For most visitors, Yola holds an immediate and enduring fascination – a truly inspiring metropolis, it also serves as the administrative capital of Adamawa state. Although one of the largest cities in North eastern Nigeria, it is not densely populated, ensuring plenty of wide-open space for exploration.
With its spectacular landscape, rugged scenery and plentiful wildlife, coupled with the unhurried nature of rural living, this State has a scenic array that encourages leisurely investigation, especially on foot .
Its rich cultural heritage aptly captured in its past history, craftsmanship, music, art, food, festivities and hospitality all add up to make Yola a rewarding experience, and a city that is ideally suited for independent travel.
With enough time, you can cover a range of activities, from hiking the Three Sisters Rock, exploring the Vimtim cave, Kiri Dam or River Gongola & River Benue Confluence, relaxing at the laidback Kela holiday Resort to getting lost at the Gumti National Park & Zoo.
Though most visitors are drawn to Yola by its landmarks and beauty, the enduring memory is likely to be of its people and their way of life. Aside from occasional hassle from unofficial tour guides, Yola is essentially wonderful place to visit.
TOP THREE SITES
Lamurde Hot Spring
A huge part of the world popular Sukur Cultural Landscape, Lamurde Hot Spring was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999 and has since become one of the top tourist destinations in Nigeria.
Originally built to meet the electricity and water needs of Savannah Sugar Company at Numan, Kiri Dam is also suitable for boat fishing, racing and surfing .On the hilly side overlooking the dam are beautiful structures with modern facilities to accommodate tourist.
Three Sister Rocks
The three sister rocks in the Song Local Government Area, an iconic landmark in the area, consist of three scenic rock formations standing side by side at the same height, making beautiful scenery.
The high season (March to May) sees hordes of visitors arrive for the festivals. The shoulder seasons (June to February) mean fewer crowds and cheaper accommodations, but a good chance of unstable weather.
Either way, there are some fabulous options, from high end resorts to homely acloves and flea-ridden beddings. Even in high season, you should be able to find something in your preferred range within the heart of the city. The budget hotels are located mostly around Numan-Yola road, while the expensive ones are located close to the American University of Nigeria and the government house.
Restaurants, diners and street stalls offer simpler dishes than more formal restaurants catering to middle-class indigenes and tourists, with proper menus and a broader range of food options.
Popular restaurants in the city include F3 meal-dessert, Restaurant damada, Top Ten restaurant, Peacock restaurant hotel and nite club, Jesse café and many more. The Local delicacies of the people in Yola include Miya Kuka served with Tuowo Masara orTuwon Shinkafa or Tuwon Acha, Miyan Yakuwa and Miyan Zogale, while common street food are Fura de Nunu, Masa paired with suya and kuli kuli.
Visitors to Yola are spoilt for choice when it comes to souvenirs: traditional crafts such as jewellery, textiles, and leatherwork all offer good value for money if you are prepared to haggle and be choosy. Many people are intimidated by haggling, but it need not be an ordeal. Just keep in mind that if you don’t reach an agreement, even after a lengthy session, nothing is lost.
The city has some boutiques, shopping complexes and mini malls for those looking to purchase clothing, fabrics and other fashion accessories, gadgets and household appliances. Some of the popular ones include FCE shopping complex, Glass house Amana shopping complex, Yakubu Shopping Plaza,
The people of Yola celebrate the Njuwa Fishing Festival which holds at Lake Njuwafrom the month of March through May each year.