Nigeria’s highest mountain, Chappal Waddi or Gangirwal mountain, stands at 7,963 ft (2,419 m) and is located in Taraba State, near the border with Cameroon, in the Gashaka Gumti Forest Reserve and (Gashaka-Gumpti National Park) on the Mambilla Plateau. The park covers 6,600 sq km (roughly 3 times the size of Greater London) and is Nigeria’s largest National Park.
A phenomenally exhilarating climb awaits you from the vast hilly and rugged terrain crossed by leopards and grazed by buffalo to the fabulously lush emerald green jungle inhabited by fascinating primates, Chappal Waddi is truly a feast for your senses.
The name Gangirwal translates as “the mountain of death”. There is certainly an ominous and overbearing feeling when viewing the bulk of the mountain from below at the small village of Jauro Hammasale. However, as long as you do not disturb the keeper of the mountain, the only danger that exists when you climb is that you will suffer from a seriously good walk that will afford a unique insight into the culture, scenery and natural biodiversity of the region.
Trekking across Gangirwal takes about 8-10 days if time is allowed to visit remote rural communities and look for wildlife. Much of the walking follows high watersheds along the Cameroon-Nigeria boundary with amazing views over each country. Numerous habitats are passed through and different ways of life observed and there is always the chance of spotting some of the important wildlife species including chimpanzee, giant-forest hog, buffalo, klipspringer and leopard to name but a few.
With the heavens as your roof and after the exertions of the day, you will rest knowing that you are higher than the other 120+ million people who are sleeping below you in Nigeria’s crowded cities, towns and villages.
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