Enugu; The Capital of Igbo land
Enugu has a rich and long history, its nickname of coal city is from the discovery of coal in 1909, which significantly helped in the development of the region, coal mining declined around the 1960s owing to the discovery of oil and the Nigerian civil war. Its nickname as the capital of Igbo land comes from the brief time it stood as the capital of the now defunct Biafra state. Enu ugwu denoting hilltop represents the city’s geography. While it is not as hilly and mountainous as Plateau state, you do indeed feel as though you are ascending and descending in many parts of the city.
Travelling from Makurdi, Benue State to Enugu took about 4 hours, the Enugu transport company parks at the popular Benue links park and about 8 buses go to Enugu via this transport company every day. From Abuja, the cost of transport ranges from 6000 to 8000 depending on the type of taxi. Its 8 hours by road and cars can be gotten from GUO park in Jabi. Enugu is also accessible by air travel flying to the Akanu Ibiam airport.
On arriving Enugu, the modes of transportation were keke na pep, taxis and buses. The journey from Makurdi too me through communities such as Kpayongo, Agbo, Jumbe, Aliade, Jiwunde, Otukpo, Olengbecho, Ogbadigno (Otukpa), Udenu. As the trees become denser and the sand gets redder, with bublling conversation in the bus, I looked forward to Enugu.
Which is the best place to try Igbo food if not in an Igboland? For eateries, Roots and Crunchies (has okay shawarma) and of course local food vendors, like Mama Ogo, am not sure about the name. But her food was delicious. Okpa is a must try. I loved it. Simply too good. Its like moimoi, but smoother, harder and made of soybean.
Abacha is Igbo salad, I had a taste, but am not a fan. Other foods native to the Igbos and recommended are: Nkwobi, Oha soup and fufu, Agidi, Ofe onugbu, Ukwa (African breadfruit).
Places to See
Museum This was on the itinerary for saturday, big mistake. Cause the museum only opens on weekdays.
I just love Spar, and was really happy to see such a big one in Enugu. its good to have other options apart from shoprite and their prices compared to the local market were really good, and cheaper for some products.
Polo Park mall with a ferris wheel
Other places worthy of notice but needing a bit more preparation, as in a tour guide and maybe hiking gear would be: Ngwo park, Ngwo pine forest, Awhum waterfall and caves, Ezeagu tourist complex, Ugwueme and udi hills, Milken hills, Ani Ozalla lake, Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Nike lake resorts, Silicon hills, Miliken hillsand Iva valley, African Continental Bank tower (tallest building in Enugu)
All in all, Enugu is beautiful. The roads are good and the people quite friendly and helpful. It is a place worth visiting.
And if you think we left one or two spectacular things about Enugu out, do inform us in the comments so we could appreciate Enugu together.