Tumbling 150 metres and cascading into three falls of 50 metres wide is a natural spectacle that is both breathtaking and within reach. But before the beautiful cascade, it has been a long journey from the highest plains of the Jos Plateau to Wamba where the cool water finally turns into a fall.
Truly, at 492 feet, Farin Ruwa waterfalls is one of the highest natural waterfalls in Africa, higher than the more popular Victoria Falls known to cover a height of around 108 metres (354 feet) during its descent. The height covered during the descent of the falls is very great that the descending water merely crashes during its way down the Jos Plateau highland. The fall gradually turns white in colour and appears in a distance to the inhabitants of the Farin Ruwa area like a white smoke on the mountains.
The force of its gushing water, discovered in the 1950s by the British, is so torrential that it can be mistaken for white smoke, earning it the name “Farin Ruwa” (a Hausa phrase which literally translates as “White Water”). At its discovery, a catering rest house was established in Gur Hill at Marhai village close to the fall in order to exploit it commercially. To protect its rich heritage, the colonial administration gazetted it and named it Marhai Forest Reserve. However, despite this early development, Farin Ruwa was consigned to the backyard until the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996.
Now, all you need is a splash of water from the magnificent waterfall to unleash the adventure in you. At the foot of the falls, you will wonder at the great heights covered during the descent of the falls and the excitement caused by the descending water that merely crashes during its way down the Jos Plateau highland.
Much of the surrounding environment is light forest, making the area ideal for eco-tourism. Top among the eco-tourism activities at the falls is bird-watching. The surrounding forest is a prime location for watching over 2,500 birds from 148 species that hover around because of the forest reserve within the area.
Though Farin Ruwa lacks recreational facilities, you can create your own fun – picnic, swimming, mountain climbing, nature photograph, bird watch, among others.
The best time to visit is during the rainy season when the water volume is at its peak. The volume drops during the dry season from December to March.
Farin Ruwa is 120 kilometres away from Lafia, the state capital; 30 kilometres away from Wamba; and about 180 kilometres from Abuja.