Seeing the title of this post you are likely wondering what cool destination Kaduna State, located in the northern part of Nigeria, could have. Fortunately for us Nigeria lovers, despite the havoc terrorism and religious riots have wrought, they haven’t been able to destroy the spirit of the state and its hidden gems.
There is a gorgeous Castle in Kaduna State called Kajuru Castle. I found it online while searching for a unique spot to shoot pre-wedding pictures for my Husband and I. After contacting them via email, we were booked for a visit in April, 2014 (a unique package for us)
Kaduna State is politically classified as belonging to the now ‘North – West’ zone of the current six (6) Geo – political zones of Nigeria. The Hausa and Fulani are the dominant ethnic groups followed by at least 60 others. Kaduna is one of the main education centers in Nigeria, with many colleges, institutes and the most recognized university in Nigeria (Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria). The current Governor is Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
Visa To Kaduna
Great news! No visa required for Nigerians. 😀
Getting to Kajuru, Kaduna
You can either drive directly to the castle or get a local flight from whatever state you are in to Kaduna airport and then drive to the castle. We stay in Abuja so we drove. It took about 3 hours to get there with directions from the Manager. The road from Abuja to Kaduna was pretty smooth but once you turn into the road to Kajuru, bumpy. It was a fun trip nonetheless and we were a 3 car convoy.
Accommodation & Facilities
The Castle has 5 standard bedrooms; 1 master bedroom in the main house and 4 sizable dungeon rooms in the tower. The rooms can accommodate 10-12 people comfortably. They also have outdoor beds, extra mattresses and cushions.
There is a fee for daytime visits/tours and for spending the night. There is an extra fee if they will cater to your feeding.
Bookings are made at least 2 weeks before the intended date via the castle manager to confirm availability and a non-refundable 60% of the total fee is made at least 1 week before arrival and the balance, before departure.
Once you have been booked for a date to go there (whether as a couple or group of friends), no other bookings will be accepted for that same day, so you’ll have the castle to yourself to tour, take pictures and enjoy all your fun activities.
It costs approximately N230,000 for one night, if you intend to spend more nights, you can request a discount from the manager. It is advisable to go as a group of friends to spread the cost per head and have more fun.
They have a standard kitchen with all the utensils you may require; Fridge, Microwave, an oven that can roast a whole pig or goat, Gas cooker, dishes, cutlery, cups, etc.
They have a sauna, an aluminium swimming pool, 24 hours light and water
The castle is guided by two she dragons who spit out fire at night to send away enemies.
The castle provides drinking water (as much as required) You have the option of self- catering or castle catering.
For self- catering, you can bring as much food (raw or cooked), snacks, sweets, fruits, drinks(alcoholic or non-alcoholic), etc. as you like
For castle catering, you make your meal requests and you will be informed of the amount you will need to pay.
Activities to try
- Castle tour
- Mountain climbing
- A tour around the village
- Visit to the Dam
- Board Games
- Karaoke (we took our own machine and mics there)
You will also enjoy the total quietness and see nature at its peak.
- Sunscreen!! Sun be blazing out there
- Hiking shoes and outfit
- Swim wear
- Lightweight casual outfits
- Your choice of music
- A good camera, you definitely want to capture this, trust me
Don’t forget to sign your name in the guest book with the quill pen!
It was absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t believe such a beauty was in Nigeria. I’m glad we did not settle for a studio photo-shoot. Kajuru Castle has a serene atmosphere with beautiful views and landscape. We had the time of our lives as brief as our visit was (4 hours) and our photographer thanked us for taking him there. Everyone was courteous and pleasant, we were sad to leave. Our pictures also turned out stunning!
Fast-forward to May 1st 2015, we went back!! We just had to one way or another.
We did a road trip from Abuja to Kaduna as a convoy very early in the morning and straight to the castle. We went fully loaded with games (Monopoly, Scrabble, Ludo, Couples game, Ayo, Cards), a Karaoke machine & 2 mics, a Shisha bong, lots of food/snacks (cereal, jollof rice, peppered chicken, gizdodo, asun, spaghetti, pizza, fried chicken, plantain, teriyaki sauce, sweet chilli beef sauce, cookies, Haribo strawberries, biscuits, oats, pringles, etc.) and drinks.
We got in around 10am and the 1st call of duty was a tour of the entire Castle by the lovely manager with a brief history lesson on its existence. Once everyone had settled their luggage in the rooms, 2nd call of duty was to hit that awesome pool hard! lol. Those that were not in the pool broke off into sections and picked their games of choice while we all chatted, took pictures and listened to the jams filling the castle. The landscape and serenity was surreal.
After lunch and the arrival of our remaining friends (we were 12 in total), it was time to go hiking on one of the hills close to the castle. Back to the castle it was already dinner time, we all had dinner, took a second wade in the pool before retreating to the Cabana area to churn out some tunes from the karaoke machine. It was good fun with loads of laughter at off-key singing.
After Karaoke, it was time for drinking games and ‘Concentration’ was eventually agreed on as the game of choice. I was out by the 2nd rotation. lol. plus I had no interest in drinking any alcohol. Three outdoor beds had been set-up by this time for those that would sleep out. Those of us out of the game had our jisting session by the pool beds before deciding to call it a night around past 1am. We still left some people playing games out.
The outdoor bed was bliss! It was a proper comfy bed on an iron stand and comes with a Duvet and tent like mosquito net covering to keep any bugs out, I got loads of breeze enjoying the view and got to catch the sunrise. The bed is typically for 1 but can fit 2 people.
We were up bright and early, while chatting the ladies got to make a big yummy breakfast (Waffles, sausages, scrambled eggs and baked beans with Hershey’s strawberry and chocolate syrup). Next up more games, chilling, a swimming competition by the guys, taking more pics, vids and jisting. After lunch we packed up our luggage into the cars and took in the last bits of the castle awesomeness.
We signed the Castle Guest Book with the quill pen and took group pics in front of the castle gates before heading out of the castle. By 3:30pm we were on our way back to Abuja as a convoy and got in around 7pm.
It felt like we had spent an entire weekend at the castle and it was a worthwhile experience. I have a feeling we will be going back again 😀