Gworok (Kagoro) Hills: Southern Kaduna’s Tourist Hub – Part I
The Kagoro Hills, known as Afan Ae’gworok among the natives, is the towering elevation above the Kagoro municipality near Kafanchan in the Southern Kaduna sub-region of Northern Nigeria. The Kagoro Afan National Festival derives its name from the hill (Afan). The Kagoro Hills is situated at an altitude of about 1,246 meters above sea level and its scene is one of the most picturesque natural attractions in Kaduna State. It forms a range with big trees and rocky places at the base. The hill has significantly influenced the weather of the area making the area to enjoy nice clement climate similar to what is obtainable in the Jos and the Mambila Plateaus. There is also heavy rainfall with mild fresh humid wind during the rainy season.
The Kagoro hill is famed to be the ancestral settlement of the Kagoro people. The inhabitants of Kagoro town had lived atop the hill ranges for hundreds of years before they eventually relocated to the current site at the foot of the hill owing to coming of the Europeans with its attendant changes in social and economic lifestyle. In spite of this change, some settlements still exist atop the serene hill ranges which boasts of schools, health clinic, churches, etc. Like most conventional societies, the Kagoro hill settlers live in clusters of compounds hedged by cactus shrubs hedging as borders separating the various compounds. The Kagoro hills ranges cover an unbelievably large expanse of plains stretching as far as the eyes can see. Natives say that these plains stretch as far as Jos in neighbouring Plateau State and parts of Bauchi State. The topography and steep ranges functioned as a natural harbour of safety for the community during the periods of inter-communal strives
Because the Kagoro hill is enclosed by conventional stories about heroes and supernatural beings, it is usual for tourists to seek the consent of the Kagoro Chief before ascending the hill who in a usual manner offers prayers for a safe passage to the top of the hill. Besides that, it is believed that the hill harbours a sacred bee colony so climbers are warned against using perfumes or creams that may attract the bees. As the climb commences, the guides lead the adventure from the foot of the hill, one notice forged covert pathways along and around cliffs and crevices, nooks and crannies, streams and brooks all the way to the summit. These trails were obviously concealed with safety in mind as they are naturally hidden from newcomers and from the scope of the townspeople. With the native guides however, a tourist is delighted on every turn as the wonders of the hill is unveiled. Besides the curves intersected by amazing rock formations, there are numerous fresh water springs running the length and breathe of the hill.
Another amazing thing is the presence of a chilling spring source tagged ‘palm wine bar’ by the natives. This stop over point is where they store their palm wine kegs to chill within minutes for refreshment as they continue their climb. This spot is a pick for picnickers and tourists due to its refreshing allure and tranquilizing nature. There are also honey combs, untamed flowers, birds of exquisite species that add beauty to this serene hill. The scenic beauty of the ranges and rock formations keeps a tourist transfixed. The rocks are so arranged that some are seen perching so precariously atop the other, which the untaught may feel could soon tumble towards the descent. But astonishingly, these same rocks have survived thousands of years of harsh weather elements. A journey to this wonder hill takes more than two hours to reach the apex.
With proper initiatives, the summit can be converted into a tourists’ haven and a resort offering an air strip, golf course, other sports and recreational spots that have the potential to create jobs and generate revenue for the community, state and the nation at large. The area is good for rock climbing, hunting safaris, mountaineering and has very beautiful sceneries for picnics and relaxation. Kagoro hill in all ramifications is a wonder to behold and a must place for visitors or tourists who desire adventure and conquest.
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