In recent times, Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, popularly known for kaftan wearing, oud spraying, and Benz living men, has become known for hiking as well. I believe, the hilly topology of this north-central state has awakened the “Israelite” nature of its inhabitants. Unlike the very congested southern states, e.g., Lagos, Abuja is relatively serene; hence unorthodox hobbies like hiking can thrive. Owing to the networking opportunities, and the good, affordable adventure that hiking offers, it is becoming more popular among people of different age groups and social classes. I suppose tickling our inner “Doras” (get it? No? Shucks! ) by converging on hilltops offer an awesome escape from the weekly hustle and bustle. It does, doesn’t it?
If at this point you are wondering what is so special about hiking, you should know that the awesome view at the top, which makes for a picturesque background, the calories burnt, and the peaceful ambience on a hilltop that brings your prayers closer to God (ask Moses and the children of Israel) are definitely worth it! No, seriously! Also, occasionally, you might run into a waterfall! How cool is that?
Although hiking is becoming increasingly popular in Abuja, there are only a few known waterfalls in the area. As the African hobo, my goal is to show you a lot of Africa (Abuja in this case), hence, I present to you a hidden gem, the Karshi Waterfall! (please, imagine a rain of confetti accompanying this big reveal! Lol!). To be honest, it’s not as fancy as some other waterfalls in Nigeria, like Gurara, Farin Ruwa, Matsirga, or Erin Ijesha, but it’s a remarkable waterfall nonetheless. Karshi Waterfall is located in *drum rolls* Karshi, Abuja. Getting there might be a little tricky, and that is exactly what we are going to address subsequently, i.e., how to get there.
Getting to Karshi waterfall
Karshi is on the outskirts of Abuja just after Karu. From the city centre, the drive to Karshi is approximately 45 minutes, and the major landmark is GSS (General Secondary School), Karshi.
The waterfall is not accessible by car; hence the hike really begins after you park at the secondary school. You’ll need to render the service of a local tour guide to lead you on the Israelite journey to the foot of the waterfall. You can get a guide from the school, but I’ll leave the contact details of the tour guide I used, at the end of this post.
The hike to the waterfall is well over an hour, and en route, you will pass through a number of local settlements, farms, and hills. But, I promise, the view of the waterfall is worth the long walk.
Things you will need
- It’s best you pack a lot of water and light refreshments to keep you energised throughout the walk. There are no shops around the waterfall, and it will be a travesty to not have water or something to refresh yourself with when the hunger sets in.
- Light clothing and sneakers will help you to feel more relaxed and free. You don’t need hiking boots for this one because the terrain is not so hilly. So it’s best to err on the side of comfort.
- The water is not exactly deep, so if you plan to get inside, pack up a swimwear. You can change behind the trees and rocks like the early men!
- Because of the intensity of this hike and the terrain of the area, it’s best to go with a hiking buddy, to watch your back, and vice versa.
It’s a little interesting how new tourist destinations spring up randomly in Abuja. For example, the Mpape crushed rock, Ushafa crushed rock, and Suleja Dam. Therefore, as a challenge, pack up your bags, and explore your environment; you might find King Solomon’s mines! Even if you don’t, your mind and body will be better off for it. Abuja is not boring, nowhere in Nigeria really is (except Bayelsa and Ebonyi state), so just open up yourself to experience the areas you find yourself in, and if your friends are the stumbling block, you can literally make new friends on the road. I hear friends that hike together, stay together!
As promised, here is the phone number of Peter the tour guide (first of his name. Wink!). +2349064908718