Nigeria: My magical Christmas experience at Obudu Mountain Resort- Tourism Queen

06
Jan

Had I been in elementary school, this Obudu Mountain Resort experience will definitely win the spot in my essay as “An Experience I Will Never Forget”. Hard to believe, but it took me till the year 2020 to visit Obudu for the first time. The best time to have visited may have been many years ago, but the next best time was this year when I eventually did.

Interestingly however, with the continuous improvement and reorganization going on there now, this saying will no longer apply to Obudu. The best time will always be your next visit. That’s what this wonderful destination deserves.

That’s what it is currently getting under the leadership of Hon. Bobby Ekpenyong, S.A. to the Governor on Obudu Mountain Resort, with empowerment from the State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade and full support from Team Naija 7 Wonders ably led by Amb. Ikechi Uko, my personal Minister.

Having experienced Obudu twice in 6 weeks, and looking forward to more visits, it is little wonder that it occupied the unopposed number 1 spot after all 16 editions of the 2020 Naija7Wonders zoom Conference tagged “Where To Visit In Nigeria.”

It was during this time that I realized it was finally time to visit the world-famous Obudu, which for fear of distance, I had managed for many years to cut out of my numerous visits to Cross River State which had always ended at the Capital city of Calabar.

Speaking of distance, it takes about six uninterrupted travel hours from Calabar, and half that time if you come through Enugu or Markurdi. Whatever the case, I know better now that distance becomes nothing when you are in great company, and more so, when you arrive and behold the beauty of this location.

For most people with travel time concerns, what happens upon arriving Obudu can easily be likened to the disappearance of labor pains once my newborns were placed on my chest all three times at childbirth. Totally worth it!

After my first visit during the Familiarization Trip organized by Naija 7 Wonders in November, I knew the visit had to be repeated. Obudu isn’t a place to visit once or in a hurry! And so I returned for “Christmas In Obudu” in the company of Tourists, comprising0 Fathers, Mothers, Caregivers, Grandpas, Children, couples, tourism lovers, and of course, Tour Operators. As heard from some of the Tourists, if COVID wouldn’t let them go abroad at this time, the closest place with the semblance of “the abroad” was Obudu. Absolutely correct.

The weather in Obudu (uphill) would have you tightly clad in warm clothes that photos taken in them against the gorgeous sights and sounds of Obudu will easily pass for shots in your favorite locations in say, the U.K. or the U.S. But hey! This is our Nigeria!

I almost became frozen fish from the near-numbing cold, with my upper and lower teeth clapping (is that what it’s called?) against each other. It got worse at night/very early in the morning. Couples won’t understand this bit since they’d always have extracurricular activities to the rescue. But for other unsuspecting tourists, pack your suitcases wisely from the crown of your head to the sole of your feet.

Your pam sandals, flip flops, red bottoms etc. won’t do. Thick socks and sneakers/boots are a MUST! To think that December is Summer on the mountains, is a real wonder. So how shall winter on the mountains be? Visit midyear to find out. I have friends who can survive in Antarctica, so this will be a stroll in the ice.
So, for Christmas, Valentine, Easter, Sallah, Honeymoon, Marriage Proposals, Company/ Spiritual Retreats, Team Bonding, Obudu is sure to make it memorable.

From the exhilarating ride up the mountains through multiple bends, to the Canopy Walkway, to the breathtaking view of the Intestine Road from the Cable Car, to the Water Park, the Angel’s View, then the ‘sunny side up’ golden balcony sunrise at the Mountain Villa, to answered prayers on the Holy Mountain, and a royal horse ride, all there is to say about Obudu is WOW! Add the comedy night by ace Comedian, Gordons and the hilarious anchoring by the MC of the evening to the rib-cracking dance competition from children and adults, what you get is an experience that neither I nor all who spent CHRISTMAS IN OBUDU shall NEVER forget.

The good news is we depleted nothing. Like Amb. Uko pointed out in his “The Pleasant Problems Of Obudu Mountain Resort” write-up, the mountains are still there, the canopy walkway reinforced, the waterfalls flowing, clouds still caressing mountains and the cable cars now in full operation. So go ahead and create awesome memories for yourself and your loved ones. For your enemies, you can still take them to Obudu. If interested, ask me how to handle them once you are up. At Obudu, there’s a special package for everyone.

Summarily, the past 6 months have taught me many things, including the eye-opener that Nigeria is more beautiful than I ever imagined it. Thanks to Naija 7 Wonders and Members of Tourism 100 Club, for through your efforts in showcasing Nigeria, I have a better appreciation of the beauty herein and shall definitely be visiting many more Nigerian locations over the coming months. COVID, you’ve got no place in 2021 And beyond. Take serious note!

Amb. Ikechi Uko and all those (including my humble self) working assiduously hard towards the continued development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria, we say THANK YOU! Remlords, Sir Gabe Onah of the Carnival Commission, Novarosta, Brisk Travels, Ibom Air, Obudu Mountain Resort, WABIO, special thanks to you and Congratulations on a job well done.

By Ebele Enemchukwu