Obudu Cattle Ranch | 4 Days & 3 Nights

Wild Days And Quiet Nights At Obudu Cattle Ranch

It all started with this picture.

Obudu has a reputation for being a place to visit in Nigeria but the logistics tend to scare people away as getting there can be a herculean task. However, this hasn’t deterred too many people from visiting and taking amazing shots. In Dec, we put up one of the many pictures of Obudu above on instagram and below is exactly what happened.

What were the odds of being invited to Obudu?? The Obudu Conservation Center emailed us almost immediately after our Instagram banter. Always shoot your shot people, your wishes may just come true.

 I had been wondering what I was going to do over the Christmas holidays as I hadn’t made any plans. When this happened, I was over the moon. They were also kind enough to allow me bring a plus one so I got to take my friend along for this trip.

The Obudu Conservation Center (OCC) is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that dedicates its efforts and proceeds to the education, protection, preservation and restoration of the environment and wildlife. They are independent of the cattle ranch hence they have their own cabins on the ranch and are self sufficient.

Obudu Cattle Ranch is a range of mountains on the Obudu Plateau with a resort built around it and the villages found within the ranch. It is named after cattle as they are found roaming about there.

It is close to the borders of Cameroun and often while you’re there you can see people who have crossed the mountains to trade in Nigeria.

With features such as the cable cars, water parks, sports facilities, convention centers and more, it’s no surprise that it’s touted as a place one must visit in Nigeria.

After sorting everything out with the conservation center, they sent us a packing list, itinerary, flight options, we picked a date, mapped our route and we were set to go on our journey.

It was everything and more and I can’t wait to go back there. I mean watch how much fun we had.


Our itinerary went as follows:

Day 1

My friend and I were on the Arik Air 7.30am flight to Enugu and once we boarded, the excitement tripled. It was our first time in the East and we couldn’t believe we were finally going to the famous Obudu.

Our flight didn’t take off at 7.30 prompt but we didn’t care. We landed Enugu, found the driver OCC had sent to pick us up and we started our road trip.

The roads were horrible (sometimes it was untarred, huge potholes etc) for most of the journey and we were car sick after a while. The government (both federal and state) need to look into this.

We took in the sights and sounds of South East Nigeria as we navigated from Enugu, through Ebonyi, Cross River State and then finally the ranch.

Immediately we got to the ranch, we ran out of the car, took the customary picture infront of the gate and started the drive up the hill.

whoop whoop, we made it


We got to our cabins, were welcomed by our hosts and rested before we headed out.

Our first point of call was Becheve Nature Reserve. It is named after one of the villages on the ranch and is home to various species of migratory birds, a 60km canopy walk and various plant species.

View from the canopy walk


After our tour of the nature reserve, we headed off to the highlight of the trip. THE CABLE CARS!!!

They have been stories from various people (hi Enefa & Travel With A Pen) on how during their visits to Obudu, the cable cars weren’t functioning. However, we were in luck as they had just been fixed and we were the first to try them out. Our host had refused to put it on the itinerary as a surprise and it was a pleasant one. The views from riding in this were amazing and one everyone must see. It gives you a bird’s eye view of most of the ranch. From the cows grazing past to the winding roads.

Inside the cable car


View from the cable car


While guests pay a fee for this ride, the villagers are allowed to use it for free to get from the top of the mountains to the bottom.

After the exhilarating ride, we went back to our cabins, had dinner and ended the night with a game of scrabble and music blaring in the background.

Peep our boombox


Day 2

Today was for touring the grounds. My friend and I didn’t know we could walk for that long but the views made up for it.

We were shown the different accommodation types (From the African Huts to the Presidential cabin).

Black Panther & Pink Panther


The African huts


Chalet


We also saw the area for the woodluck program that the conservation organisation is carrying out (this is replanting in the areas that have been damaged due to cow grazing, fires etc), the OCC farm (strawberries, cabbages, carrots and more are being grown), literally trekking through the jungle to see the NGO’s efforts and discovering the many waterfalls on the ranch.

Some volunteers helping with the woodluck program


Strawberries from the farm


To end our hike, we settled at one of the many waterfalls, took turns jumping into the natural pool that it formed at the bottom and discussed the future of the ranch. Of course some of us needed some liquid courage before we could do this plus the water was ice cold.

Heading to the waterfall


We also met a couple of kids who were much braver than us and had no qualms about wanting to discover the caves at the end of the natural pool.

Ezekiel, Kevin, Godsgift


We headed back to prepare for our bonfire and it was a pleasant way to end the day. We ate, danced, talked and just marvelled at the natural wonder that is Obudu.

Day 3

We started off with a quick informative session learning more about what the Obudu Conservation Center was hoping to do, then visited the Holy Mountain. It is called the Holy Mountain because it is said to be the highest known peak on the range hence you are ‘closer’ to heaven. People go there to offer prayers with the hope that it will be answered quicker. You can also see one of the waterfalls from the top.

Waterfall view from Holy Mountain


After this, Grotto Falls (another waterfall) was on the itinerary. People can have picnics here or swim in the ‘pool’. It was not as grand as the first one we visited but still beautiful.

Picnic Table


The water was very clean


In the evening, we took a walk around the 7 Villages, from Opazanga to Becheve. We learnt  that despite being so close to each other, their traditions, customs and languages weren’t as similar.

How cute are these puppies?


The people were warm and friendly and the mum of one of the workers even hosted us in her compound.

It was a sweet way to end our visit to Obudu and we went back wishing we could extend our trip.

Kevin’s mum


Day 4

We woke up super early, had a quick breakfast and left for the airport in Enugu slightly sad, but grateful for the experience.

Our visit to Obudu was one we wouldn’t forget in a hurry and we are grateful to the Obudu Conservation Center for hosting us.

We definitely got a different experience of the ranch and we can’t wait to take all of you there.

More importantly, I can boast about walking between clouds.

L-R Kevin, Don. Dan, Me, Nsika, Sunmbo & Nela


Useful Info

Getting There

There are three ways to get to Obudu from Lagos if you want to go by air (we became aware of the 3rd route during our visit). You can either fly to Abuja, Enugu or Calabar then continue the rest of the journey by road. (Even though someone mentioned Abuja was another feasible option, we’re still not sure of the veracity of the road time which is said to be the same as Enugu)

Our ride


Alternatively you can choose to go by road. For details on costs, click here as documented by Travel With A Pen.

Flight tickets to and fro should cost N60,000. We went with Arik Air and returned to Lagos with Air peace as the latter has more flight options from Enugu.

Alternatively you can choose to go by road. For details on costs, click here as documented by Travel With A Pen.

Accommodation

While the resort is the main accommodation option on the ranch, there are other options available and for our visit, we stayed in the cabins of the OCC.

Their cabins can accommodate a total of 12 people and they provide meals. All rooms come with heaters as the ranch can get very cold (think autumn/beginner of winter).

Comfy beds


The cabins come complete with a living area, kitchen, yard and all rooms are ensuite.

We were advised to shower at night while we were there as opposed to mornings as the water was literally ice cold in the mornings. To stay in their cabins, you have to contact them directly NOT the resort.

There are also other accommodation options on the ranch like Abebe lodge. Other people are also starting to create more options so the ranch has a variety apart from the resort itself.

You can also buy land there and build a cabin for yourself. 🙂

Packing List

This should consist of sweaters and warm clothes due to the temperature especially early in the mornings and at nights. Hiking shoes/sturdy shoes for walking around especially when climbing the mountains.

Even though there’s a GTB Atm that worked during my visit, you should always have cash on you.

Phone network

Glo is the only phone network that works on the ranch.

Marveling at the mountains


Final Thoughts

Obudu Cattle Ranch was an amazing place to visit and we loved seeing the efforts the Obudu Conservation Center is putting into doing what they can to revive it (they run independently of the ranch). They know the villagers and vice versa and in their bid to push Eco-Tourism, they are also helping the community and creating jobs.

The ranch used to be a huge tourism destination but with the troubles it continues to have with its management, things continue to go awry.

Chilling in a natural pool


While the ranch is managed independently from the government, the government does need to make sure that whatever management company they contract it to is capable. During our visit, the resort staff were on strike due to salaries owed. Our guide mentioned that the staff actually enjoy their jobs but cannot continue to work for over a year without being paid. That quite frankly is inhumane.

The Conservation center however mentioned that the management company says because the ranch doesn’t get as many visitors as it should, they aren’t making enough money to keep it afloat hence the arrears. Of course they aren’t getting enough visitors as maintenance isn’t as great and logistics is difficult so it’s a vicious cycle.

Hopefully with the help of Obudu Conservation Center (and us..lol) we can help to promote the ranch better and bring more people to visit which will translate into more money for everyone.

Heading to Wakanda



Would you like to visit Obudu and have the same experience we did? Trip details coming soon!


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*Reviews are based on opinions and personal experiences, and may differ from person to person

*prices written are based on the time the visit was made and is subject to change by the owners.

*visit was sponsored by The Obudu Conservation Center however the thoughts remain our own.

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