a së kwa ndahay hayi
do know you people here
Do you know anybody here?

A Sukur notable

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This page presently comprises four elements: a brief Travel Advisory, a Tour of Sukur in the form of a PowerPoint presentation in .pdf format, and an essay on Sukur Social Geography, which discusses the nature of Sukur space ranging from the regional perspective to that of subdivisions within village wards. Several maps illustrate the various social scales from ethnic group to ward and subward. For anyone intending to visit Sukur for longer than a day, or to conduct any kind of research, this is required reading.

The fourth section on Tourism first summarizes and then critiques the contributions of Nigerian academics on various aspects of tourism and cultural heritage relating to the Sukur Cultural Landscape and its people.

A Travel Advisory (15 Dec. 2020)

Sadly, the authors have not been able to visit Sukur since 2008; from 2014 this has been on account of the threat from Boko Haram. Since 2018 this threat has been much reduced and Nigerian and occasional foreign visitors have visited the World Heritage cultural landscape, but none for visits of more than a day or two so far as we know. We cannot offer advice to potential visitors, except to advise them, well prior to departure, to contact one or both of the Adamawa State Tourist office and the National Commission on Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the Federal agency located in Abuja responsible for the Sukur cultural landscape. It has National Museums in both Yola and Maiduguri.

For present purposes, let us assume that your first visit will be virtual ...

The Virtual Tour

You will first climb up to the Sukur plateau by the northern paved way,then see the plateau in various seasons, meet Sakun going about their business or relaxing, and return by a different route to Mefir Suku, the village on the plain that, every Tuesday, holds a market visited by both Sukur and Margi. If you are planning to spend the night at Sukur, Tuesday is the best day to arrive since from early afternoon on there are always people willing to carry your bags up the mountain.

This (virtual) tour is set in the 1990s, since when there have been several changes consequent in part upon Sukur gaining world heritage status. First of all, of course, is the threat of Boko Haram, which has effectively prevented would-be tourists from visiting. For a brief decade in the 2000s visiting Sukur became more comfortable and less strenuous. A all-weather tarred road runs between the main Maiduguri >> Madagali-Sukur turnoff-Gulak >> Yola road and Mefir Suku. It continues, though with some deterioration, to Rugudum, a plains quarter mainly occupied by Sukur, and the base of the mountain. Motorbike taxis were usually available to carry visitors over any and every part of this distance. However you still had to climb the hill on foot, even if there were now occasional benches upon which to take a break.

Rugudum is or was the site of Sukur Tourist Haven, a privately owned guest house with several large round rooms for rent and possibilities for obtaining meals. A Sukur World Heritage Site Resort Project was at one time in progress and had already constructed chalets and other facilities. Boko Haram put n end to all that, and what the situation is now is unclear.

Rugudum is also where Simon Wayda, the official guide to Sukur, resides. Anyone will direct you to his house but it is best to ask for him first in Mefir Suku.

The slideshow is presented as a .pdf file through which you can move at your own speed.


View from the Sukur plateau across to Mt Mədləŋ and down to the plains. The northern paved way climbs the ridge in the middle distance to a point below and to the right of the summit. Its unpaved portion can be seen as a line sloping down to the left edge of the picture.








Striga, a beautiful plant growing in the fields, is also called witchweed.   It is one of the few flowering plants that parasitises others, here robbing sorghum, millet, and maize of water and nutrients.





























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