Crush Rock Mpape is one of the newer tourist attractions and is fast becoming a popular one. It is located just on the outskirts of Abuja, and it was not the hardest place I have had to find. The first time I went, my bolt driver and I got a bit lost, however this was an easy fix once I asked around and hopped on a bike.
It has since been abandoned, but it once was a rock blasting site from which a lot of Abuja structures were constructed from. It is now a bowl shaped crater with rocky cliffs, footpaths lined with lush greenery and a gorgeous crater lake. Quite stunning scenery.
It started to get some attention during the covid-19 lockdown because people had to explore areas closer to home. I had seen pictures of people hiking, having picnics, photoshoots on social media and when I was there in person, I could see why.
The area surrounding crush rock is a slum and some of the resident/area boys who live there have decided to keep it clean and protect it in exchange for monetary tokens and I applaud the initiative.
I got to chat with some of them, and gathered that they’d been promised development by the government, but till today nothing has happened. As a result, they’ve decided to offer value in the little ways they could find. The only issue for me is that they aren’t very organized, and you need a certain level of understanding to rapport with them. At the end of the day however, everyone speaks the language of money so put on your bargaining hat!
Once all that was taken care off, I continued exploring the 3 tiers of the rock, and each came with it’s own marvellous perspective. One of the area boys joined me and it was insightful to learn about the local point of view.
He told me the water is deep and has been getting deeper with more rain. There is abandoned machinery at the bottom of the lake, so it’s not advisable to go swimming. Of course, there was mention of some supernatural presence in the lake, but this is to be expected.
Nigeria has a lot of beautiful natural sites and it’s lovely to see that even the man-made ones have potential as tourist destinations. I see Crush Rock Mpape as an opportunity that everyone (the locals, the tourists and the government) can benefit from. As you can probably tell, it's totally worth the visit and you should definitely check it out. Make sure you do not litter please.
The area boys can be groomed to be more professional tour guides and have a steady source of income, while the country builds it’s ever expanding tourism portfolio. There is way too much beauty in the country, we just need to open our eyes to the unlimited potential.
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