Another week, another memory shared with you. Over the holidays, my friends, family and I took a trip to one of Calabar’s forgotten gems – Kwa Falls.
Calabar is the capital of Cross River State, Nigeria. It’s a coastal city located in the southern part of the country where my family lives.
I imagine that at some point Kwa falls was properly maintained and saw a lot of visitors. Today, it’s deserted, run down, and quite honestly not safe to visit – a fact we only became certain of after the visit.
After a drive that lasted a little over an hour (we got lost), we arrived at the entrance where a sign the size of a cereal box told us we were at the right place. I’m pretty sure the sign also said we wouldn’t want to leave once we went in. it sounded more haunted-house-creepy and less amusement-park exciting.
In an empty building that looked like it was once used as an office, we met with the lone person on the premises; a caretaker who agreed that we could pay the entry fee after the “tour”.
The caretaker, clothed in a light dress and flip-flops had obviously made the trip several times before. That’s the only explanation for her rapid steps and impressive climbing skills. The rest of us took it at our own pace, stopping to admire the surrounding environment, catch a breath when needed, and help the less agile crew members. Loose branches, steep slopes, and slippery terrain required both care and skill to navigate.
Over two long, cardio-intensive hours of walking, climbing, leaping and trying not to fall to our deaths, we completed the hike, arriving at the mouth of beautiful white water falls.
If you’re up for a difficult hike in Calabar, this is the place to go. However, be careful to wear shoes with grippy soles – or better yet, hiking boots, if you’ve got a pair – clothing that covers your hands and legs (not for mosquitoes but sandflies), and watch your step.
If you’re not looking to complete the entire hike, you can just head down the steps to the river and picnic with a view of the waterfalls.
Kwa Falls, and the area surrounding it is beautiful and green. If it can’t be turned into a resort, it could at least be maintained regularly so that it’s safe to visit.
Have any of you visited Kwa Falls? Did you make the entire trip? Leave me a comment to let me know and share stories of your most exciting hikes.
As always, thank you for reading!
All photos shot and edited on iPhone 6s+
Postscript: Shout out to the entire crew, 11 of us went in and came out in one piece. You all made this trip worth it.
same footprints, different sands