The plains stretch as far as the eyes could see; the sleepy horizon is obscured by massive cones of varying colours- some lush green, and others, earthly brown, jutting out into the skies and standing imposingly like enormous yam heaps on a village farm. These are the Kerang Volcanoes of Jos Plateau, North Central Nigeria.
When a first-time visitor to the plateau was told there exist extinct volcanoes in the viscinity, his mind flew to the pictures of the erupting Krakatau, and he would quickly express his blatant disbelief at the existence of such great geologic landmarks within the Nigerian landmass. Only a road trip all the way from Jos through the Mwaghavul area of Kombun, Kogul, Kerang, Bwonpe and Ampang west, to the site of the Spring Waters of Nigeria (SWAN) factory, blew his anticipating mind.
The landscape, lit up by the mid-day sun, is bedecked by fourteen (14) picturesque volcanoes. Their craters have been kept intact over years of in-situ weathering and erosion. Climbing the Kerang volcanoes is extremely daunting and enervating but richly rewarding as breath-taking vistas of the entire landscape hold the adventurer spell bound on reaching the zeniths of the volcanoes.
Pidong lake is another beautiful sight to behold on the volcanoes; formed by the accumulation of rain water in the crater of a volcano in Ampang. The water in this crater has never been known to dry up at any time regardless of how severe the dry season became within the region.
The volcanic hills are of great heritage to the people. Their significance have been expressed in their folklores, myths and legends. It was said that the area round the volcanoes was once inhabited by a race of giant people who were wealthy and possessed quantities of gold. These giants and their possessions were all destroyed by large fires from volcanic eruptions that took place in the area at the time. Another legend about the volcanic hills recounted that the one at Kerang, which was a female, occasionally intermarried with the one at Ampang West, which has a crater lake and was considered the male. The place of the marriage union was at a shallow pond in Mufil (It lies between Kerang and Ampang West). After the marriage, the volume of the water in the pond increased to about 1 kilometre in diameter and the water, which has a sparkling appearance, remains there for 2 to 3 months before the marriage was broken up and both husband and wife returned to their original place, with the pond drying up. The marriage was renewed after about one or two years depending on the mood of the female volcano.
The Kerang volcano was also said to have a big hole that the chiefs of Kerang (particularly the legendary Chief Jepnwan) were said to have utilized to hide their soldiers during fierce encounters with their enemies.
One of the most attractive volcanoes in the area is the Jiblik volcano, located near Abwor-Dyis, along Kerang-Shendam road. It rises into the misty skies pulling a world of beauty and awe around itself. Its lush slopes constitute an irrestitible bait for passer-bys. Its jaw-dropping crater is not so visible from the main expressway. It is presently being considered as a potential UNESCO world heritage site.Tweet