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Yola, the capital city and administrative center of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Located on the Benue River, it has a population of 336,648, split into two parts. The old town is the traditional city while the new city is the administrative and commercial center. Yola sprawls across the hillside of this North-Eastern region of Nigeria. The first town to have an airport in Nigeria, and also consecutively the first town to have electricity in the whole country.
The city has a market, a zoo, an airport with direct flights to Saudi Arabia, as well as the main mosque and cathedral. Taxis are available to Garoua in Cameroon from the city. There is an airport with regular flights to Abuja and Lagos. The city serves as home to various institutions of learning, such as the: American University of Nigeria, Adamawa State Polytechnic, The Modibbo Adama University of Technology, previously known as Federal University of Technology, Yola.
Yola has many topographical features and is located in a very distinct Geographic region. Lies on the banks of the Yola River which is the main tributary to the Niger River. Yola is also close to the Mandara Mountains which lie to the south and the Shebshi Mountains which lie to the North. The best time to travel to Yola is from June to July as this period is reliable regarding the weather.
The majority of people in this part of Nigeria are involved in farming and agricultural activities. Crops like cotton, groundnut are often sold in the town markets. For sustenance, villagers look to maize, yam, cassava, guinea corn, millet, and rice every year. On the other hand, occupants of villages located on the banks of the Benue River engage in fishing with the Fulani people taking part in cattle rearing.
How to Get To Yola
From Lagos, one can catch direct chartered flights to Yola. For those tourists that would prefer to travel by road, there are also transport company buses in major cities that will take you to Yola. The Yola Airport operates regular scheduled domestic flights to Abuja, Lagos, and Maiduguri.
Two popularly patronized travel companies include Errand Express and Young Shall Grow Motors. The cost definitely depends on the region of the country one is traveling from however the most popular Lagos airline for direct flights from Lagos to Yola is Arik Air and the cost of boarding this flight is modest. Getting back from Yola to Lagos, there is a direct flight to the southwest state at the moderately busy Yola Airport. The city has direct road networks to Abuja, Lagos, and Maiduguri. However, Yola can be accessed by road from any part of Nigeria by unofficial dirt roads and intercity road networks.
The bus fare from Lagos to Yola is worth N8000 and the distance to the destination sits at around 1309km. For those who prefer flying; the flight ticket to Yola costs about N43,000. Yola is served by the Yola Airport. The airport is not the busiest of airports in Nigeria, but it does have it’s fair share of air traffic. As at 2007 alone, it transported well over 46,489 passengers in 2007. There are regular scheduled domestic flights to Abuja, Lagos, and Maiduguri. The airlines operating there are Arik Air and IRS Airlines. The Yola Airport is located 8 kilometres to the northwest of Yola.
The best route by road is Lagos-Abuja-Maiduguri-Yola and by air is Arik Air Lagos-Abuja-Yola. As for the train stations in Yola, there are major train stations such as Tarragona Station, Altafulla Station, and Maiduguri Stations.
Getting Around In Yola
Most of the movement around the city is done by cabs and taxis which are available to take passengers to major points in the city, and generally, you don’t have a problem moving between points in the city because transportation through these means is relatively affordable in Yola City compared to other cities. Whether you are in Yola for a stretched visit or a short stay, here are some safety tips for the travellers: Be vigilant and avoid late night trips especially when alone ensure you walk in groups, stay in a good and properly secured Yola hotel, ask questions if you encounter any difficulties, and finally leave the surroundings when you notice strange events start happening.
Things To Do In Yola
Yola City is filled with rich cultural attractions and historic sites and a host of local attractions to explore. There are a couple of exciting things to do in Yola; On getting to the city you can start out by paying a visit to the Gashaka Gumpti National Park, proudly holding the title of Nigeria’s largest Park, The Reserve Gashaka Gumpti Park is a definite must-see. As at the writing of this article the park is divided into two sections, the Gashaka part and the Gumpti part with the Gashaka part being the noticeably larger section. A notable thing to remember to look out for at the park are the butterflies, the park has over 360 species of butterfly which account for 90% of Africa’s butterflies. You do not want to miss that experience make sure you go see for yourself, its worth it effort.
Pay a visit to the Sukur, located in the Mandara Mountains, a place that has been deemed a World Heritage Site since the year 1999 due to it being an exceptional landscape that marks a critical stage in human settlement and it’s relationship with the environment through its form of land use. The truth of the matter is that little to nothing is known about Sukur, yet it is still one of the many must-see wonders of the Yola region.
Yola has lovely restaurants for the famished visitor; places where you can find both rousing local and foreign dishes. I will advise that you specifically try out their local dishes because it’s rare to see such food outside the state.
Free things to do in the city
There are quite a number of free things to do in Yola. Visitors could go out with the people of Yola and celebrate the Njuwa Fishing Festival, unfortunately, this only holds at Lake Njuwa from the month of March through May each and every year. if you did not come in time for the fishing festivities you can hike the Three Sisters Rock as a group, doing so individually is not advised because this is an unknown territory for you and the safety of such an expenditure is an inequitable risk, apart from the ideas mentioned above exploring the Vimtim cave is a good idea, locate it on your map and have a guide do the holding of hands.
How to spend 48 hours in Yola
If you wish to make good use of your stay in Yola with limited time to spare as a visitor, it is very possible. Here is a guide on how to maximize your short stay there:
Start your day by paying a visit to Mubi town not too far from Yola. The village is home to the Nuhu Wakili family which is the sovereign ruling family of the town. You might decide that on your journey around this city you visit the Nuhu Auwalu Wakilis Palace or make a turn at the Emir’s palace during the Durbar celebrating Eid-El-Fitri.
After a chunk of trying out these outdoor activities and you are returning to the city proper, drop by Yola’s Cafe, a truly unconventional cafe that provides a moment of calm in your busy life. Whether you stay for two minutes or two hours, the aim here is to give you more than just great coffee. but rather a laid-back environment and a great relaxation spot.
Interesting Places To Visit In Yola
Mubi and Durbar
A village/town not too far from Yola. The village is home to the Nuhu Wakili family which is the ruling family of the town. Previously Yola was a subordinate of the Sultan of Sokoto and thus has it’s very own Emir.
Sukur World Heritage Site
Sukur, located in the Mandara Mountains, was deemed a World Heritage Site in 1999 due to it being an exceptional landscape that marks a critical stage in human settlement and it’s relationship with the environment through its form of land use. Little to nothing is known about the place yet is still one of the many must-see wonders of the Yola region.
Gashaka Gumpti National Park
Proudly holding the title of Nigeria’s largest Park/Reserve Gashaka Gumpti Park is a definite must-see. The park is partly located in Cameroon and one walk along the footpaths into Cameroonian territory. Divided into two sections, the Gashaka part and the Gumpti part with the Gashaka part being the noticeably larger section. It has over 360 species of butterfly which account for 90% of Africa’s butterflies. Chappel Wadi, the highest mountain in Nigeria, also lies in the park.
Places to Eat in Yola City
School (AUN) Cafeteria
School Cafeteria located in Yola, Nigeria. School Cafeteria is working in Grocery store, all food and beverage and restaurants activities. Their price can be on the high side probably because they do quality where the alternatives are quite below acceptable. If you are not yet comfortable with the local food and you are just there for the experience this place is the place for you. The quality eventually justifies the expense.
Aun Pizzeria deals in Pizza food. Nothing like having Great Pizza. No-frills, small-sized pizza joint with slices & pies, and it’s nice to be here because it brings the familiarity of home to Yola.
Akacha’s House is located in Shagari housing estate wukari street no 29; Yola, Nigeria. s in Cafes activities. It’s located in a high brow estate but the local food made from their kitchen is impressive
French Dishes does special dishes for the area comprising of Crisp Chips, Beefsteak, Plantain, Liver, Coleslaw and Jollof Rice. located opposite corn-oil filling station Yola town 200m away from Aun club Yola, Nigerian deals in restaurants activities and serves tasty, fantastic and delicious French meals. Local made food is served here as well.
Hotels To Stay At In Yola
Address: 228, Modibbo Adama Way, Yola.
At American Hotels the services and facilities are tailored to provide the best of comfort and pampering. Tasty and delicious meals are served in our on-site restaurant, our well-stocked bar also features a variety of wines, beverages, and beer. Onsite parking and security guarantees safety of lives and property. Guests are assured of their safety for the duration of their stay with them.
Every room at this hotel apart from spacious is well air-conditioned and equipped with room Tv’s loaded with satellite channels. Some of the property units have views of the mountain or city. As with every well-groomed hotel room, you will find slippers, towels and free toiletries.
Address: Phillip Meken Street Off Barrack Masakare
Yukuben Hotels a budget hotel with lovely simple rooms with near perfect decorations, free wireless internet for guests, well air-conditioned rooms all equipped with satellite TVs. There is a laundry facility in the auxiliary buildings and a wide parking space. On getting to the hotel you know Yukuben has put a lot of attention to their interior design; an impressive décor, blending colours. The hotel is located at 3, Phillip Meken Street, Off Barrack Masakare, Jimeta, Adamawa. For a satisfactory and relaxing weekend, you cannot go wrong with Yukuben. Yukuben Hotels is a budget hotel in Yola, Adamawa.
Address: Yola Opposite FCE, Yola.
The hotel is the real definition of the word beautiful. It’s not just beautiful on the outside, but beautiful inside too. It is a good value for money. It is in a central location, the rooms are clean and spotless and we have an excellent staff.
Address: Rock Heaven Avenue, Behind Government House, Yola.
Madugu Rockview Hotel is a budget hotel in Yola. Established at the hilly top of Jimeta, Yola. Madugu hospitality gives you the best deal on superior lodgement. Currently, it has 140 spacious well-groomed rooms with a lovely river view, and a great restaurant downstairs immediately you leave your room. this stylish property is just about what you need for a laid-back holiday or comfortable trip to Yola. Situated in a calm and serene environment and also gives a great view from the top rooms into the city.
Address: Off Girei Road, Sangere FUTY, Yola.
Located in a serene and well-secured environment, Murivill Hotel provides very stylish and comfortable accommodation at affordable prices. The hotel location is conducive to transportation because of its nearness to the center of the state.
Night Life In The City
Yola has a fun nightlife. If you are touring Northern Nigeria, a visit to Yola should be marked on your calendar. People that come into the city for assignments and business trips from the neighboring out-of-state towns of Kano, Maiduguri and Bauchi end up at some of the popular places known for nightlife after the days work. The best places to visit at night in Yola are Sailors Lounge, Parliament Bar, Century Guest Inn, Happy Day Bar and the American University Of Nigeria Club.
Yola is a noticeably different city. It permits room to combine work and pleasure.There is a chance to see a distinct Fulani culture, fantastic tourist attractions and fun places to be, among other things. Happiness isn’t something you experience, it’s something you remember.
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