For sometime now, I have been on this idea of chasing Waterfalls in Nigeria and recently I had the opportunity of exploring Farin Ruwa Waterfall in Nasarawa state, all thanks to my friend, Funmi Ajala who came to Abuja and hit me with the idea of exploring nearby state, Nasarawa. As always, I was ready, canceled all my plans – mans’ giving it all for the adventure!
Trip To Farin Ruwa:
Farin Ruwa Fall is likened to Zambia’s Victoria Fall and even more, it is just as spectacular as Canada’s Niagara Fall. All these I have read on the internet so I was truly excited for this trip. Myself and three explore buddies hit the road on a Monday morning just about the time 9 to 5ers were on their way to work. We were morale ready, bags and boots ready because travel is serious business for us. Took off from Nyanya, Abuja where we got a car for Akwanga, took about a 1hr ride given the regular and annoying stops the driver made. From Akwanga, we got a car for Wamba, the local government where the fall is located. Wamba isn’t a place that gets a regular visit but we were lucky enough to get a vehicle in little or no time. The trip to Wamba is where you start getting the rush of adventure given the long lonely road, crazy turns and you can feel the drop in temperature. In another 1hr, we arrived at Wamba, particularly the junction that leads to the location of the fall.
Attention! Rough Rugged Terrain:
Ghen Ghen!! This is where the real journey began. We now had to get bikes, not just any bike but, ones in a healthy state and with the riders in the right state of mind for the journey because the road is hardly motorable.
We passed a small village, Marhai and just before we got in deep, we were already greeted by this beautiful and picturesque view and we can sight in a distance in what looks like a white water falling off a hill.
I can remember cautioning the bikemen to ride carefully but even at that one of the bikes developed a fault and we had to do ‘two on a bike’, tough but we had no choice. walking wasn’t even an option as we weren’t even halfway!
A little far ahead was the first stream of water we came across and it had some villagers fetching water, bathing and some doing other stuff’.
There was a little bridge over the stream, big enough for a bike to comfortably pass through but this wasn’t the case for the five other streams we had to cross ahead, however smaller, crossing the five other streams was a situation of carefully stepping on stones and small rocks to get across. The bikemen somehow managed to ride through them all.
After the first stream was another village called Maisaingi, a beautiful village covered in greens and rich in timber given the dense surrounding forest, and it was at this village we met our tour guide, Mr Emmanuel Agati. It was a lucky day for us as he was just on his way to the Fall.
From here on and in addition to all the time already spent, I would say it takes about 2hrs of biking, hiking, falling, running, swimming..okay, maybe not swimming but complaining and thinking ‘who sent me’? because it’s a rugged terrain with the roads laid on stones and covered by bush leaving only a tiny path for passage for the most path.
We also saw some old and abandoned projects – chalets that were built for tourists to stay in and power cables and transformers for electricity. Everything down and abandoned! The last and smallest village we passed was called, Quam and only a few huts were in sight.
With the sound of the waterfall increasing and the sight getting surreal, we were close already, and tired of trying not to fall off a bike, we decided to walk the rest and in few minutes we were at the toll gate. I mean what used to be a toll gate!
Old, Lone, And Majestic:
While it was sad to see the state of this tourist site, it was still a small journey from the toll gate to the fall with the conversations mostly about, “Why are we getting it wrong with Tourism in Nigeria?”. The area had thick tree covers with tall slender trees for both sides.
A question I needed to ask was if there were wild animals around but no, just Monkeys and different species of birds for the most. This sight I have also read to be a haven for birdwatching.
We finally got to the fall and it was an amazing sight. All the tire from the journey disappeared. In my journeys of chasing waterfalls, this is the most majestic I’ve seen – roaring down the hills in a stream of pure whiteness.
Notes From Farin Ruwa:
“Farin Ruwa was mapped during the reign of Abdullahi Adamu, a once civilian governor in 1999. The source of the fall is from Plateau State. On the other side of the hill is Plateau State. It is from Sha in Bokkos local government of Plateau State. Nasarawa was created on October 1st, 1996 from Plateau State. This is evident in the same rock structures and patterns you find in Kurra and Assop Waterfall in Plateau State.
On asking if any effort has been made by the present administration, he said not much, however, the steps that leads to the fall from the crossing of the last stream was built by the ministry.
Weekly visitors to the fall is around an average of five people, this we saw in the visitors’ register booklet. The tour guide added that People know about the fall but the major challenge in coming down is the bad roads and the visitors are not so encouraged on hearing about the bad terrain.
There is no gate fee to the fall, but visitors are encouraged to give what they have to keep hope alive and to help clear the bushes to atleast in some way ease the access to the waterfall.