Gamji Gates is one of the places really worth visiting in Kaduna; the crocodile city in the northern parts of Nigeria. This is the country that is claimed to be the “giant of Africa”.
Despite the various crisis and turbulence featured in the media concerning this country, a visit to the various parts of the country quickly dispelled my fears and worries. It really does not feel like it is portrayed in Western media, but then places we found rarely are.
The country is not only beautiful but the people are friendly as well; though they do have trouble makers like all “advanced societies” and ready to make away with your wallet. Never flash your cash around; especially dollars as a foreigner. You will be the target of touts and pick pockets, but again many places are the same and this should not put you off such a remote location that is so different to other parts of the world.
One of the places I visited and really loved in Kaduna was Gamji Gates. The place is serene with local attractions and an amusement park; an ideal place for families with kids and lovers. Gamji also features a mini zoo that features few animals.
Attractions at Gamji Gates
The crocodile pit
Gamji Gates houses a crocodile pit with 5 crocodiles. Don’t ask me the species because I am not a crocodile expert. Maybe you can tell from the picture, which I admit is pretty bad as the camera is not the best and they were quite far away.
On viewing them for the first time, you would think they are statues until you see their eyes blink or jaws snap shut really viciously! They often keep their mouths open to catch flying prey and snap it shut suddenly, much to the amusement of everyone. They often look like they have a grin sitting in the sun witht heir mouth open.
There are beautiful painted trees at Gamji Gates with relaxation points where lovers can relax with a cup of ice cream sold in various canteens within the park. I saw several couples happily enjoying the relaxed setting that Gamji offers.
The ostrich cage
There is also the ostrich cage with two ostriches; male and female. The male ostrich was particular jealous. It ran into a frenzy and tried kicking me from inside of the cage when I got too close to the female from outside. These guys are so powerful it is scary and I am not sure the medical service would have been able to help me too much with a broken leg!
Gamji Gates features an amusement park with roller coaster rides; horse drawn carts and a small branch of river Kaduna that flows through the park. There is also an old bridge that is said to have been built by Lord Luggard. It is housed in Gamji as a historical attraction, but is realistically just an old bridge.
Places to stay
There are various hotels and guest house within the Gamji Gates environs that would suit the taste of any sojourner; and at prices that won’t break the bank. You might want to consider Hamdala Hotels; one of the best in the vicinity. The currency used in Nigeria is the naira. $1 is equivalent to about 160 naira. Imagine what you could do in this city with a couple of thousand dollars.
If you ever visit Kaduna, then I would advise that you visit Gamji gates. The best time to visit would be in the cool of the evening. Then, you will find many love birds catching fun.
The entrance fee to Gamji is just 50 naira which is about $0.35. Excellent value and although now I read back through the article it doesn’t sound too interesting a place. Yet where there is relatively nothing such a park suddenly seems interesting!