When I was little, there was a story we were told about how the clouds were so close to earth that people need only reach out to it to ‘pluck’ a portion they would use for food. They were always told to take only what they could finish in a day else the ‘gods’ would become angry and take the clouds far away from them.

I’m sure you might have guessed how the rest of the story goes. Someone always spoils it for everyone and now the clouds are far, far away from us – except you’re in Obudu, that is! Here, the clouds literally touch the mountains and once you’re up there, you can actually feel them against your skin!

Mountain views at ObuduI’ve had Obudu and its mountains on my mind for the longest time and I’m so happy that I finally got to visit. This trip almost didn’t happen though as we (my sister and I) were advised against going during the rainy season. Planning the trip itself was almost a nightmare! Thankfully, we had a great deal of help from friends who encouraged us to go on with the journey and were available to answer any questions we had at anytime of the day!

Getting to Obudu from Lagos

Obudu Mountain ResortWe began our journey from Lagos to Enugu by 8am – almost 2hrs later than scheduled, using the GIGM bus service. I’ve used these guys before and I thought they were great but this trip didn’t live up to the last one. We left very late and we were stuck with a remarkably rude and fairly rough driver. Thankfully, we still arrived Enugu in good time.

PS: See cost breakdown here

The next morning, we headed to the park and boarded a bus going directly to Obudu. Big mistake! This bus took forever to get filled up. Like forever, as in 3 good hours! In that time, we would have been more than half way into our journey. My friend later told us that we should have gotten into the smaller vehicles that ply the same route. (I didn’t see those at the park we were in). Anyway, we finally arrived at Obudu town at about 5:00pm and lodged within the town.

Obudu drivewayThe next day, we hired a car and its driver to take us up to the ranch, show us around and bring us back. We had initially planned on sleeping in one of the accommodations up the ranch but we were told the staff was on strike, so we opted for a day trip instead. The first place we checked out was the Becheve Nature Reserve. An entrance fee was required to go on the nature trail and canopy walkway.

After going on the walkway, we then went on to check out the accommodation areas, which was further uphill. As we made our way up, the weather kept changing so quickly. I have never seen a more temperamental weather in my life! It threatened to rain at some point but we got to another point where it was very sunny. The fog also kept lifting and settling on the mountain tops. It was all very breathtaking to watch!

Obudu Mountain Resort Guest Lodge
obudu lodgeBesides enjoying the beauty of nature, there was not much else to do on the ranch. Most of the infrastructures at the time of our visit were either completely abandoned or dying slowly and painfully. I really do hope this place would be restored back to its former glory someday.

Anyway, the views with and without the fog were nothing but spectacular. It made the treacherous journey to get here absolutely worth it!


obudu-horse
Mini WaterfallWe rounded up our visit to the ranch by checking out the mini waterfalls and natural pool located there before heading back to town to relax and prepare for our trip to a bigger waterfall at Agbokim the next day.

Some Points to Note:

Based on Recommendations, we travelled first to Enugu (using GIGM). This took about 9 hours. Yes, I know, flying takes less time but I hate flying so, I didn’t mind the time spent on the road.

From Enugu, we took a bus from the ‘Onitsha South’ park directly to Obudu through Abakaliki and Ogoja. I hear Cross Country goes directly to Ogoja from Lagos. That might be an option if you don’t want to break the trip in Enugu. This bus from Enugu took about 5 hours to get to Obudu, inclusive of a 30-minute stop in Abakaliki.

Getting to the Ranch/Resort: From Obudu town, we hired a driver to take us to and fro. Buses can also be gotten to the foot of the ranch or you can hire a bike if you’re feeling very adventurous! It takes about an hour (more or less) to get to the foot of the ranch from the town.

Road Conditions: I’d say the conditions were 50:50. Part of it was really good and the rest was riddled with portholes or not tarred at all. We didn’t have to deal with bad traffic or flooded roads, so this made the trip more bearable.

Coming up next is details of our trip to Agbokim and Calabar and then a cost breakdown and a review of services. I hope you enjoyed reading this first installment. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

49 Comments

  1. How do you love to travel but hate to fly.. lol. This was an awesome read and the pictures are just amazing, now I want to visit Obudu. About the state of these places.. lol. I have just decided not to expect much, I prepare my mind for the worst always.

    • Lol, I ask myself the same question every time I have to fly! I agree with having low expectations when it comes to Nigerian sites, lol. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed.

  2. PEACE PETER-NELSON

    An amazing trip and write-up I must confess and the work put into this to ensure the betterment of the tourism industry. God bless you real good.

    I agree with you that cross country goes to Ogoja from here (Lagos)

    • PEACE PETER-NELSON

      I really would love to be like you someday, being able to express my passion for adventure

    • Amen! Thank you, Peace. Have you used Cross Country before? to Ogoja or anywhere else? And hopefully that someday is today.. Not too early/late to start!

  3. I remember telling you that you’re an inspiration to me. I hope one day that I’ll be able to explore like you.

  4. It makes me so sad to hear of the dwindling infrastructure. I pray to God that things do get better.
    I really enjoyed reading this!

    • I know how you feel, Desire. The situation saddens me too. We really need to do better. FG just launched a ‘Tour Nigeria’ campaign. Perhaps, this is the start of something good? We’ll see..
      Thanks for reading and commenting.. glad you enjoyed it šŸ™‚

  5. So beautiful, Amarachi. This is such a beautiful piece, from the writing to the photos. It looks like besides all the hassles to get there, it was worth it. Kudos to you and your sister for still making it down there despite the odds. That view is beautiful and did I mention the photos? Great post.

    • Yes, it was all worth it in the end and we’re so happy we didn’t cancel! Thanks for stopping by and welcome back from Cuba!

  6. Hello, Amarachi.
    Reading your piece is always educating and helpful. The attentions you give to the little details makes some of the places you visit more interesting. I will forever remain the NUMBER 1 FAN OF YOUR WORKS.
    Many thanks for the insight and beautiful pictures too.
    #WehdoneMa’am

  7. Oh my, the landscape is so beautiful and yes to feeling the cloud! I’d love to have that experience. Been seeing the pictures on IG and wanted to see more lol. Nice write up. Maybe one day, just one day, I’d actually visit Obudu.

    http://www.zinnyfactor.com

    • It was a wonderful feeling. I had my hands outside our car window as we ascended the hill. Most of my best pictures already made it to IG and a few others were ruined due to a camera fault. I’ll try to salvage what I can and edit this post to include more.

      Hope you do get to visit someday and maybe then, everything would be in the right order.

  8. Great Piece Amarachi,
    This information is really timely as my family and I are planning to visit the area some time this year. Sad our usual lack of maintenance is destroying this prized tourist attraction. Well I truly enjoyed your write up.
    The photos were spot on. You had photography training right?

    • I’m really glad you enjoyed it šŸ™‚ I share the same sentiments about our infrastructures going bad but as of now, Obudu is still worth visiting. I’m just winging this photography thing but I’m looking to get a formal training soon. So happy you loved the pictures.

  9. Beautiful piece… love the Nigerian folklore intro. Hope to visit when I come back.

  10. Loving the pictures and the writing is really candid; feels authentic. Nice!!!!

  11. Your pictures are so beautiful. Calabar is on my wish list. Maybe I’ll travel there this year.
    You make traveling seem effortless and fun.
    I wish you many more great adventures

    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Thanks Fehintola. Hope you get to make the trip there soon. December is a good time, I hear. Drier weather, the carnival and feeling of winter on the ranch.

  12. Lovely! Been years since I was at Obudu and it certainly is different but still a serene environment for some relaxation with a breathe of nature.
    Thank you for this Amarachi. Waiting on the cost breakdown however šŸ˜‰

    • Hey Didi, thanks for reading and commenting. Different good or bad? The cost breakdown will be up soon šŸ™‚

  13. Omotoyosi

    Great piece of writing!
    I should expect nothing less from you by now.
    Anyway I’m really into carnivals, if there’s ever anyone in west Africa you think would be fun, I’ll love to see a post about that. Would be a great trip for me a couple of friends

    • Thanks Toyo!

      Calabar has a carnival every year in December. Have you been? That might be worth attending if you haven’t. There’s also one in Ghana in August (I think). I haven’t attended any myself. I’d see if I can make it down to Calabar for the carnival this year.

  14. Loved the opening paragraph. Good piece of writing. Would love to visit obudu but the journey sounds exhausting. Looking forward to the cost breakdown article

    • Thanks Esosa. Don’t let the journey put you off. Maybe you can choose to fly into Enugu or Calabar instead of a roadtrip from Lagos. That would reduce the time spent on the road by a great deal.

  15. Henry Onyekachi Nwaka

    From the write up, as detailed, I’d say the experience didn’t go so bad. From the trips to the hills, and walks and photographs, I would love to try it out myself aswell.
    Thanks for sharing.Often times I get to forget my flair for adventuring, it’s a worth while thing.
    PS. Travelling solo is worth trying aswell!
    Soar on Ama…

    • Thanks Henry! Seems like this article did more to discourage travel to Obudu, so I’m really glad to know it’s different for you! šŸ™‚ Hope you get to visit soon

  16. Obudu Ranch has fallen. Why can’t we see the pots of gold in tourism? Your story was refreshing. Let’s have the cost implications. Apart from cost of air ticket, holidaying abroad is cheap. Hotels in Nigeria are expensive.

  17. Sigh, the resort used to be “top on the travel list”. I am not surprised to hear of the state of the resort. The way we do and manage things sha in this country.

    Amarachi, your photos are AMAZING!!!! I need to learn from you ooo.

    • Thanks Simi šŸ™‚ and don’t take Obudu off your list just yet. I think it is still worth visiting.

  18. Now your write just made me feel down right lazy for not putting something up since our return anysha I’m glad you had a blast.

    Cheers dear

    • Hey Bassey, thanks for helping us out with this trip! It could have easily been a disaster if you weren’t so eager to respond to our billion and one questions! I can’t wait to read all about your trip! Please write about it soon šŸ™‚

  19. Love your story.

    A bit poetry with words would make you compete with Chimamanda Adiche.

    Waiting earnestly to read the next.

    Nice one, dear.

  20. Wow that’s so sad! We stayed there for three nights in December 2010. The roads were bad from calabar as in from one pothole to another , but the resort itself was good (minus the overpriced food). I even rode the cable car. I have to say though that because you went in the rainy season the vegetation is green and lllllushhhhh compared to drier temperate we saw in December (I was comparing to my pictures from then).
    Sad about the state of things though . They should hire me to come and manage these things šŸ¤£šŸ¤£. Thanks for sharing

    • Please come and help save Obudu! We should start a petition to the Cross River State government for that!
      So much has changed between then and now and so much have remained exactly the same. The roads are still terrible. We came in through Enugu and left through Calabar. I can’t tell which was better. No cable cars for us either. Luckily, nature was still as spectacular as ever and the weather was very kind to us.

      Thanks for stopping by Dee.

  21. In summary, please plan to take me on your next trip. Aside the logistics challenges, it sounded like fun…

    • Haha, I will. Logistics was indeed a problem. You have to really be determined to go to Obudu against all odds to overlook that! I hope it becomes more accessible in the nearest future.

  22. Some of those tales (AKUKO ifo) by the moonlight .I am here for the pictures and your breakdown.continue with the baby gyal ways Amara

  23. I was wondering when this post would be up. Thanks for finally putting it up. Waiting for the next and most important sequel to this post. šŸ˜€

  24. Aww man, I’m a bit disappointed to hear of the state of the infrastructure in obudu. I grew up in Calabar and this somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit but haven’t got a chance to. Oh but the landscape and surrounding area look so beautiful. I would especially love to walk the canopy bridge. Sigh I hope they fix it up soon as it’s such a great location. Your photos are lovely!

    • Thanks Tiese. I was also disappointed with the state of the resort and its accessibility. I hear there used to be an airstrip where one could fly directly to (I still wouldn’t have flown though) but at least there was a service that brought people from Enugu or Calabar into Obudu. The roads to the resort are mostly bad as well. Cable cars were locked away, pool area was closed. We had to tip someone N200 to let us take pictures at the Presidential lodge area. I really hope it gets a face lift soon and most importantly, that it is well maintained going forward.

      For now, we’ll be very thankful that its natural beauty remains untouched!

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