One of the less recognized states in the country and named after a river with same appellation, Taraba is located in the middle belt region of Nigeria with Jalingo as the state capital.
Endowed with diverse and rich topography featuring rising plains and hills, flowing rivers including Rivers Benue, Donga, Taraba and Ibi, and famous plateaus, Taraba is largely deserving of the tag “Nature’s gift to the Nation”.
While sparse populated, it makes a great destination for tourists. Some of the prominent landmarks in the area include Chappal Waddi – the tallest mountain in Nigeria, the scenic and prominent Mambilla Plateau, Donga river basin forest, the Ngel Nyaki Forest reserve and many more.
The state boasts of different ethnic groups and the people are generally commemorative and celebrate several festivals throughout the year such as the Nwunyu Fishing festival, Purma of the Chamba in Donga, Takum and Bali, the Puje of Jukuns, Kuchecheb of Kutebs in Takum and Ussa, Kati of the Mambilla.
The best time to visit Taraba has always been the cooler, dry season from October to January, and although there have been minor crisis in recent past, Taraba is still one of the most fascinating – and safest – cities in the country to visit. During your stay you will probably eat some of the best indigenous foods you have ever tasted, you will be dazzled by the stunning scenery and feel energized by a combination of the urban and the rural. It is a joy to explore its every corner and Jovago.com, Africa’s largest hotel booking portal shares the details.
Naturally occurring on basement complex rocks with an average elevation of about 1,600 metres (5,249 ft) above sea level, Mambilla Plateau is regarded as the highest plateau in Nigeria. It is Nigeria’s northern continuation of the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon.
Gashaka-Gumpti National Park:
This tremendously scenic park situated within the Mountain of Death, Chappal Wadi and Mountain of Wind, Chappal Hendu covers a land mass of 6,402 square kilometers, making it the largest in West Africa. It also houses the highest point in Nigeria known as “Ganginwal” which features diverse flora and fauna.
Marmara Crocodile Pond
Located in Wukari, the Maramara Crocodile Pond is a habitat for crocodiles and a few other domestic animals, including fowls. The crocodiles are however the highlight for visitors as a lot of mysteries surround them and they are said to be sighted mostly on Fridays.
Taraba is undeniably a perfect destination for family or group tours and getaways as it is crammed with parks and impressive natural reserves. A number of motels and hotels are also available for tourists who visit. Most popular lodges include Taraba State Stadium Hotel, Rohi grand suites and De-Baes Suites with accommodation at affordable and encouraging rates for budget travel. Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site offers rooms starting from a low as NGN700 (Ambassador Hotels).
Taraba offers culinary excitement whether you are spending N300 on a meal at a local bukka or N2,000 at a proper restaurant. The dominant cuisine in the state is similar to the staples in northern parts of the country. The variety and quality is outstanding, as there are a lot of meal options, especially in the urban areas for visitors.
Although not a famed shoppers’ paradise, Taraba still offers a unique shopping experience. From trendy boutiques to traditional product stores, and bustling street markets, you can find everything you need, ranging from the latest designer fashion, home appliances and electronic products to best-value collectibles.
The Mumuyes who are a people of Taraba state have a dramatic wooden spirit statue known as Iagalagana which was used in ancient times by diviners and healers whose professions included diagnosis and cure of ill health and other kinds of misfortunes. The figures were used to guard houses and during trials, men in dispute are obliged to kiss and swear over the statue. A number of such sculptures have large ears with pierced and distended earlobes.