Against a blanket of a glistening dark creek, sway a trio of sawn-Àràbà punts. Arms-in-arms like three jolly friends they rocked to the silken tunes of gentle waves.It was mid-day at Ogonokom waterside, River State, Nigeria. Young men argued tenaciously under a nearby shade as two people sat, poring over a board of draft game. Three motorcycles stand reclined against the wall of a shack. An aroma of ègúsí soup and ògúfe meat exude from openings in the shack’s roof. Muffled voices with intermittent laughters of a dozen people filter from the waterside restaurant and gossip with the sun-tanned air.The three boats are still rocking. Their harnesses of old jute tied taught to stakes at the bank.
Like old friends, the Ogonokom creek embrace the Sambreiro at a distance. Mangroove forests lining the far river banks take the bleached countenance of the skies. Pleasant shadows sprawl across Ogonokom creek, cast by giant lush mangroove forests, overhanging the water surface at their base. Ogonokom waterside paints an unusual but puzzling picture: a picture of Niger Delta’s unmistakeable natural beauty and undeniable rusticity.
The numerous creeks, watersides and mangrove forests of the Niger Delta present us with vast untapped tourism potentials; Ogonokom waterside is just one of them.