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Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake: The lake that stole my heart!

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Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

Still stood the skies above Yenagoa,
Not in fear of heights,
But in awe of a pristine wonder.

Here I stand at ease,
Above me soars a bow-shaped moon,
Beneath me sprawls a bean-shaped mere.

 

To my left and right spread an animated glass whose distant shores form a bow, and its mystifying beauty forms a potent arrow- an arrow made of glimmering reflections of a jealous sky, of ambient breeze that whisper rhythms of lullaby, and a distant skyline that is bedecked with spectating multitude of a thousand palm trees. Here I am, at the foot of Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake.

A floating jetty bounces gently atop the ox-bow lake. On it sits two love birds, tweeting and giggling. The man turns towards the shore and gestures to the lady at a suya stand. She walks down, takes an order and walks away.

In a few minutes, she picks a number of meat-loaded sticks off a dancing flame kept alive by a pile of red-hot charcoals. She slices the roasted meats into a plastic plate and dices some onions and cabbage into it, after which she skilfully sprinkles ground pepper on the meat balls and sets some sticks of tooth-pick on the meat balls at the centre of the plate.

She walks down to the water with the lip-smacking plate of hot suya and bottles of chilled soft drinks. The waiting ‘love-birds’ beamed with smiles as they were served, and without delay, the ‘lady-bird’ began to pick at the steaming hot meat balls. Her smiles further widened as the tantalizing taste dashed through her famished belly. For her, it is like heaven-on-earth hidden in a corner of her Niger Delta, enfolded in a blanket of romantic ambience and spiced with the awe-inspiring aura of a beautiful lake.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake is tucked at a corner of Yenagoa town, the capital of Bayelsa State, southern Nigeria. Overtime, most parts of the bean-shaped lake had been kept pristine, except for an area being dredged and sand-filled. A neatly tarred road leads to a wide circular platform at the edge of the lake, rimmed with numerous barbecue, suya and drink vendor stands as well as well-arranged sitting chairs and tables- all set to give visitors a memorable experience at the lakeside; an experience that will keep them coming back for more.

#Ox-Bow Lake: a lake resulting from former river bend. i.e. a small curved lake developed on a river floodplain by a river abandoning its original meandering course and cutting a new channel. –Encarta Dictionary

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks  – Satellite imagery of Yenagoa showing the Ox-bow Lake in red circle
(
4° 54’33”N, 6° 16’42”E).

 

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – Welcome to Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks– The road from the gate leads to a circular area, at the edge of the lake, rimmed with numerous barbecue, suya and drink vendor stands as well as well-arranged sitting chairs and tables…

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – The circular sitting area and floating jetty (in red).

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – A floating jetty bounces gently atop the ox-bow lake. On it sits two love birds, tweeting and giggling….

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks– In a few minutes, the suya vendor picks some meat-loaded sticks off a dancing flame kept alive by a pile of red-hot charcoals…

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – She walks down to the water with the lip-smacking plate of hot suya and bottles of chilled soft drinks…

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

– Without delay, the ‘lady-bird’ began to pick at the steaming hot meat balls. Her smiles further widened as the tantalizing taste dashed through her famished belly…

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks– A dugout canoe moored by the lake side.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks– Fishermen on the lake.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks
Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks
Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – “Hey are you trying to snap me?”

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks – Some of the locals sailing from one end of the lake to another in a dugout canoe.

 

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks– Water hyacinth floating on the lake.

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks

– Isn’t this beautiful?

Yenagoa Ox-bow Lake Bayelsa_Naijatreks–  A panoramic view of the lake.

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at info@naijatreks.com or naijatreks@gmail.com.

6 comments:

Tim Holt-WilsonFebruary 4, 2013 at 9:11 amReply

What a lovely place! In Europe we have the beautiful Water Violet – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hottonia_palustris

NaijatreksFebruary 4, 2013 at 11:05 amReply

@tim_holt_wilson:twitter …yesooo, Yenagoa Ox-bow lake is a beautiful load of tourism potential…and I think your water violet is more beautiful than our tropical water hyacinth loll

teggsdgreat@yahoo.co.uk' TeggsdgreatFebruary 4, 2013 at 7:21 pmReply

This is really nice and beautiful, I really hope more beautiful places in Nigeria will be make known soonest

NaijatreksFebruary 6, 2013 at 9:51 amReply

@Teggsdgreat…yes yes…that’s one of the aims of Naijatreks: to make known to the world, those wonderful tourism wonders Nigeria is blessed with. Thanks for dropping-by :)

mails2matt@rocketmail.com' TraveljunkieApril 29, 2014 at 4:52 pmReply

Wooww!! that was my exclamation the very first time I was at Ox Bow in early 2012. Then the floating jetty wasn’t there yet and I was still mind blown. I think I’ll revisit any chance I get! Thanks for sharing this Folarin!

NaijatreksApril 29, 2014 at 8:16 pmReply

@Traveljunkie…Oh really? you should go back there my friend… I do pray you get another chance to do so.. thanks for the comment :)

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