My Trip To Shere Hills

Nsikakabasi Akpan

© Copyright 2018 by Nsikakabasi Akpan


Photo of the author.

A few weeks into the beginning of this Year, I suddenly developed an indescribable and insatiable hunger for adventure. I had a lot of time on my hands but usually spending more time indoors penning down my thoughts and creating useful contents for my blog-iota of truth with nsie. So when my bosom friend came up with the suggestion to accompany her to visit her family in Jos North L.G.A, Plateau State, I was thrilled with the idea of going to a place that I had never been to and meeting people with different cultures and values. To be sincere, I had looked forward to embarking on that trip with great gusto. Initially I was scared stiff because it was going to be a long road trip and we were going to ply through Benue State and at the time, there was a huge security crisis/concern in Benue State as Fulani herdsmen where killing residents in the nearby villages in numbers.

The day for us to proceed on the journey eventually showed up and our journey kicked off in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria and after spending fifteen long hours on the road we were ushered into our final destination-Plateau State by the cold breeze. The most interesting part is that we had travelled prepared with our furry cardigans and long socks to ward off the fierce cold. However, I was amazed at the rock formations on every path and I thought to myself, I needed to capture the scenery as the rocks were ‘lying waste’ on every nook and cranny of the town with immediate alacrity.

I am an individual that had always been in love with nature but was really awed by the rock formations that looked perfectly arranged. My friend’s brother noticed my enthusiasm at the sight of the rocks, hills and plains and offered to guide me on a tour to the ancient Shere Hills which was a few metres away from their residence. I accepted the offer to take me on the tour and act as my tour guide as well but could not stop bombarding him with questions. I kept asking what it will take to get to the peak of the hill. On the 3rd of February 2018, we set out to embark on the adventurous tour to Shere Hills at dusk.

Shere Hills is a household name in the middle belt region of Nigeria-Jos North L.G.A, Plateau State and in Africa with a row of rock formations and the numerous high peaks that would please anyone that is in love with rock/mountain climbing. It remains one of the most iconic sites and face of tourism in the State. In Nigeria, Shere Hills remain at the top of the list of places to go for the locals and foreigners to quench the thirst of adventure and experience nature. I figured that the hills make up the highest point of the Jos, Plateau. I also found out the hill had served as a hideout during wars in times past and had also served as a camping ground for one of the TV reality shows in Nigeria in 2007 –The Gulder Ultimate Show.

I wandered off with my two tour guides (my friend’s brother and his friend) for the rock climbing with my bottle of water because I knew the trip will be rigorous and that water will go a long way in helping me preserve my energy/quench my thirst for the trip. I also went with a camera phone because I knew I would have to capture the beautiful scenery. The weather in Jos was really chilly at the time so I had a sweater on to give me the much desired warmth.

Walking through the path that would lead to the top of the rock, I could hear the sound of nature serenading me, I could hear frogs croaking, I watched in admiration the manner in which birds travelled in flocks with their moderately loud chirps and buzzes. It seemed as if they were signaling one another. I could also catch sight of herd of cattle grazing away not to forget some couples who came to have their picnic all sitting in pairs. As a nature enthusiast, I could not help but capture and take some videos of the beautiful scenery that I so much appreciated – It was a sight to behold. What I considered as most charming was the lake in the midst of the hills that confronted me as I approached the top. That added more to the already beautiful landscape.

I would describe the hike up Shere Hills as very rigorous and challenging because it left me panting all through as I had to follow their lead and at the same time take great care while hiking in order not to fall off a cliff especially when I did not have a pair of sneakers or boot that would have given me a firm grip while climbing. I had to slide, jump and crawl but most of the time I had to be pulled up. On the other hand, descending down the hill felt relatively easier and less stressful because I had already acclimatized to the terrain so I was down in next to no time. I only experienced a few harmless slips.

Having savored the scenery of Shere Hills I would gladly conclude that indeed it is a wonder of nature and a cultural heritage to the good people of Jos, Plateau State and it should always be maintained and preserved for the benefit of future generations and tourists will have no choice but to agree with Plateau State’s slogan as the ‘Home of Peace and Tourism’ in every sense of the word.

My name is Nsikakabasi Akpan, a Customer Service Professional. My passion for writing actually led me to entering for the Travel Nonfiction Contest as I have factual experience from my recent trip to Shere Hills in Plateau State, Nigeria and would love to share the story.

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