The city of Kaduna is the state capital of Kaduna State in north-western Nigeria. It is a trade centre and a major transportation hub for the surrounding agricultural areas with its rail and road junction.
According to history, Kaduna was founded by the British in 1913, became the capital of Nigeria's former Northern Region in 1917 till 1967.
Sir Frederick Lugard was the first British governor of Northern Nigeria and he was the one who chose the present site of Kaduna due to it's proximity to the Lagos-Kano railway.
Kaduna has grown to become one of the major cities in the Northern Region and it's followed by Zaria which has the prominent Ahmadu Bello University campuses and is home to the Emir of Zazzau.
If you find yourself in Kaduna, here are a few things to do in Kaduna.
NOK MUSEUM: This is situated in the famous NOK town which is in Southern Kaduna. It is where the famous Terracotta heads were first discovered.
MATSIRGA WATERFALLS: This waterfall is situated in Madakiya area, not far from Kafanchan, which also is in Southern Kaduna.
The source of this beautiful waterfall is said to be from the springs on the Kagoro Hills, which is not far from the waterfall. The springs form four different natural funnels from which the water cascade off the sheer rock cliff about 30 metres to form a large pool at the bottom.
During the rainy season you can not get close to the waterfall but you can move closer during the dry season.
On arriving Kaduna by train via Rigasa, I took a cab to town to meet up with a friend.
After a while we set about looking for a hotel for my stay. I can hear you asking why I didn't book a hotel online before leaving Lagos.
As part of my safety plans I prefer a local telling me the safest part of town to stay, that is where I will book a room. I am not familiar with Kaduna, so it's better to rely on the expertise of a resident.
We went to about two hotels, mind you I was on a budget, but I did not like any of the place. Then my friend remembered that the Air Force has a guest house. So we went there to check it out. So there is a hack when you stay in the Command or Air Force Guest House. If your friend or relative is an officer with proof of identity, you get a discount. The place is secure, right in the middle of town, with okay amenities (I am still on a budget here).
That settled, I got down to organising a guide and ride for my trips. As usual I do have a list which i showed to my friend. Arrangements was made for the following morning.
My ride came around the following morning and there was an issue. My driver do not speak a word of English, and his colleague was able to pass but not enough to have a conversation.
My trips were in Northern Kaduna, Southern Kaduna and Kaduna town itself.
So we started off with Southern Kaduna which is the Nok Museum and the Matsirga waterfall.
It was about two hours and thirty minutes drive to Nok junction, we asked for direction to the museum. It started raining heavily as we got to the museum and luckily for us we met Mr John Fom, the assistant chief protection officer. His duties includes protecting and preservation of the cultural artifacts that are left, ensuring the safety of museum visitors and preserve the buildings. We got talking and he told me about the history of the museum and the Nok culture after which he then took us into the gallery to see the pictures depicting the story of the Terracotta.
The northern part of Nigeria has one of the if not the most beautiful landscape views, I will keep saying this.
On taking account of States visited in Nigeria, the Northern part and some part of the South-East are yet to be covered fully in my travel diary.
So i set forth on planning my trip. After a long project that took about two months, I was set on a break for a while. I looked at the calendar and decided some days before Sallah will be great. Covering the Durbar festival in Kano this year was high on the list. I set out for Abuja from Lagos, had a sleepover and head out for the train station in Idu.
I went online to check the schedule for the train ride to Kaduna from Abuja. I did not want to leave with the first train so i opted for the second trip. You can check the train schedule at http://nrc.gov.ng/ to know the station, departure and arrival time as well as fare.
The website is fair to navigate but there is room for improvement.
I arrived at the train station with the aim of getting a first class ticket but I was told it's fully booked. So I paid for coach which cost N1,300, while first class is N3,000. Your ticket has your seat number like in the plane as well as your coach number. You can not just sit in any coach you have to follow the procedure.