At the beginning of the month, Naija Nomads and I organised a trip to Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State and it was a huge success. I had seen so many pictures and was very excited that I was finally going to see it for myself.
We were 12 in number (10 participants & two representatives from the organisers) and take off time which was meant to be 7am, was from the Hilton’s parking lot in Abuja (Those who live in Kaduna drove down to the castle). Our guests were treated to hot chocolate/coffee and sandwiches before take off and were all given their goody bags.
There are no words to explain Kajuru Castle. It was breathtaking and I wish we stayed there longer. We had such an amazing time. We took in the great views as we were surrounded by nothing but mountains/valleys, played games, had a barbecue, took a tour of the castle and listened to its history. The next day before heading back to Abuja, we went on an hour long hike on Lido Rock. Since it’s a self catering castle, we went with food, drinks and snacks.
It is definitely one of Nigeria’s best kept secrets and I’m glad I got to unravel it with a fun group of people. I personally loved that it was in the middle of nowhere. Getting away is always a great idea.
A big thank you to all our sponsors – Olorisupergal, Stylemeafrica, Greenade Smoothies, Rum n Passion, Wilson’s Juice, Smooch Energy Drink, Lola’s Pretzels, Nkataa online, Napoj Z Celow, Nature’s Bar, Blink Ng, 1Babse, Stretford Hill, Tooms Fruits & Kings Deli.
I also want to say thank you to our participants (who came from Lagos, Abuja & Kaduna), for trusting us enough to come along on this journey. They made it worth it and I’m glad they enjoyed it. Ibukun Williams also blessed us with his photography skills and is responsible for a lot of our wonderful pictures.
Here’s what some of our participants had to say –
Chinenye: The amazing part is that we stuck to our plan. The organisers definitely gave us the royal treatment.
Tayo: It was so stress free. I didn’t even have to worry about waking up on time.
Ibukun: The planning was superb. They seemed to have thought of everything. Looking back now, I can’t find any flaw with regards to planning and logistics.
Marho: The stresses of life and living were the last things on our minds.
Tare: The organisers had thought of fun and creative ways to acquaint us with each other and to organise the room pairings. They also lined up a great itinerary of activities for the night.
Teni: The most attractive thing to me was that I didn’t have to do any planning, all I need to do was pay up and show up.
Mayowa: I would first like to start by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to Unravelling Nigeria and Naija Nomads for putting together and arranging such a fun filled weekend Getaway.
I especially liked how the how the hosts ensured there was never a dull moment during our stay as activities varied from pool games to board games and even making a music video. Off course no trip is complete without a few drinking games.
Thank you Unravelling Nigeria most especially for securing an alternative source of transport for me when I couldn’t make the group departure time even though it was at the very last minute.
Chinenye: It was all I dreamed of and much more.
Tayo: It was amazing
Ibukun: I was hesitant and indecisive when I heard about the visit, but then I was blown away when I saw what the location looked like. Being a photographer, I saw the enormous possibilities. It was worth it.
Marho: I got to make my fantasy of living in a castle and being treated like royalty a reality. It has all the features and trappings you would expect from a typical medieval castle. Stone towers – check! Located on a hill – check! Impressive view of the surrounding country side – check! Dungeons & secret rooms – double check! It even has a dining room with shields, swords and halberds mounted on the walls!! Believe me when I say this place is the real deal!!
Tare: On getting to the castle, the edifice and its surroundings are truly one which you can only experience in person.
Teni: First time I heard about the castle, it became a place to visit. The pictures were beautiful and impressive especially
The view of the castle and the nature that surrounds it is breathtaking. It is a get away right at home. It has dungeon rooms, a princess tour, castle dragon (which was really a crocodile or an alligator, I forget), a pool, a sauna, a king room, a hidden closet behind a book shelf, a kitchen that had everything we needed, a roof top party area and a ‘castle witch’ who welcomed us.
Mayowa: Kajuru Castle not only proved to be an exceptional choice but also lived up to the trips slogan “Royals for a night”. Upon arriving Kajuru Castle, you cant help but notice the fantastic views the castle provides. After taking in the serenity and beauty of the castle a quick exploration showed that although well equipped with modern conveniences such as a fridge, a microwave etc. The castle mostly retains its medieval appeal.
Chinenye: We all met at the pick up point, got introduced to the 12 people I would be spending over 35 hours with and started the journey to the Castle.
We had a blast, swam (for those who were brave as it was cold), had the yummiest lunch party, drank and played games. There was also an all white bbq party that ROCKED so bad, I even got a lap dance by this cutie tdh :). We played concentration till we downed almost 4 bottles of tequila.
Hiking was glorious, if you ever doubted Gods existence, the scenery would definitely give you a rethink. 3 hours later we walked back, passed an amazing lake, took tons of pictures, we even marched on our way down from the mountain…lol
My highlights were –
- The Royal treatment by the organizers
- The amazing connection we had and are still sharing two weeks later
- The scenery and ambiance of the Castle
Tayo: I’m going everywhere with you guys.
Ibukun: Getting to the pickup point in Abuja, I was first offered hot
coffee and in my mind I’m like ‘Wow, they seem to have it all covered’.
Everything was awesome. I had my doubts about the one day one night thing, so far, I think it was worth it. From the people to the location, the games, the experience and everything.
Shout out to the new friends I made and the old ones I knew who came along. I must say that was the key factor to having fun. Put them anywhere and I’ll be sure to make it.
Marho: I got to spend a weekend there with some awesome, fun loving people who elevated the whole experience to a whole other level. We ate, we drank, we played games, we danced and made merry. We bonded over cocktails and barbecued chicken! The time of our lives is a more than an apt description for what we all experienced that weekend.
If you’re looking for an escape into your royal fantasies without having to leave the borders of Nigeria, then you should definitely plan a trip to Kajuru Castle. Don’t go alone, bring along your best buds, food, drinks, even themed costumes if you want to fully realize the fantasy of staying in a castle. You will not be disappointed, I guarantee that!
Tare: Despite the cold and the icy water of the pool, a few of us still went in. We had immense fun playing games, taking in the beautiful landscape and ‘shooting’ music videos. At night, we had an all white bbq party by the pool (no one went in this time) which was awesome, but not the highlight of the trip. The party moved indoors around 11pm and ended about 12:30am…it was a long, but most enjoyable day.
In the morning, we all got up (albeit reluctantly), it was cold, we had drank a lot and I had slept late. Next on the itinerary was Aerobics and mountain hiking; I’d rather sleep, but our chaperon insisted and I am glad. The hike was the best part of the trip. We truly had a great time, some of us going further than others.
We had breakfast, accompanied with the awesome smoothies provided by Greenade Smoothies, took more pictures, including our now famous ‘Avengers Assemble’ shot and headed back to Abuja
No matter how many videos, pictures or stories you read or listen to about Royals for a Night, you can not understand how great it was till you allow Unravelling Nigeria and Naija Nomads make you royalty.
Teni: I was skeptical about being in a group of strangers so I hoped for the best. I had a blast. It was indeed a wonderful weekend getaway. I met new people, crazy but a wonderful bunch. Our road trip to the castle was fun and we were all eager to experience the castle. As we approached the gates, our excitement heightened.
Our stay was for one night and we had activities lined up until we left. We started off with lunch by the poolside. There was so much to eat and drink with fun games. In the evening we had an all white BBQ party.
The next morning despite the cold we embarked on a hike up Lido Rock. Nature is indeed beautiful.We were treated to a nice breakfast after the hike which consisted of banana bread, fruits & delicious Greenade Smoothies.
When our time at the castle came to an end, we all didn’t want to get back to reality.
The experience was surreal and I enjoyed every moment.
Mayowa: Once we had settled in the entertainment began as our hosts Unravelling Nigeria and Naija Nomads had instructed all guests to change to pool friendly outfits as they had made arrangements for pool games, food, drinks and alcohol to be enjoyed by their guests.
The food varied from a range of the staple rice and chicken, to cupcakes and cookies to satisfy our sweet tooth; the tequila provided by one of our sponsors ensured everyone had a smile on their face till the end of the night.
My general experience was one I would never trade for anything else and would re-live in a heartbeat provided the same people and hosts are on board.
Chinenye: Well the pool was freezing, it may make sense to go before the harmattan starts.
Ibukun: The only things I did not enjoy were the fact that it was one night (I’d had loved to do at least two).
Secondly the weather, not that it wasn’t awesome but it didn’t allow me swim much because the water was cold (crying).
Teni: The cold
I hope you enjoyed their individual input and you were able to experience our trip through the pictures.
Things to note on Kajuru Castle
- It is a self catering castle, so you must take your food, drinks snacks etc. They provide water.
- For stay over guests, the maximum number is 12, however if it’s a day visit there’s no limit.
- The castle costs N230,000 a night (you rent the whole castle not just a room)
- No two groups can stay in the castle at the same time.
- As it is in the middle of mountains and valleys, access to internet is pretty much non existent except for Airtel and Etisalat users. However with all other networks, you can make calls/send texts.
- The sockets are European and so you can either take an adapter or charge your electronic devices in the kitchen were extension cables have been provided.
- Towels, slippers and blankets are provided in all 5 rooms.
- If you do not like the cold, avoid going during the harmattan period.
- There are no irons provided, so either take one or take clothes that won’t require an iron.
- The castle is approximately 3 hours from Abuja and 45km from Kaduna.
- It is not a Nigerian monument. It was built in 1978 by a German expatriate when he blasted off the top of a rock.
- You can click here to see more pictures that went up on instagram.
Ps, have a Merry Christmas everyone.