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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Kagoro Hills

Kagoro is a large town in Kaduna State, Nigeria. It is located in the Kaura Local Government Area.  It is has a cool weather and relatively high altitude.

                                                    Kagoro Hills behind us

The Kagoro Hills, known as Afan Ae’gworok among the natives, is the towering elevation above the Kagoro municipality near Kafanchan in the Southern Kaduna sub-region of Northern Nigeria. The Kagoro Afan National Festival derives its name from the hill (Afan). The Kagoro Hills is situated at an altitude of about 1,246 meters above sea level and its scene is one of the most picturesque natural attractions in Kaduna State. It forms a range with big trees and rocky places at the base. The hill has significantly influenced the weather of the area making the area to enjoy nice climate similar to what is obtainable in the Jos and the Mambila Plateaus. There is also heavy rainfall with mild fresh humid wind during the rainy season.
                                               the trail is hidden ahead
The Kagoro hill is famed to be the ancestral settlement of the Kagoro people. The inhabitants of Kagoro town had lived atop the hill ranges for hundreds of years before they eventually relocated to the current site at the foot of the hill owing to the coming of the Europeans with its attendant changes in social and economic lifestyle. In spite of this changes, some settlements still exist atop the serene hill ranges which boasts of schools, health clinic, churches, etc. Like most conventional societies, the Kagoro hill settlers live in clusters of compounds hedged by cactus shrubs hedging as borders separating the various compounds. The Kagoro hills ranges cover an unbelievably large expanse of plains stretching as far as the eyes can see. Natives say that these plains stretch as far as Jos in neighbouring Plateau State and parts of Bauchi State.
                                     Pretending to wait for these agile villagers while I catch my breath

The topography and steep ranges functioned as a natural harbour of safety for the community during the periods of inter-communal strives Because the Kagoro hill is enclosed by conventional stories about heroes and supernatural beings, it is usual for tourists to seek the consent of the Kagoro Chief before ascending the hill who in a usual manner offers prayers for a safe passage to the top of the hill, (which I advised in my previous post). Besides that, it is believed that the hill harbours a sacred bee colony so climbers/hikers are warned against using perfumes or creams that may attract the bees. Lucky for us we didn't encounter the bees.
                                              we met a cattle rearer and his cattle grazing

As the climb/hike commenced from the foot of the hill, we noticed a forged covert pathways along and around cliffs and crevices, nooks and crannies, streams and brooks all the way to the summit. These trails were obviously concealed with safety in mind as they are naturally hidden from newcomers and from the scope of the towns people.

Besides the curves intersected by amazing rock formations, there are numerous fresh water springs running the length and breathe of the hill.

                                                         the stream uphill
The area is good for rock climbing, hunting safaris, mountaineering and has very beautiful sceneries for picnics and relaxation. Kagoro hill in all ramifications is a wonder to behold and a must place for visitors or tourists who desire adventure and conquest. Kagoro is attractive for tourists because of its mountainous scenery and cultural events such as the Afan festival, which is celebrated annually on 1st January.

Enough of the history of Kagoro Hills, let us talk about hiking the hills. However we didn't visit Southern Kaduna in January around the festival,  We came in September of 2016. If you read the previous blog post about the Nok culture, then you will know the hiking took place a day after the Nok Village and museum visit. for those who didn't read the previous post, here is a link
We woke up early in the morning and headed to the foot of the Kagoro Hills before the hiking commenced.

the foot of the hill
Before this hike, the last time I hiked was a hill in Ajaokuta. I loved the feeling of the cool caress of a breeze from distance peak. I marveled at the at the scale and magnificence of the great and immovable giant of nature.

We got to the trail and our hiking journey began. The weather was beautiful, some of the trails were easy, others weren't but we were all super excited to hike to the summit. Sometimes, we stopped to catch our breaths. We came across some villagers going down the hill as it was a market day, and some hiking up with heavy stuff on their heads.

children moving effortlessly with stuff on their heads

the little girl isn't wearing a hiking shoe

While we who carried nothing were panting or looking for support from the rocks, these men, women and children moved effortlessly with no hiking shoes.

hiking up hill

I didn't let the tiredness deter me, I was too excited that I stumbled, half delirious with fatigue and joy, onto the summit of Kagoro Hills. We shared jokes, laughed, encouraged and helped  each other along the way. Some trails were narrow, and some were rocky, it was thrilling, yet tiring. We rested a bit by a stream and continued to the summit.

resting by the stream
the stream

The weather was still beautiful, then we got to the summit, we met only a handful of villagers as most were down the hill to buy and sell as it was a market day. 
                                           some structures on the summit

                                                  a little boy we met at the summit
Then the weather began to change, clouds began to form. We decided to hike down quickly just incase it would rain. We hoped that we won't be caught up in the rain, if at all it would rain. Bear in mind that they do get a lot of rainfall there.

the trail

                                                     another narrow trail
posing for a photo in one of the trails

Cimbing up was way easier than going back down especially when the heavens opened and the showers poured on us. It didn't hold back, it was a heavy rain. I feared for it and it came.
hiking down the slippery rocks

hiking in the rain

There was nothing any of us could do than to continue hiking down the hill. I hated it so much and hoped it would stop, it was no where near stopping. some of the rocks became slippery ofcourse and there were new mini water falls where there was none on our way up. most of us weren't prepared for the rain so we went on like that.
                                                              the mini waterfall
I must say that it was the most tasking hike I had ever embarked n because of the rain. I slipped on the rocks  twice and got up and continued. We were all very drenched up in the rain. We got closer to the foot of the hill and we were rejoicing that finally we would soon get some shelter since the rain wasn't ready to stop.
contemplating how to cross the bridge
Then we did get to the foot of the hill and then realized we were stuck. The bridge that connects the trail up hill and land was submerged and there was the "Mother of all waterfalls".
Oh my God! what are we going to do? We were all overwhelmed, none of us has ever experienced anything like that.

                                              the submerged bridge
the bridge
How are we going to cross over this bridge? We decided to wait it out until the rain stopped. We then realized that the water was swallowing the bridge more and more. A few bold ones among us said we have to to through it, we thought they were crazy to suggest that, but we realized we were stuck, hiking back the hill was unimaginable. The only option was either to remain were we were, or try to go through it. Did I mention that I don't swim? You can imagine my fear.

It was getting darker too. So one or two among us went ahead and would hold someone's hand to help each person get on the railings as that was the only way.
climbing the rail
In my life, I never would have imagined that I could cross a bridge like that. We gently and slowly and carefully moved on the railings until we go to a point where we could walk in the flowing water without needing the railings.
posing for a photo even though we were shivering from the cold. We felt like survivors from a movie scene. 

Here is a short video to give you a glimpse of what it felt like and the force of the water. 

Tips on hiking Kagoro Hills.
Carry enough water to drink
Carry along some light snacks as well
Prepare for the weather, carry rain gears, wind breakers and extra clothing
Check the weather
Wear the right shoes and socks
first aid kit
knife or multipurpose tool
Hike in a group
Use hiking sticks to take the stress off your legs. 
Bring along small light weight flashlight
Wear sunglasses and a hat if possible
Keep it light.

With proper initiatives, the summit can be converted into a tourists’ haven and a resort offering a cable car up the hill like Table Mountain in Cape Town, a restaurant,  golf course, other sports and recreational spots that have the potential to create jobs and generate revenue for the community, state and the nation at large.
The next post will be about the Matsirga water falls, Stay tuned. 


  1. Wow, knowing about this place for the first time. Thank you 😘

  2. Wonderful. Seems like where to visit

  3. Great the photos too!

  4. I wanna visit, but my phobia for water