Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, is known for its seaport, its agricultural hub, and its exquisite carnival. But it is most popular as a tourist destination because of its wonders of nature. One of them is the Agbokim Waterfall. Surrounded by lush greenery and hills, it is an alluring collection of cascades, creating an impressive seven-part waterfall. During the rainy season, it produces a blend of beautiful rainbow colors that make the scenery magical.
Named after the host town, Agbokim Waterfall is located around 315 km from Calabar. It is about 17 km from Ikom, the nearest village, in Etung LGA, and very close to the Nigerian-Cameroon border. It is made up of seven tributaries of a river originating from Buanchor, also in Cross River State. Under the large semi-circular cliff is an underground tunnel and a mini cave. The cave is home to a unique species of bats.
According to local lore, the waterfall was discovered in the early 1900s by a hunter named NTankum. On seeing the fertile landmass, he brought his families to live there. Those early inhabitants are all Ijagam people. Over the years, inhabitants have worked tirelessly to encourage afforestation, which aids the increase in the volume of water.
The 25-metre-high waterfall is one of the macro hydro points in Cross River State, providing power for industrial, agricultural, and domestic uses. The water’s flow rate is worth approximately 2.2 mega-watt power to the eight communities around it, populated by about 4,000 persons. It makes the waterfall flexible for a medium head plant filled with a Kaplan turbine. However, land acquisition problems, difficult and inaccessible sites, spare availability of geological surveys, and funding have constrained the development of hydro schemes.
Agbokim Waterfall is also a recreational hub. Its closeness to Cameroon provides tourists opportunity for a cross-border experience.