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Location: Gembu, Sardauna Local Government Area, Taraba
Mambilla Plateau is the highest plateau in Nigeria, as it stands at a height of about 1524 meters above sea level. It is widely considered as the coldest place in Nigeria and it has grown to become a tourist haven. This landscape peak is free of insects, and also has a temperate climate. Mambilla Plateau houses the Chappal Waddi Mountain, which stands at a height of 2,419 meters and is believed to be the highest point in Nigeria.
This plateau has a very fertile land. Thus, food crops like Banana, Plantain, Pineapple, Cassava, Yam, Sweet and Irish Potatoes are produced in large quantity at this plateau. There’s also an abundance of grassy hills, cattle ranches, and tea plantations at Mambilla Plateau. Another highlight of this place is its power station, the Mambilla Power Station, which is one of the biggest dam projects to be developed in Africa. Its environment is so cool and tranquil that when you visit this place, you may be tempted to spend a longer time than you bargained for.
History of Mambilla Plateau
The Mambilla Plateau has over time been occupied by five major ethnic groups with different cultural heritage. During the 19th century, this place became the major outlet of slaves for the Muslim Fulani kingdoms of Banyo and Gashaka. This plateau, which developed on complex rocks, measures about 96km along its curved length and 40km wide.
When is the Best Time to Visit Mambilla Plateau?
The Mambilla Plateau experiences one of the coolest climatic conditions in Nigeria, with daytime temperatures sometimes reaching around 40 degrees Celcius. The dry season in Taraba State usually falls between December and January. Consequently, in order for the rains not to disturb your adventure, it’s best you visit this plateau during the dry season.
How to Get to Mambilla Plateau
From Jalingo City center, you can always get a taxi that would take you straight to Mambilla Plateau. The distance between Jalingo and Mambilla Plateau is about 6 hours. Although the road leading to this place is still undergoing construction, it’s safe for you to travel by road. You should ensure that you are armed with your food and camping gear for the road trip. If you want to go by air, take a flight to the Yola Airport. Upon your arrival, you would find a taxi that would take you to Jalingo, from where you would find a vehicle going straight to Mambilla Plateau. Jalingo City is only a few miles from this airport. When you get to the foot of the mountain, it could take you another 30 minutes navigating the snake-like road leading to the top of Plateau.
Things to Do at Mambilla Plateau
At the Mambilla plateau, there are a couple of fun activities you can engage in which include;
- Go hiking on the Mambilla Hill. As soon you ascend the top of the mountain, the hot weather which you felt at the foot of the mountain fades away and you are greeted by a very cool and relaxing breeze blowing across the plateau. Climbing the top of the hill would also afford you the opportunity of having an aerial view of Gembu town as well as watching the mountain chain and the curvaceous valleys.
- Visit the famous Mbamnga — Ndumyaji Cave, as this would give the opportunity of seeing the large footprint of an ancient warrior at the Kabri Rock. You would also be able to see firsthand the footprint of an old horse at this Rock.
- In the event that you cannot return back to Jalingo, you can lodge at a hotel in Gembu town. Penvanus hotel is a good example you can lodge in. It costs between N4000 and N5000 to lodge there per night.
- Enjoy the attractive view of the rare species of birds at the Ngel Yaki mountain forest.
- Thrill yourself with the sight of the large waterfall as well as the lush green vegetation.
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