Discovering the North- Plateau and Bauchi State

When I drew up my travel goals for the year, the north was not anywhere on the list. That list needs an edit because I have visited at least 3 places, and I intend to visit 2 new countries also not on the list.

The only thing I knew for sure at the beginning of the year was that I would take some days off my annual leave for my birthday. The destination was not fixed, I thought of doing a European tour to visit at least Belguim, Germany, and Lithuania. Up until the moment I changed my mind,  I was so sure I would take the West African road trip for my birthday. Then I went to Togo for Easter which was about 10 days before my birthday, so the list was down to Grand Popo in the Benin Republic. I can't say for sure the moment Bauchi and Jos came into my head. All I know was that I started researching, flights and routes.

I got in touch with my friend Lilian, who I have not seen since she left Bonn for Nigeria. She currently lives and works in Jos, so I knew there was no way I would go that far without meeting her.

I flew into Abuja on 25 April and got on a Plateau express Sienna car to Jos. I was told the distance is about 3 hours but I spent 5 good hours on the road. The car drove through Kaduna state into Jos.

For this trip, I had no itinerary. Especially for Jos, I only wanted to relax, catch up with my friend and see sights whenever I can. For Bauchi, the Yankari Games Reserve was the destination.

In Jos, I visited the Jos Museum and Wildlife Park. Lilian took me out to a club which was pretty decent but empty on my last night.

I spent a night in Bauchi, Yankari was a disappointment and not worth the money I spent on transportation traveling all the way from Bauchi. Because Yankari is not a regular transport route, I had to rent a private cab to drive me down there and back. I spent eleven thousand Naira on cab alone, one thousand five hundred Naira entry fee from the first gate to find out that there was no room available at the resort. I was happy I refused to go on the safari because I would have cried to pay Six thousand Naira just to see Antelopes, Baboons, and Warthogs.

The Wikki Warm Spring which I had to pay Five hundred Naira for the only attraction that made sense. Unfortunately, Miss Red was in town so I could not take a dip. There is a Museum in the Resort which is the only free attraction.

Wikki Warm Spring

I visited the tomb of Nigeria's first and only Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The tomb is beautiful and worth a visit if you are ever in Bauchi. I returned to Jos immediately after I left the tomb.
Exterior of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Tomb

Jos to Bauchi is two hours by cab. On my way to Bauchi, I was the only female in the cab and I remember my mom calling on the way telling me to make sure I am not the only female in the cab. I just smiled told her "Mo ti gbo"

Just like in Lagos where everyone is assumed to understand Yoruba, a lot of people spoke Hausa to me, especially in Jos.

I found out Boko Haram actually started in Bauchi state before moving on to Borno state.

There are a lot of Military check points, made me feel like I was in a war zone. But with the understanding of the Northern situation, I was not really bothered.

I was relatively safe while up North, except for when passing through Kaduna state on my way to Jos. The language was a problem but I was always able to find someone who understands English small. On my way back, the car went through Nasarawa state.

I did enjoy the trip asides from the Yankari adventure.

I would most likely go back to Plateau state again; this time around for the waterfalls and rock formations. Bauchi not sure I will be visiting again.

Have you been to Jos or Bauchi? What was your experience like? Would you recommend it or visit again?


Molara Brown


  1. I served in Jos. I liked the calmness. Though I was in the military base,I enjoyed staying there,I did not do any sight seeing, just visited friends. No mobile phones then ... that elephant does not look robust. Yankari reserve was a household name as I grew up ... it has lost its 'glory' then .. epele o.. 11k for cab in this hard time ... you try. Happy birthday to you.

    1. Birthday was in April ma. I kind of loved the slow pace in Jos.

      Thank you for always reading.

  2. Oh wowwwww! You're ruining Bauchi for me. Wow. It really isn't all that? *tearss*

    1. I did not intend to ruin Bauchi for you...I didn't get to visit the Sumu park and Gubi lake. It is just not a destination for me.

  3. Great recap. I've been to Jos once. Really enjoyed it. Even opted to go to University there just because I loved the city (that didn't work out though).

    Haven't visited Bauchi, on the other hand. It's somewhere I'd still love to visit but it's not on the table for me right now.. Sorry about your experience too...second time might be a charm ��

    1. That second time is not anytime soon...thank you for reading