Saturday, 19 September 2009
BY ANDREW IRO OKUNGBOWA
THE city of kaduna, capital of State is not a stranger to playing host to the world, especially when it comes to football. In 1999, it was one of the venues that hosted the FIFA Youth World Cup, which again it is poised to host. The Kaduna Stadium on Ahmadu Bello Way would be the main theatre of action. However, outside of the football pitch, the city, which occupies a place of pride in Nigeria’s political history, has a lot to offer visitors. There are a number of breathtaking sceneries that visitors would find enchanting. For instance, places like Zaria hold some promises beside the metropolis, which is known for its very busy and bustling appeal. Checklist of tourist attractions
*Trappco Ranch Resort: Is a good ‘get away’ spot in Gwazaye, a rural community near the Kaduna Airport. It has a serene scenery. Activities such as horse racing, polo, swimming, boat cruise and ranching take place within the theme park.
*General Hassan Katsina Park: This is a sprawling centre where both adults and children can savour different fun filled activities ranging from safari to swimming. One of the historical elements of the leisure outfit is the Lugard Footbridge, which has survived so many years since the days of colonialism when Lord Lugard imported the footbridge from its location in Zungeru, Minna State to Kaduna.
*Pixie Dixie Amusement Park: Formally Kaduna Amusement Park and located near the government House, it has a lot of exotic and sophisticated leisure facilities for both adults and children. Swings, motorised bikes and cars, trains and horses as well as eatery huts are some of the things to look forward to on visit.
*National Museum: Managed by the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, this home of artefacts, located on Ali Akilu Road in Kaduna metropolis has on display different art works and crafts that detail both the historical and political evolvement of the people.
*Arewa House: The former resident of the former Premier of Northern Nigeria and Sarduna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, which is on Rabah road, is also a place to savour the historical and political verve of the people. Till date, it remains a place of political importance to the people as it plays host to a number of political meetings. The endless list of historical monuments to visit include Hassan Katsina House; Lugard Hall; First Magistrate’s Court, Kaduna; Kaduna Railway Bridge in Kagarko council, which was built in 1920; Magajin Gari is located in Kaduna North —built in 1939 by the Native Authority; Sultan Bello Mosque — built in 1962 by Ahmadu Bello and named after his grandfather, Sultan Bello. The mosque was renovated in 1994 and is located in the Ungwan Garki area of Kaduna metropolis.
*Zaria: Home of the emir of Zazzau and one of the most popular and powerful emirates in Kaduna is another location to explore for a number of historical monuments. The emir’s palace should be the first place of call while driving through the ancient city. It maintains a captivating presence and has a rich display of the people’s cultural appeal. Others include St. Bartholomew’s Anglican, based in Wusasa. It is the first church in Northern Nigeria built by the missionaries. The use of traditional materials and design motif are some of the fascinating features of the building.
*Nok Teracotta: It is one of the earliest known creations of the country. It is a place art patrons should visit to see the world acclaimed civilisation known as the Nok Culture with the art form – terracotta as it smain art form.
It once served as a defensive mechanism for the people against invading armies as well as demarcated the traditional enclave inhabited by the indigenes from the sections inhabited by the non- indigenes. These walls and gates have since been destroyed and in some cases remolded. However, the ruins of some have been preserved. They include those of Queen Amina, Zaria, which were built in the 15th Century.
Outside Kaduna metropolis For the very adventurous type, a day trip outside the metropolis would no doubt be revealing and rewarding, as there are many tourist attractions to explore. *Matsirga waterfall: Located in Kafanchan, it is one of the captivating falls in the state with beautiful scenery. Though yet to be developed, leisure seekers will find it a good location for outdoor adventure and mountaineering.
*Kagoro Hills, which is also located some distance away from this fall presents inviting scenery too. Other attractions with natural pull include Kajim Spring.
*5thChukker: It presents exciting scenery for lovers of the polo game and other fun seekers to sample of the many leisure offerings of the sports tourism outfit.
*Kamuku National Park: It’s one of the eight national parks, which are scattered across the country. The Park is located in the Birnin Gwari area of the state, not too far from the city. It has rich and vast flora and fauna species for lovers of safari and nature to explore. NAF Club and Polo Field and Murtala Mohammed Square.
Hotels Adriel Hotels, Army Command Guest house, Hamdala Hotel, Arewa Hotel, Philmore International Hotel, Fina White House,