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. For any of my readers who do not know, Calabar is the capital of Cross River State, Nigeria. It’s a small 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. So why were we there? 1) We were bored 2) We didn’t think it was THAT bad. I’ll be the first to tell you we were wrong; a challenge awaited us and we had no idea of its magnitude!
After a drive that lasted a little over an hour (we got lost once or twice), 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. For some reason, that sounded more creepy than exciting.We met with the caretaker who agreed that we could pay the entry fee after the “tour” and started our hike.
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 nimble crew members. There were a lot of tricky areas, loose branches and steep slopes that required some serious skill to navigate.
In total, the hike took us about 2hours. That’s 2 hours of walking, climbing, leaping and trying not to fall to our deaths. While I wouldn’t do it again, the challenge was -dare I say it- exciting. 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 PAY ATTENTION. If you’re not up for it, you can just head down the steps to the river and have a picnic with a view of the waterfalls.
Kwa Falls, and the area surrounding it has quite a bit of potential that I would love to see the government work with. 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