Located in North-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Kaduna State is one of the 36 states of the in Nigeria with its capital in Kaduna city.
The old Kaduna State was made up of Zaria and Katsina provinces until 1987 when Katsina Province was carved out to form the present Katsina State. So bountifully blessed by nature, it has a rich cultural heritage and very liberal, hospitable and peace loving people.
Kaduna state is the successor to the old Northern Region of Nigeria, which had its capital at Kaduna. In 1967 this was split up into six states, one of which was the North-Central State, whose name was changed to Kaduna State in 1976.
The State was further divided in 1987, losing the area now part of Katsina State. Kaduna derives its name from the Hausa word ‘KADA’ meaning crocodile and ‘Kaduna’ is the Hausa plural word for crocodiles many of which abounded in River Kaduna.
People & Culture
Kaduna State is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic state and the main ethnic groups include Fulani, Hausa, Bajju, Atyap, Jaba, Adara, Gbagyi, Kurama, Ninzo, Ham, Koro, Kagoro, Gwong, Numana, Gure, Kaninkon, Moro’a, Kagoma, Kadara etc. As a culturally diverse people, Kaduna has a rich cultural heritage evidence in her diverse religious practices, cultural festivals, music and dances, cuisines and culinary among others.
Due to the recent violent attacks in Kaduna and some other part of northern Nigeria cities/towns, visitors are advised not to travel up north for safety purpose. Please wait until you are told to do so by the Nigerian security agency.
Kaduna State occupies part of the central position of the Northern part of Nigeria and shares common borders with Zamfara, Katsina, Niger, Kano, Bauchi and Plateau States. To the South-West, the State shares a border with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The State occupies an area of approximately 48,473.2 square kilometers and has a population of more than 6 million (2006 census).
The entire land structure of the state consists of an undulating plateau with major rivers in the State including River Kaduna, River Wonderful in Kafanchan, River Kagom, River Gurara and Galma. There are two main seasons in the state which are; the dry windy season and the rainy (wet) seasons.
The wet season is usually from April through October with great variations as you move North-Wards. On the average, the State enjoys a rainy season of about 5 months. There is heavy rainfall in the southern parts of the state like Kafanchan and northern parts like in Zaria with an average rainfall of about 1016mm.
The State extends from the tropical grassland known as Guinea Savannah to the Sudan Savannah in the North. The grassland is a vast region covering the Southern part of the State to about Latitude 1100’’ North of the equator. The prevailing vegetation of tall grass and big trees are of economic importance during both the wet and dry season.
Cities & Towns
Other main cities and towns include Kaduna, Zaria, Kagoro, Kafanchan, Kachia and Zonkwa
Emir’s Palace, Zaria
Located opposite the central mosque, the palace is rich in cultural artifacts and unique architectural design. The palace’s interior is more functional and is populated by a large retinue including the dogara – brightly dressed palace guards.
City Wall, Zaria
Zaria city wall perhaps remains the best preserved among the cities of northern Nigeria. The walls constructed during the reigns of Queen Amina circumnavigate the city and they are between 14 and 16km long and are pierced by 8 gates.
Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria
This is the first university to be established in the northern part of Nigeria and it is one of the top educational institutions in Nigeria.
Barewa College, Zaria
The oldest high school in the north is where most of Nigeria’s prominent political and military leaders were educated.
CHELTECH (Leather Processing Institute) Samaru, Zaria
This is a training institute where processing and uses of leather are being taught in both modern technology and traditional method.
This is the iconic building where Lord Lugard, the colonial governor, amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914, making Nigeria one geographical entity. It was also where cease-fire was declared in 1970 to end the Nigeria Civil War.
Nok is one of Africa’s most famous archaeological sites, which is set deep in the countryside. It’s from this area that Nigeria’s famous and much-studied terracotta sculptures originated around 500BC.
Fifth Chukker Resorts
The fifth chukker resort blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings set on 130 hectares of land, it also offers world-class sports entertainment in a casually elegant environmnent. Fifth chukker is undoubtedly one of the finest facilities in the country to play and observe the dramatic and artistic sport of polo. The resort is usually opened to members; and during tournaments to the public with tickets.
Lord Lugard Residence
This is a one-storey cottage where Lord Lugard lived during the amalgamation period and it is located opposite the amalgamation house. This site was claimed to be the first administrative headquarters of the region before it was relocated to Calabar.
Matsirga Waterfalls is situated in Kafanchan, about 227 kilometers south of Kaduna. The water drops 30 meters into a gorge that has been supported by the beautiful rocks. The fresh cool breeze around the area has something to offer for tourists. The proximity of the Kagoro Hills and Nok Museum provides an added advantage to tourists visiting the area.
Trappco Ranch & Resort
Purposely established as a relaxation center for the tourists, Trappco Resorts is one of the must-visit places in Kaduna city because it has established itself as a condusive and favourable place for the visiting tourists.
Nearby Kaduna metropolis in the picturesque surroundings of ancient inselberg formations your will find various possibilities to relax and enjoy yourself. You can go trekking, hiking, fishing, inline skating or just rent a bike.
The city got its name from this river. The evening sight-seeing along the river provides a beautiful scenery attractively magnificent and amazing.
Lord Lugard Foot Bridge
This bridge was transported down to Kaduna in 1920 by Lord Lugard when he removed his headquaters from Zungeru to Kaduna. Lord Lugard was the first colonial governor to appointed by the British. The bridge was erected 40 years (1880) before it was finally removed and transferred to Kaduna in 1920. The state government has given the garden a face lift in developing it into a tourist relaxation centre.
Lord Lugard Hall
This was the former house of assembly and house of chiefs during Nigeria’s first republic and became house of the legislature during the second republic between 1979 – 1983. It is an imposing structure that still maintains its allure as centre of political power in northern Nigeria.
St. Bartholomew’s Church
The old mud building, originally designed and constructed by the Church Missionary Society in 1929 still stands as strong as rock. The church is of traditional architectural design built of treated mud, cow dung and grass.
This tiny but interesting museum features wood carvings, masks and terracotta figures from the nearby Nok village, as well as a number of Benin bronzes. The Hausa traditional architecture in which the museum was built is most fascinating to see. There is also a small Hausa village at the back of the Museum where assorted handcrafts are made and sold. The village also features Hausa storytelling exhibitions and music.
Kamuku National Park
The national park which has a land area of about 1,120sq km of typical savanna woodland vegetation, also has a wide variety of birds and other animals like elephants, antelopes, oribi, waterbuck, hunting dog, wet cat, green monkey, side stripped hyena and jackal.
Kamuku can be accessed either through Kaduna-Birnin Gwari Road or Lagos–Ilorin–Mokwa to Birnin Gwari town.
The Durbar or Hawan Sallah as is locally called is a royal parade of thousands of men on horses adorned with garment and regalia. It is a colourful display of culture full of pomp and pageantry and a spectcular traditional concert of and bazaar of African music.
This festival is celebrated by the Kagoro people in the Southern part of Kaduna State. ‘Afan’ means mountain or hill and the festival marks the end of the annual harvest of grains and the beginning of the hunting expeditions as well as other numerous activities. The festival, which usually takes place on the first day of the new year has other processional features that include traditional dancers like ‘Kodai’, ‘Dodo’ dancers, Boys Brigade, Girls Brigade and many other colourful activities.
Tuk-Ham annual festival is a fusion of both “Ku” and “Fain” festivals, which were known to be celebrated by the forebears of the Ham (Jaba) people. The two-day festival usually comes up during Easter holidays and it features a lot of traditional dances and cultural displays.
Kalankuwa Cultural Festival
This is purely a cultural festival that is celebrated in the northern part of the Kaduna State and it is a kind of thanksgiving festival celebrated after the harvest season, which is usually between November and December. The festival, which entails young men and women coming together in a peaceful and friendly atmosphere to entertain themselves, is celebrated in Bomo village, Samaru in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.
Kaduna State Festival of Arts & Culture
This annual festival, which usually takes place between November and December is organised by Kaduna State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. It is a forum where all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State and private cultural organizations showcase their culture, expose talent, promote unity and encourage tourism in the State.
Apart from these festivals there are others celebrated in other parts of the State, such as Tuk-Gwong, the Baranzan (Bajju), the Bakulu (Ikulu), the Anghan (Kamantan), the Adara (Kadara), the Aninkon (Kaninko), the Moroa, the Ninzo, the Kataf and the Attakad. Most of them take place at the beginning of the year in January with a few at the end of the year and in April/May.
Arewa Chinese Restaurant
This is a popular Chinese restaurant in Kaduna offering well-choreographed service with their waiters smartly dressed in traditional Chinese silks in a stylishly decorated surrounding. The restaurant offers popular dishes such as shredded chicken and sweetcorn soup. Address: Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna. Tel: +234 62 240 088
This is one of the best café in Kaduna where a vibrant, professional crowd hang out. You can go for drinks or food (try the crusty pizza). There is also a great bakery section where you can buy pastries and this is also the place to come for ice cream in Kaduna. Address: 2 Ali Akilu Road, Kaduna. Tel: +234 62 246 154
One of the best restaurants in Kaduna that offers proper delicious African dishes. It also offers ice cream, barbecue, snacks etc. Address: 2 Lamido Road, Kaduna. Tel: +234 N/A
Kaduna Rugby Club Restaurant
Kaduna Rugby Union Football Club offers good quality bar snacks and meals at considerably low prices. It also offers traditional English and European dishes as well as Nigerian dishes. Contact: Mohammed Buhari Way (WAFF Road), Kaduna. Tel: +234 N/A
Hamdalah Hotel Chinese Restaurant
This is an excellent Chinese restaurant located on the first floor of the Hamdalah Hotel and the quality of their food and service is excellent at moderate prices. Contact: Waff Rd, Kaduna. Tel: +234 N/A
Les Bora Hotel Restaurant
This is one of the top restaurants in Kaduna where customers can selected fish from the pool of unwitting live catfish and have it freshly prepared to your taste. The pepper soup offered here is delicious and one of a kind. Contact: Les Bora Hotel, 4 Rabah Road, Kaduna. Tel: +234 803 328 2614
Kasua Gold Market, Kaduna
This prominent market sprawls from one end of Ahmadu Bello Way to the other. Although it is home to all sorts of goods, it is known mainly for the array of shops that sell, buy or repair gold jewellery. Those who engage in this trade are Hausa gold merchants who travel to Saudi Arabia to purchase jewellery in large quantities for sale here. This is weighed and sold per gram. Kasua market is also good for name engravings.
NTI Conference Center Located in Kaduna, NTI Conference Center offers classy accommodation and facilities that include satelite T.V, Air Conditioning, 24 hours room service, a computer room, a conference center, 24 power supply. Contact: Zaria Road, Kaduna. Tel: +234 62- 312442, 317039
Located in the heart of Kaduna, the hotel offers classy accommodation in single rooms, double rooms, VIP suites and presidential suites. Other features include satellite TV, air-conditioning, 24 hours room service, a restaurant, a standard swimming pool, conference halls for events, a bar that serves a variety of assorted drinks, Internet access etc. Contact: Muhammadu Buhari Way, Kaduna. Tel: +234 (0)62 245440 – 8
Located in the business district of Kaduna, Aso Motel offers excellent accommodation with tastefully furnished rooms and facilities such as satelite TV, air-conditioning, 24 hours room service, restaurant, an outdoor bukka shop, bar etc. Contact: 14 Muhammadu Buhari Way, Kaduna. Tel: +234 N/A
Kongo Conference Hotel
This is another Zaria hotel that offer superb accommodation and excellent services at considerably moderate prices. The hotel has facilities such as restaurant and bar, conference hall, gym, swimming pool with sit out bar, internet access etc. Contact: Old Jos Road, Beside Kongo Campus, A.B.U Zaria. Tel: +234 (0)69-332872-4
Adriel Hotel is one of top hotels in Kaduna, their rooms come with en-suite bathrooms and internet connectivity. The hotel has an execellent restaurant and bar well beautified with a lush green gardens and exotic plants.Contact: No. 4, Bank Road, Off Ahmadu Bello Way. Tel: +234 702-964-5826, 0702-964-5833
Global Budget Hotel
This is a budget hotel that offers excellent services with well-furnished rooms, a gym, restaurants etc. Contact: Kaduna-Kano Express Rd, off Wusasa Junction, Zaria. Tel: +234 N/A
Zecool Hotels Ltd
Situated in one of the most secured and serene area of Barnawa, Zecool Hotel is a Budget hotel with 90 tastefully furnished rooms and suites equipped with Satelite TV, 24 hrs restaurant and bar service with choice of Nigerian and continental dishes served with cocktail drinks, and exotic wines. Contact: No 3 zecool Crescent, Behind Mountain Of Fire Church Opposite GTB, Barnawa Kaduna. Tel: +234 703-906-5555, 805-927-3333