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Yola (Fulfulde: Ƴoola) is the capital of Adamawa State, North East Nigeria. It is the largest city in Adamawa State and also the seat of the traditional Adamawa emirate. The town is served by the port of Jimeta (9 km North-Northwest) on the Benue River, about 800 km above its confluence with the Niger, and by an airfield. It is located at about 10km North of the city on the road to Mubi.


Yola (Fulfulde: Ƴoola) means 'Great Plain' or 'Vast Plain Land'. The name Yola is derived from yolde, a Fula (Fulani language) word signifying a settlement on rising ground. Yola is split into two parts which are the old town of Yola where the Lamido resides and the new city of Jimeta (about 5km NW) which is the administrative and commercial centre. The ethnic groups in Yola are Fulbe, Yungur, Kilba, Higgi, Hausa, Bata, Yoruba, Kanuri, Igbo, etc.

It is the home to various institutions of learning, such as the: American University of Nigeria (AUN) (which is Africa's first and only development university), Adamawa State Polytechnic, The Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola (MAUTECH) previously known as Federal University of Technology. It also houses one of the six campuses of the Nigerian Law school located beside the American University of Nigeria and many other educational institutions.

Yola has the first airport in Nigeria as well as first town to have electricity. On 17 November 2015, a suicide bombing killed over 30 people.


Yola was founded and made the political centre of Adamawa emirate in 1841, when Modibbo Adama (“Learned One”) Adama, the Fulani founder of the emirate, established Yola as a base in his jihad against the indigenous Bata (Batta) and Vere (Verre) peoples. The municipality of Yola sprawls across the hillside of North-Eastern region of Nigeria. It was the capital of a Fulani state until it was taken over by the British in 1901. Today, it is the capital of Adamawa State, which was formed in 1991 from part of Gongola State. . During the Islamic movement led by Shehu Usman Dan Fodio in the early 19th Century, Modibbo Adama was recognized as a learned Muslim who could lead the people in the Upper Benue area. Modibbo is the Fulani word for "Professor". Probably the first European to visit the area was Heinrich Barth in 1851, shortly after Yola was founded. He traveled by the Sahara route, coming through Kukawa near Lake Chad, which at the time was the capital of the Borno Empire.

Get in[edit]

Map of Yola

By plane[edit]

Visitors that intend to come into Yola by Air have to make use of the state airport which is Yola International Airport.

1 Yola International Airport (IATA: YOL, ICAO: DNYO), A8, 640211, Jimeta Yola. Yola Airport (IATA: YOL) is one of the domestic airports in Nigeria, offering flights throughout the country. YOL is a 30-minute drive from the city centre of Yola. It is 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) northwest of Yola. Yola Inteernational Airport is owned and operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Yola Airport was commissioned on October 27th 1984. The airport has night landing capabilities, but for most flights in non-international designated airports, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria restricts night operations except for passenger flights during pilgrimage (Hajj). The Yola Airport serves no international airlines, but domestic airlines, such as Arik Air, Azman Air, Med-View Airlines, Areo, Contractors, Air Peace, Air Dornier aviation Nigereia and Mar Air and the states thy fly to are Abuha, Lagos, Kano and Maiduguri. In 2015, Yola Airport received 158,896 passengers.

By bus[edit]

There are many bus transport companies in Yola that offer daily services from almost all major cities and States around the country. The buses are usually comfortable for short and long journey. You can travel to Yola from major cities like Abuja, Lagos, Kano. Some of the transport companies are:

  • The Young Shall Grow Motors Limited, By Total Filling Station, Opposite Stanbic IBTC Bank, close to Market, +234 8064821855, . Daily 6AM-6PM, Monday-Sunday. Young Shall Grow Motors provides buses for inter state and inter country travels in a reliable sense. This bus transport company journeys through numerous routes with bus parks and terminals located in the three regions of the country. Its routes include Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja, Kano, Sokoto, Maiduguri, Jos, Yola, Onitsha, Nnewi, Enugu, Owerri, Aba, Umuaiha, Port-Harcourt, Uyo and Calabar. ₦5,100-7,550.
  • Errand Express located at No 10, Hospital Road. Its services include: logistics outsourcing, shipping, freight forwarding, courier services, warehousing, etc customer care line: +234 806 265 1761
  • GUO Transport located at Jendutu Park, customer care line: +234 807 509 0653, +234 908 671 2710, +234 700 012 1000
  • Oyiad Transport and Logistics located at Modibbo Street, Yola, Adamawa
  • Adamawa Transport company Limited located at 21A, Sir Kashim Ibrahi­m Way.

Get around[edit]

Yola being the state capital, it is a major transport hub with buses and taxis heading North to Mubi and Maiduguri, West to Numan, Gombe, jalingo and Bauchi and South to Makurdi and Katsina Ala. Taxis are available to Garoua in Cameroon. There is an airport with regular flights to Abuja, Kano, Maiduguri and Lagos.


  • Gashaka Gumti National Park (GGNP), Gashaka, Yola, Adamawa State. Nigeria’s largest national park was gazetted from two game reserves in 1991. It is located in the mountainous region of North-Eastern Nigeria adjacent to the international border with Cameroon. There is a wide variety of diversity because of the many different terrains, such as savannah grasslands, montane forests, and steep, mountainous regions. Gashaka Gumti National Park is approximately two-thirds of Nigeria's land, which places it within the middle of the African Plate. The only hazard that effects the national park are landslides. This national park has about 103 species of mammals. These species include yellow-backed duiker, African golden cat (Profelis aurata), African buffalo and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). The Park is contiguous with Faro and Tchabal Mbado National Parks in the Republic of Cameroon. The Park experiences varying pleasant weather conditions, depending on one’s location within the Park. These range from tropical dry humid, tropical moist humid in the lowlands to sub tropical highland weather on the high plateau around Chappal waddi, Sabere and Fillinga. This corner of West Africa is surely one of Africa’s best kept secrets. The Park also contains some historic sites one of which is the pre-1918 German fort and garrison top of Gashaka Hill which was once used as a “ watch tower ” by the German military expedition to that area. Gashaka sector of the park can be accessed through Katsina Ala-Takum-Bali-Serti –Bodel Gate and the other from Jalingo-Mutum Biyu-Bali-Serti-Bodel Gate, while the main access to Gumti sector is from Yola-Mayo Belwa-Ganye-Sugu-Toungo.
  • Sukur or Sukur Cultural Landscape. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Sukur or Sukur Cultural Landscape is located on a hill above the village of Sukur in the Adamawa State. It is located about 120 km south of Maidaguri local government area of Adamawa state in Northeast Nigeria, in the Mandara Mountains close to Nigeria/Cameroon border.It has a total area of 764.4 ha (1,889 acres). It is about 290 km from Yola, the Adamawa state capital of North Eastern Nigeria. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on a hill above the village of Sukur. Its inscription by UNESCO was done under the Criteria of iii, v and vi in 1999 was based on the cultural heritage of the Hidi's Palace complex and village, material culture, and the naturally-terraced fields. which are in an intact condition. Sukur is Africa's first cultural landscape to receive World Heritage List inscription. It is a hilltop settlement which stood at an elevation of 1045 m. The total land area covered by the site is 1942.50 ha with core zone having 764.40 ha and the buffer zone 1178.10 ha respectively. Sukur is an ancient settlement with a recorded history of iron smelting technology, flourishing trade, and strong political institution dating back to the 16th century. The area has been under essentially the same form of land management for at least 400 years, under the Dur dynasty of chiefs. Local granite has been used to build terraced fields (which are invested with a spiritual significance with sacred trees and ritual sites), and defensive dry stone walls around homesteads. The area has a long tradition of iron smelting, and village architecture reflects the prevailing social hierarchy, the most prominent set of buildings being the Hidi (chief’s) Palace located on a hilltop overlooking the rest of the village.
  • The Three Sisters is the name given to a natural body of mountains in Song LGA of Adamawa state. Although it is not clearly known how the name of the hill came about, people around the place really behave in appreciation of the natural wonder of this hill. They believe the threesome mountains form a part of them and as such, take them as family. The place is not too far from Jimeta in Yola, because it is just about an hour’s drive from the Adamawa state capital. One interesting aspect of the tree sisters hills is that when you are approaching the mountains, one would only see the three slanting inwards to the right. The most prominent one is the mountain to the left and it is the only one that could be climbed by the adventurous at heart.
  • Mandara Mountains are a volcanic range extending about 190 km along the northern part of the Cameroon–Nigeria border, from the Benue River in the south to the north-west of Maroua in the north.
  • Koma is a relatively primitive hill-dwelling ethnic group in northern Adamawa, in the Atlantika. The Koma people are divided into three main groups, the hill-dwelling Beya and Ndamti, and the Vomni and Verre lowlanders.
  • Kiri Dam is located in Shelleng local government area of Adamawa State in the North East of Nigeria, built across the Gongola River. It is a 1.2 km long, 20 m high zoned embankment with an internal clay blanket. The dam was mainly completed in 1982. The reservoir has a capacity of 615 million m³. This dam was built to provide irrigation for the Savannah Sugar Company (SSC) which is a large-scale sugar cane plantation and processing company set up as a joint venture between the Nigerian Federal Government and the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), London. The Commonwealth Development Corporation was managing agent for the project, and the construction contract was awarded to NECCO, a company largely owned by the government.


Njuwa fishing festival is an annual fishing festival performed by the Buatiye (Bata) people of Rugange, Njoboliyo, Dasin, Dulo, Bagale, Dagri, and Vunoklan villages of Adamawa Emirate. Although there is no fixed date for the festival, it usually takes place when the level of the water in the lake reduces. In most cases, it comes up in the month of April. The fishing festival attracts many people from within and outside the state. It is one of the numerous festivals in the state that attracts milling crowds. Some of these festivals include Kuchichep in Takum, Ibi fishing festival in Ibi, Vunon wrestling in Farai near Numan, Yinagu near Gulak and Kilashe feast at Mbulo near Ganye. The festival is usually a two-day festival and it is normally marked by a lot of performances, ranging from traditional dances to competitive running, tug-of-war, boat riding, swimming, fishing, etc. The festival attracts many fishermen with different kinds of style and skill in catching fish. While some make good use of their bare hands and gourds to catch fish, others make use of nets to do so.


Yolal has both local markets and supermarkets where visitors and tourists can go and buy anything they need.


  • 1 Abba Super Market, Madumari, Yola. Daily 6AM-10PM. Abba Super Market Abba sells such products like food items, groceries, gift items, wines, beauty products, wears among others at an affordable price.
  • 2 Naiwa Dynasty, No. 50 Numan Road, Madumari, +234 813 452 1263. Monday-Sunday 24 hours. Naiwa Dynasty sells all types of grans and dry spices especially corn, maize, beans, guinea beans, green peas, groundnuts, pepper etc.


  • 1 Aun Pizzeria, +234 803 391 8967. Daily 7:30AM-10PM. Aun Pizzeria offers African and international cuisine, dine-in, buy & take away, home delivery services, car parking space for customers and catering services.
  • 2 Lamido Zubairu Restaurant, Lamido Zubairu Way, opposite Distance Learning. Daily 9AM-10:30PM. Lamido Zubairu Restaurant deals on local and inter-continental foods.
  • 3 Damada Munchies, Yola Bye - Pass Rd, +234 813 553 5535. Damada Munchies deals on both local and inter-continental cuisines.



  • Aun Hotel Conference Center & Spa, 228 Modibbo Adama Way, +234 805 870 5555. The Aun Hotel is the perfect place to stay, whether for a busy traveler or for families visiting the Jimeta/Yola area. The hotel also has a conference center that can accommodate up to 150 people for buffet-style lunches & dinners.

Stay safe[edit]


In Yola just like any other city in Nigeria, you would most likely find a reliable coverage of the 2G/3G mobile networks in most areas of this city, but reliable coverage of the 4G network might only be limited to some areas in Yola. Signal strength might diminish further away from cities' centers, and you might occasionally experience a network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers in some remote areas in the region. Different networks tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations of the region at different times.

MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel (Zain) and GLO are all available service providers. So if you are planning a visit to Yola you should come with more than one phone or a phone that has multiple SIM cards , preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seems that MTN performs better than other networks, although it's service rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.

Glo (or Globacom) boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, only that you might not be able to enjoy the privilege in some locations. Also, Airtel formerly known as Zain and Celtel is another service provider which is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network reliability. And 9Mobile (formerly Etisalat) usually also performs well in internet browsing speed too but with locational limitations as well, plus data rate is fairly higher.

Go next[edit]

  • Numan
  • Jalingo
  • Ganye
  • Fufore
  • Jimeta
  • Mubi

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