of Nseobong, one focal recurrence is lack of infrastructure. Imagine a rev. fr. was governor for eight years in Taraba. the task for nollywood is to either open up a studio which is impossible for now, nollywood relies on infrastructures too a la healthcare, good roads, airports, water and education which no where near fairly available in the Mambilla.
My only hope is that the Mambilla Power Project is completed as signed in the contractual agreement of the FG. Let there be light in the Mambilla and then we shall serenade in her ambience

NaijatreksNovember 16, 2011 at 11:22 pmReply

@ Omeiza…. thanks for your note…your opinion is much valid… there’s is absolutely no way Nollywood can make Mambilla an option for their choice sites if there aren’t necessary facilities as the ones you said… anyways, as I always say: the best we can do is HOPE for better, unless the private sector decides to take the bull by the horn and venture into tourism investment in the country. We can’t just afford to rely on this government.

aziemode@yahoo.co.uk' Omeiza AbogundeNovember 16, 2011 at 11:34 amReply

When one considers the the expressions of Nseobong, one focal recurrence is lack of infrastructure. Imagine a rev. fr. was governor for eight years in Taraba. the task for nollywood is to either open up a studio which is impossible for now, nollywood relies on infrastructures too a la healthcare, good roads, airports, water and education which no where near fairly available in the Mambilla.
My only hope is that the Mambilla Power Project is completed as signed in the contractual agreement of the FG. Let there be light in the Mambilla and then we shall serenade in her ambience

musa.adam41@yahoo.cm' Musa AdamDecember 7, 2012 at 9:47 amReply

What a nice place! please is this place in NIGERIA? If it is indeed in Nigeria, then how can I locate the place. thanks

Naijatreks | International Mountain Day 2012: A call to protect our Idanre, Obudu, Effon, Jos, Mambilla and Adamawa lands.January 29, 2014 at 5:16 pmReply

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