A VISIT TO OBUDU

“Obi I am in Jandon (London)!!!!!” came the scream from my kid sister on the other side of the line.

Calm down I said…when did you leave..the last thing I knew you were carrying on with your NYSC at Ogoja in Cross Rivers State. When did you leave there to travel??? All sorts of thoughts filtered through my head. The family had not been informed that she would be travelling..how then did she travel without my knowledge and parents consent?

Now it was her turn to calm me down..cool down brother .. I am still in Cross Rivers State but the place I am in must be finer than London.(Then she had not been out of the country) The grass is so luscious and green, the weather is so cold, the food is awesome, I’m surrounded by clouds…

Ehnn..wait wait wait ..i interrupted her. Where Is this place you say you are? itscalled Obudu Ranch. It’s a few hours from Calabar.

I have always loved travelling and so it was not many months after that I concluded plans to visit Obudu myself (in fact I have been there twice now..onetime on an excursion trip and another time with my lovely wife)

My trip to Obudu was a pleasant one..one of the most pleasant places I have ever been.

For intending tourist; make sure you make your pre-bookings before time. Peak periods are basically around holiday periods; Easter, Summer (July-August) and Christmas. The coldest periods are in September /October ; with temperatures going as low as 4degrees c. So come dressed warm.

On entering the ranch the first thing you notice is the state of the art water park at the foot of the mountain..with all sorts of slides and an Olympic size swimming pool. From the base you can look up and see the streams of water flowing down the mountain with the clouds surrounding the mountain.

Yes you heard me right..the mountains are literally covered with real-God made-clouds.

How do you get from the base to the top of the mountain? Well they are actually two ways, and I have been through both. You can either drive from the base to the top by car through the spiral ‘snake’ road (so called because of its spiral nature) .Due to the steepness of the climb, when seated in the car you are literally looking up to the sky..not for the chicken hearted as you may feel like you are going to fall off the mountain. The 20 u-turns on the road that takes you there (rightly called the “the devil’s elbow” ) are scarily exciting. Each u-turn takes you higher up the mountain and reveals the most beautiful sights ever.

Then there is the state of the art cable car..i hear the cable car is the longest in the world! Onboard the cable car and up in the air,,that cloudy feel first hits you. You can put out your hands from the car to feel the clouds through your hands.(again not for the lilly-livered)

Up in the ranch the first thing that hits you is the breathtaking scenery. They arealso so many activities..the ranch has a scary exciting canopy walk surrounded by tall, dense forests where the branches form a canopy that completely shuts out the sun.

Driving up to the plateau, you’ll view rolling mountain ranges totally submerged in clouds. The view is so breathtaking that you can only praise God for his awesome creation.

The air is fresh and clean. There is also the spectacular grotto (a natural swimming pool with its sparkling pure water, and a clear view of the long winding waterfall. Green mountain ranges surround the natural reserve that is home to rare species of birds and other animals such as the Gorilla. The ranch which has a mini-golf course and a squash hall is a popular resort and is currently managed by African Sun Hotels.

The Guest chalets at the Ranch are sparsely but nicely furnished. What struck me was the absence of Air conditioners but the presence of heaters as the place can be mercilessly cold.

For entertainment , Satelite TV, Disco Room, Board Games are there but power does not come up till 6pm.

All in all , Obudu is a must be! I enjoyed myself tremendously and would recommend it for anyone.

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