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Jebba is a town in Kwara State, North Central Nigeria. It shares borders with two states. On the south side, Jebba lies between Kwara state and Mokwa local government, Niger State on the north. It is 885 km (550 mi) from the River Niger. Jebba is home to one of Nigeria's three hydroelectric dams and the biggest paper mill in West Africa. The people residing in this region are both Christians and Muslims as there is religious tolerance between the people. The Yoruba and Hausa ethnic groups are dominant in the area.

Understand

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The word Jebba means "water is flowing here". Jebba is home to relics and monuments that highlights their past interactions with Europeans and Colonial masters.

Jebba town lies on the south bank and at the natural head of navigation of the Niger River, some 550 miles (885 km) from the seacoast. Jebba is a part of the Moro local government area in Kwara state. The town was once predominantly inhabited by the Muslim Nupe people (whose kingdom was rediscovered by Tsoede), who thrived in the early 16th century. The island of Jebba in River Niger still retains a traditional Nupe settlement today.

Jebba is regarded as a popular tourist destination in the country. The town was the northern boundary of the territory controlled by the Royal Niger Company from 1886 to 1900.

Around 1806, the town was said to have been discovered by Scottish explorer Mungo Park. He was the first Westerner to travel to the midpoint of river Niger. However after his ship wrecked, he drowned in the Bussa Rapids, north of Jebba while trying to explore the source of the Niger River. His monument now stands on Jebba Island as a memorial. The river Niger serves as a form of transportation, a bath, and also a source of food and water.

In 1909, the Lagos-Ibadan railway was extended to Jebba and in 1915, the railway was connected with the Kano-Baro line by the construction of a two-section railway bridge with a total span of 1,795 feet (547 m) over River Niger.

This new railway link promoted the development of Jebba as a trade and transport centre. Crops like yams, corn (maize), manioc (cassava), sorghum, rice, shea nuts, and cattle are the town’s main agricultural products. Also, sugarcane is grown on the Bacita sugar estate about 10 miles downriver and refined at the nearby sugar factory.

The local occupations of the people in Jebba include cotton weaving and pottery production; thus, there is also a pulp and paper factory in the town.

In 1984, a dam and hydroelectric power plant were completed at Jebba as part of the Niger Dams Project which includes Kainji Dam. Jebba served as a headquarters for Sir Frederick Lugard’s West African Frontier Force and was the first capital of the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria from 1900 to 1902.

Also, in the late 1970s, a four-lane highway bridge was constructed in the area to carry the south-north trunk highway from Lagos.

The Jebba Railway Bridge is known to be the first bridge to connect Northern and Southern Nigeria. Jebba is also known as the home of a sugar factory and a paper mill.

The population of the town in 2006 was about 109,000.

Get in

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By plane

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Jebba does not have its own airport. However one can make use of the state's airport as it is the closest to Jebba.

1 Ilorin International Airport, Ilorin International Airport, address, +234 816 931 5924. The closest airport to Jebba is Ilorin International Airport (ILR). The distance from Ilorin International Airport to Jebba is 53.3 miles / 85.7 km. Ilorin International Airport (Q3086140) on Wikidata Ilorin International Airport on Wikipedia

By car

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One of the cheapest options that one can opt for is by road. One can travel by road with a taxi. From Abuja, the distance is 375 km which will take approximately 5 hours 25 minutes and cost about US$110 - 130. From Lagos, it will also cost the same but will take 4 hr 25 min.

Travellers are advised to have extra money.

By train

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Jebba has an inter-state train station that links to Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states. From Lagos, the train takes 12½ hours and 17 hours from Abuja. The Nigerian Railway Corporation operates a train from Lagos to Jebba only once a week.

Railway Bridge, Jebba

Get around

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Travellers could use shared or rented tricycles which are cheap if you are on a tight budget. The people of Jebba use motorcycles, cabs and tricycles as the major means of transportation. Buses too are quite popular especially during the day and readily accessible.

Some prices for some destinations are fixed while some require you to haggle prices with the vehicle driver. Prices can be as low as ₦50 but solely depends on if you are good at haggling prices.

Cabs too can be rented or shared with other passengers. The cab drivers tend to call out ridiculous prices for renting thus some haggling skills would be very well needed.

Motorcycle riders can offer you a drop-off service and it is the best option for a traveller aiming to commute rapidly. The service charge usually more expensive than tricycles or buses reason being. Another advantage of this means of communication is that the drivers get you to your destination faster and can beat traffic. Motorcycles are also very popular at night and commonly used as cyclists are available 24/7.

See

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Jebba is a place with hidden sites yet to be discovered by both local and international tourist. It is not a popular tourist destination which makes it a topnotch for adventurous tourist. It is advisable to go with a tour guide when visiting this places as hearing the background stories of these places from locals adds to the amazing scenery and will make your trip a memorable one.

Lake Jebba
  • 1 Jebba Dam (Jebba Hydroelectric Power Station). The Jebba Dam is a hydroelectric power plant across the Niger river in Nigeria. It has a power generating capacity of 578.4 megawatts, enough to power over 364,000 homes. It is one of the three hydroelectric power stations that power Nigeria 24/7. Jebba Hydroelectric Power Station (Q1115086) on Wikidata Jebba Hydroelectric Power Station on Wikipedia
Mongo Park's monument
  • 2 Mungo Park cenotaph. In the memory of a European explorer named Mungo Park, a monument was erected in Jebba between the twin bridges and serves as a tourists centre. The cenotaph was built in remembrance of the shipwreck he had there when he was trying to trace the source of the Niger which led to his death.
Juju Rock
  • 3 Juju Rock Formation. Travellers could go hiking at the Juju Rock Formation. Juju Rock is a large granite island-hill formation located in the Niger River area, Jebba. It’s on the island people often refer to as the Ancient Jebba. Locals consider it as the wife of the Juju Rock as it has the same rock formation and is a look-alike to the Juju Rock. It is not too far from the river bank and can be easily spotted.
River Niger at Jebba bridge
Canoeing on the Niger River
  • River Niger. Tourist can admire nature while canoeing on the river Niger. They can even practise fishing as the local fishermen are very open and friendly. Tourist can take a tour of the GunGun village, sightsee, and appreciate the local Hausa/Nupe traditions.
  • Jebba Paper Mill (biggest in West Africa)
  • Jebba Sugar Factory
  • Jebba railway bridge

Do

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Buy

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Jebba is also home to a lot of markets e.g Oja Baga. This is mainly because they cultivate and produce a lot of what they consume. Examples of what they consume includes fishes of different types because of their proximity to the sea.

Eat

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Jebba is known for producing things they eat. There are snacks that are so popular you can almost find a seller at every corner, e.g. Kuli kuli (a snack that is made from dry-roasted groundnuts).

In Jebba, finding restaurants or eateries is not a problem. You can book a table or make a reservation online. Some of these places give customers access to free WiFi.

Since the predominant religion of the people in this area is Islam, you will find a lot of halal restaurants. You definitely will not be served pork in such restaurants as Muslims do not eat pork.

You can eat at the hotel's restaurant. Most restaurants offer English and local foods. If the menu dishes are not to your palate, you can ask for what you want. Although, this might be at an extra cost.

Drink

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Most hotels have a bar or cafe and they are usually available 24/7. However, because most locals are Muslims and Muslims do not take alcohol as their religion forbids them, you might not find it as easily as you would in other places.

Most cafes sell cakes. If you are also a coffee person, you will get varieties to choose from.

Sleep

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In Jebba, you can find places with fairly good accommodations. Tourist can either lodge at an hotel or houses for rent. Compared to other places in Nigeria, the prices of things in Jebba is relatively cheaper so you will find affordable accommodation at a fair price. Make sure to get an accommodation where you will be secured from exposure to mosquito bites as the town is known to harbor them because of its proximity to the river Niger.

Connect

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Go next

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  • Pako
  • Gana
  • Belle
  • Ilorin
  • Esie
  • Oro
  • Omo-Aran


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