Jos, Plateau

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About Plateau State

Plateau State is the twelfth largest state of Nigeria, and is roughly located in the center of the country. It is geographically unique in Nigeria because its boundaries totally surround the Jos Plateau, having the Jos Plateau totally in its central and northern part. Its capital is Jos. Plateau State is celebrated as “The Home of Peace and Tourism”. Plateau State gets its name from the Jos Plateau. It has a population of around 3.5 million people.

Adjacent states

  • Bauchi State – to the north east
  • Kaduna State – to the north west
  • Nasarawa State – to the south west
  • Taraba State – to the south east

Boundaries
Plateau State is located in Nigeria’s middle belt. With an area of 26,899 square kilometres, the State has an estimated population of about three million people. It is located between latitude 80°24’N and longitude 80°32′ and 100°38′ east. The state is named after the picturesque Jos Plateau, a mountainous area in the north of the state with captivating rock formations. Bare rocks are scattered across the grasslands, which cover the plateau. The altitude ranges from around 1,200 meters (about 4000 feet) to a peak of 1,829 metres above sea level in the Shere Hills range near Jos. Years of tin mining have also left the area strewn with deep gorges and lakes.

Climate
Though situated in the tropical zone, a higher altitude means that Plateau State has a near temperate climate with an average temperature of between 18 and 22°C. Harmattan winds cause the coldest weather between December and February. The warmest temperatures usually occur in the dry season months of March and April. The mean annual rainfall varies from 131.75 cm (52 in) in the southern part to 146 cm (57 in) on the Plateau. The highest rainfall is recorded during the wet season months of July and August. The average lower temperatures Plateau State has led to a reduced incidence of some tropical diseases such as malaria. The Jos Plateau, makes it the source of many rivers in northern Nigeria including the Kaduna, Gongola, Hadejia and Yobe rivers.

 

Tourism

Plateau State is known as The Home of Peace and Tourism and there is plenty to see.

  • The Wildlife Safari Park sits in the middle of 8 km2 (3.09 sq. miles) of unspoiled savanna bush, about 4 km (2 mi) from Jos. It offers a wide variety of wild animals within easy viewing. These include buffalos, lions, leopards, baboons, monkeys, derby elands, pythons, crocodiles, chimpanzees, jackals and the rare pygmy hippopotamus, which is being successfully bred in the ‘hippo pool’. The park also boasts great, panoramic views of Jos city.
  • The National Museum in Jos was founded in 1952, and is recognised as one of the best in the country. It is renowned for its archeology and The Pottery Hall has an exceptional collection of finely crafted pottery from all over Nigeria. The museum boasts some fine specimens of Nok terracotta heads and artifacts dating from between 500 BC to 200 AD.
  • The Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture is adjacent, with life-size replicas of a variety of buildings, from the walls of Kano and the Mosque at Zaria to a Tiv village. In addition, articles of interest from colonial times relating to the railway and tin mining can be found on display.
  • Jos Zoo is located in Jos city, beside the museum. It has a good stock of animals, birds and reptiles and was established in 1957.
  • Assop Falls is perhaps, the most notable of Nigeria’s many waterfalls. Located at the edge of the Jos Plateau, about 40 miles (64 km) from Jos city, on the road to Abuja, this is a popular tourist stop for picnicking, swimming and enjoying the scenery. Assop Falls has also proved popular with people shooting local soap operas and advertisements.
  • Kurra Falls is an area some 77 kilometers southeast of Jos. It is the location of the state’s first hydroelectric power station. It is a beautiful area of rocks hills, and lakes, ideal for boating, camping, and rock climbing. There is tourist accommodation available.
  • Wase Rock is a striking dome-shaped inselberg which juts out of the ground to a height of 450 meters. It is located about 216 kilometers southeast of Jos near Wasetown. It is one of the only five breeding places for the white pelican in Africa. Because of this, the government now protects about 321 acres (1.30 km2) of land around the rock as a bird sanctuary and for wildlife development.
  • The Kerang highlands are located about 88 kilometres from Jos. These volcanic hills are the source of natural mountain springs, which supply the popular spring water company (SWAN).
  • The Shere Hills include some of the Plateau’s highest peaks. They are a scenic range of hills to the east of Jos which offer a view of the city below. They offer opportunities to mountain climbers and hill walkers alike.
  • Riyom Rock is a rock formation, located 25 kilometers southwest of Jos, near Riyom town.
  • Pandam Game Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary. It is a protected region of natural habitat and is home to hippopotami, crocodiles, and snakes of all types. Local park rangers track local game on foot and guide people to the best viewing areas. This area is still virtually unspoiled by human contact. It offers sports fishing facilities and tourist accommodation is available.
  • Kahwang Rock Formation is a set of basalt rocks, located in Bangai village of Bachi District in Riyom Local Government of the state, the Kahwang rocks have received tourists from different parts of the state, the country at large and on occasions, from outside Nigeria, who visit the site to see for themselves the wonders of nature. This site is however, still awaiting the attention of the Plateau State Tourism Corporation to meet modern standards and to serve as another source of revenue generation to the state.
  • Miango Rest House is a retreat and conference center located in Miango established by missionaries (SIM Nigeria) in 1914. It is located next to Kent Academy, a non-denominational missionary school. The Rest House provides visitors with plenty of opportunities to hike in the surrounding area. The property also features a man-made dam, a farm and is located at the foot of small hill (Mt. Sanderson) that provides a beautiful view of the area.