GURARA WATERFALLS: Untapped Potential of one of Africa’s Natural Wonders
Along the north central plains of Nigeria, an hour and halfdrive from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a tarred road branch of the main road at Bonu town axis, off the Suleja-Minna express way, Niger state, Nigeria.
Along the road, you approach a makeshift gate, and the sight and sound you behold next is amazing. It is a feel of wetness that fills the atmosphere and one could hear the sound water make as it beats against the rock.
Two streams of water colliding against each other in a grand display. At the rock face, water runs down the rock forming a clear pool at the bottom.
Gurara waterfalls spans 200 meters across tributaries, taking its origin from the river Niger and running around the rock on a long cliff, converging and falling into a pond about 20 meters below.
Aerial view of the Gurara waterfalls is exhilarating. During the dry season, the water has about six fall points, but in the rainy season the whole cliff gets covered and falls at one powerful point.
At the peak of the rainy season, the cliff is engulfed by a formidable curtain of white water and a vision of heaven on earth is revealed.
It beats imagination tourism struggles in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. Natural wonders grace Nigeria’s countryside, in the northern and southern regions.
During the dry season, when rains are reduced and the water current are not so strong, people swim in the pool at the base of Gurarafall.
Natural monuments like Gurara falls may well hold the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and expansion, breaking her away from crude oil dependence and then the transition to a more prosperous society.
For example, Niagra falls, in Canada, as at 2010, attracts over 10.1 million visitors, and the cumulative effect is a networkof tourism-based industry that include fine restaurants, shopping outlets, and fruit drink companies, media footprints in television and radio, newspaper, festivals, museum and transport companies.
Annual revenues from Niagra tourism-related industry may well reach $1 billion dollars, in a country of just 35 million people.
Nigeria, on the other hand, Africa’s most populous country with over 170 million people, has a flailing tourism industry and annual visits to Gurara falls is not formally documented.
There have been plans in recent times to turn it into a resort with a recreation center and a seven-star hotel around it. But Nigeria can do more.
This will significantly improve the commercial appeal of Nigeria’s north central region, paving the way for labor intensive businesses like public housing projects, transport, media, food and beverage outlets, printing, fine restaurants, art and culture exhibitions and then cap it with that resort and recreation center and a seven-star hotel.
The opportunity Gurara falls hold is endless.
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