Monday, March 7, 2016

From Yankari With An Open Mind

It was the break of new dawn, the weather was chillie in the Northen part of Nigeria, Actually the capital territory Abuja, with so much anxiety and anticipation of a wonderful ride to Yankari Reserve in Bauchi State. following google map and checking if everyone was in check. Our journey did not start until 12; 08pm with calculated journey of 504km which is about 7hrs from our research, little did we know.

Life is about perception and  is full of surprises and only those with enduring spirit and fearless mind take the risk of  doing the extraordinary things especially going to a location for the fun of adventure and exposure where you have no clue of what the road looks like or what the reception will be from the indigen of the mentioned location with so much terror attack going on in north.

Our first  stop  as a group was in Jos after a long and separate ride from Abuja at this point we were all exited that our long awaited and delayed journey has started, the road from Keffi all the way to Jos seemed pretty fair and passable, the feel of the cool wind, the well formatted trees and  rock area filled my sight and I couldn't  help but commend on how beautiful our lands are and wondering how we as people of Nigeria can contribute to the growth of Economy by turning all this places to tourist attraction, not only were we all exited but the villages who surrounded us with so much joy like they just saw their long awaited Prince, The woman who came to sell "Energy Booster" for the men and i watched as she tries with so much happiness to sell the Energy booster and they waved us farewell as we departed, my heart pumped and felt encouraged to continue the Journey.

As we approached the Outskit of Jos into Bauchi state the ride was getting too long and our 7hrs calculated journey was already running out, Nobody had anything to eat except liquid and my small packed cookies was shared amongst all, We calculated again at this point our map was reading right and we were all looking lost but still eager to conquer this Journey then we asked the villages which way to Yankari Bauchi and they pointed to left and we were hoping it is not a mistake but we kept on riding after about 2 hrs , we lost site of the other group riders, apparently they were either ahead of us or behind. At this point I was already getting agitated and tired and my partner didn't seem like he was bothered he just wanted to get to Yankari.

Now Bauchi seemed like it was here finally and at this point we were still riding solo till about 7:10pm at the NNPC filling station in Bauchi, where we refilled and asked for direction and at this point i was impressed with the Northerner , we all have wrong impression about them. They told us that from where we were to Yankari was 40kms and another 42kms into the game reserve which is about 1hr/30 min ride at this point it felt like a journey of NO RETURN. At this point i give Kudos to Cocoa cola for making coke available even as far this, that was our only survival kit and we began again, riding into the night with bad roads and the scary military check points and the darkness that draw to our face like it was going  to us to another world.

At 8:35pm we saw the other riders surrounded by crowd , we were relief at the site of Familiar face and asked for the other two and we were told that they had gone to Gombe!! Apparently they missed their way , we were happy that others were good and then we continued and finally "We are Here" Yankari Reserve" and they gate men said they had closed and we cant be allowed in! everyone was tired and warn out after long argument, they allowed us in and told us to move Very slowly and The Crazy one amongst us said '' yes we shall all move at 15km/hr. The Security advised that we shall see 7 Animal Cross sign, how accurate they are with all this little information.

At 10:10pm we were finally inside and the 7 animal crossing felt like 12, we were all tired but the environment view at night felt like heaven,  The hut built like houses and the interior was classy and we had our first meal of the day and no one cared if the food tasted nice or not we just wanted to eat, it wasn't until the next day that we discovered the surroundings of where we slept, the baboons hovering around in search of what to grab, the pumba looking like animal and the wikki warm spring which is always at 31 degrees, I was really intrigue by the construction of the road to the wikki warm river with side way stairs.

The Safari visit was another boner as we were eager to see lion and elephant but they left us with their droppings and the cave inside the rock where their four fathers lived during slave trade, used to think slave only happened in the western region but little did I know.

life is filled with many opportunities....have an open mind, makes the world go round.

By: Oma nnorom (

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