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Gurara Falls: Where the rainbow meets the earth

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By Richard Ihediwa

Ever been to Gurara Falls? Located in Gurara, in Niger state, North Central Nigeria, the Gurara Falls which has its source from the Gurara River has been adjudged one of the most famous tourist attractions in the country which is presently toured by nature lovers from various parts of the world.
Lying on the road between Suleja and Minna, Niger state capital, Gurara Falls is particularly impressive during the rainy season when the falls width widens up to 200 meters and fall with a torrent from about 50 meters above sea level.
The scene is most beautiful when viewed at a distance below the ridge. The spray of water cascading rhythmically over the top gives off a stunning, dazzling rainbow effect and forms a cloud in between and glittering foam below after which the waters flow fast and slowly and gently down the rocky streams in regal simplicity before they disappear from sight, hidden by the vegetation.
This nature’s beauty is full of natural performances as in a fairy opera. The water comes with a force resulting in brilliant foam just like cloud when it hits the waters below and form a snowy white covering and mist which emit a cooling effect on the surrounding. Gazing steadily at the waterfall, one has  a swelling feeling as if one would fall into the form.
During the dry season, the falls span shrink to about 30 meters exposing the beautiful rock patterns of the Falls walls that are usually covered by cascading waters during the rainy season.
During this period, the water is calm and swimming is possible in the small pond under the falls. It is good to visit the Falls during the rainy and the dry season so as to appreciate the changes in the water volume and temperament of he falls.
Moderate in that there is a bit of climbing down a steep hill and climbing back up it.  The park service has recently put in somewhat crude concrete steps, but this has made the climb much easier.  Also, the river is rocky and slippery.
Along the stream below is an array of amazing brownish rock formations blending with the beautiful flora of wild trees and bushes. The rocks are usually very slippery because of the contact with water.
To have a good view of the cascading water, one has to climb down the steep on roughly carved steps to the river bank below. The climbing adds to the picnic fun as one has to climb up back after the sightseeing.
It is an adventure to try to climb the up back to the top through the rocks beside the fall. Many tourists venture to the base beside the cascading waters and some even dare to have some shower under it but only a few try to climb up by the slippery rocky walls.
To get to the falls from Abuja, Nigeria Capital city, you have to go through Suleja. The road that leads to the fall is off Lambata –Minna road. From the Minna-Abuja expressway, the waterfall is just about 10 minutes’ drive.
A little further, about 50 metres from the expressway, there is a point of entry barricaded with a stick. Each visitor is expected to pay N100 to be allowed through. The official are said to be from the state government’s tourism board.
On the whole, the Gurara Falls is a sight to behold.  A wonder of nature; fresh water cascading and constantly making rainbow, especially in the brilliance of the sun.

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