Gembu Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, food and drink scene, where to stay, and tips for a safe and amazing experience in Gembu, Taraba State, Nigeria.

Introduction to Gembu

Gembu is a town located in Taraba State, in North East Nigeria, and is known for its rich cultural and natural heritage. It serves as the headquarters of Sardauna Local Government Area of the state and is home to several ethnic groups, including the Kuteb, Chamba, Jukun, and Mambila.

Gembu boasts of stunning landscape, rolling hills, lush forests, cultural festivals, and historic sites. Whether you’re a culture buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking to unwind, Gembu has something to offer. In this travel guide to Gembu, we’ll explore the best places to visit, things to do, food and drink scene, where to stay, and tips for a safe and amazing experience in Gembu.

List of Places to Visit in Gembu

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Tula Monoliths: The Tula Monoliths are a group of four carved stones located in Tula village, five kilometers from Gembu. The stones are believed to have been created in the 9th or 10th century and are adorned with intricate carvings that tell stories of the past.

  • Kashimbila Wildlife Reserve: Kashimbila Wildlife Reserve is a protected area covering over 10,000 hectares of land. It is home to several species of wildlife, including elephants, antelopes, monkeys, and baboons. The reserve also boasts of scenic waterfalls, rock formations, and natural pools.

Natural Attractions of Gembu: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mambila Plateau: The Mambila Plateau is a highland area that spans across Cameroon, Nigeria, and Cameroon. It is home to the Mambila indigenous people and offers stunning views of rolling hills, waterfalls, and valleys.

  • Gashaka Gumti National Park: Gashaka Gumti National Park is the largest national park in Nigeria and spans across Taraba and Adamawa states. It is a haven for nature lovers, with over 100 species of mammals, 500 species of birds, and several species of reptiles, fish, and amphibians.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Gembu

  • Mambila Tourist Center: The Mambila tourist center is an avenue that offers an amazing view of the Mambila Plateau. It is a great place for hiking, biking, and picnics.

  • Gashaka Gumti National Park trails: Gashaka Gumti National Park offers a wide range of trails that cater to hikers of all levels. Some of the popular trails include the Chappal Waddi and the Mountain of Death.

Best Things to Do in Gembu: Activities and Tours

  • Attend the annual Mambila Cultural Festival: This festival is held annually in December and serves as a platform for the Mambila people to showcase their rich culture and heritage.

  • Indulge in local delicacies: Gembu is known for its mouth-watering culinary treats such as Pounded Yam, Masa, Tuwo Shinkafa, and Fura da nono.

  • Take a guided tour of historical sites: Gembu has several historical sites that provide an insight into the town’s past. A guided tour of these sites will enrich your knowledge of Gembu’s cultural heritage.

Week-Long Itinerary for Gembu

Day Activity
1 Visit the Tula Monoliths and the Mambila Tourist Center
2 Hike the Mountain of Death or any other trail in the Gashaka Gumti National Park
3 Take a guided tour of Gembu’s historical sites
4 Visit Kashimbila Wildlife Reserve or explore the Mambila Plateau
5 Attend the annual Mambila Cultural Festival
6 Indulge in local delicacies and shop for souvenirs
7 Relax at your hotel or visit nearby towns for excursions

Food and Drink Scene of Gembu

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pounded Yam: Pounded Yam is a popular Nigerian dish made by boiling yam and pounding it into a soft, stretchy consistency. It is often served with soups or stews.

  • Masa: Masa is a traditional snack made from rice flour and ground beans. It is fried and often served with a spicy dip.

  • Tuwo Shinkafa: Tuwo Shinkafa is a Nigerian dish made by boiling and mashing rice. It is often served with sauces made from vegetables, meat, or fish.

  • Fura da nono: Fura da nono is a popular northern Nigerian drink made from fermented milk and millet.

Local Beverages

  • Zobo: Zobo is a popular drink made from Roselle leaves, ginger, and sweeteners. It is often served chilled and is a great option for hot weather.

  • Kunu: Kunu is a non-alcoholic beverage made from grains like millet, sorghum, or rice. It is often spiced with ginger, cloves, or cinnamon.

Where to Stay in Gembu: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Gembu has several accommodation options that cater to different budgets and tastes. Some popular options include:

  • Mambila Vine Hotel: This hotel offers spacious rooms that are well-equipped with modern amenities. It also has a restaurant that serves local delicacies.

  • Maykara Resort and Suites: This hotel offers elegant and cozy rooms along with an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a spa.

  • Nding Che Guest House: Nding Che Guest House offers budget-friendly rooms that are clean and comfortable.

What to Buy in Gembu: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Pottery: The Mambila people are known for their exquisite pottery. You can find various models of pottery in Gembu that represent their rich culture.

  • Woven clothes: The Mambila people are also famous for their colorful woven clothes. You can buy skirts, dresses, shirts, and hats that showcase their unique style.

Local Culture and Customs of Gembu

Gembu is home to several ethnic groups, and each has its own unique cultural heritage. The Mambila, for instance, are known for their intricate weaving, pottery, and carving skills. Visitors are encouraged to show respect for local customs and traditions and to dress modestly when visiting religious or cultural sites.

Best Time to Visit Gembu

The best time to visit Gembu is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can be quite challenging due to heavy rainfall and flooded roads.

Do’s and Don’ts of Gembu


  • Respect local customs and traditions

  • Dress modestly when visiting religious or cultural sites

  • Try the local delicacies


  • Take pictures of people without their permission

  • Wander off on your own in the wilderness

  • Overstay your visa

Safety and Health

Safety in Gembu

Gembu is a relatively safe town, but visitors are advised to take precautions to ensure their safety. Some tips include:

  • Avoid traveling alone at night

  • Avoid displaying expensive items openly

  • Carry a copy of your identification with you at all times

Health in Gembu

Visitors are advised to take precautions to ensure their health while in Gembu. Some tips include:

  • Drink only bottled or purified water

  • Get the necessary vaccinations before traveling

  • Pack insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes and other insects

Getting to Gembu: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Gembu

The nearest airport to Gembu is Yakubu Gowon Airport in Jos. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or bus to Gembu.

Bus Stations Near Gembu

Gembu has several bus stations that offer intercity and interstate travel. Some popular options include:

  • Gembu Motor Park

  • Sardauna Transport Company

  • Young Shall Grow Motors

Other Options

Visitors can also opt for private car hire or shared taxis from nearby cities like Jalingo, Abuja, or Jos.

How to Get Around in Gembu

Getting around Gembu is relatively easy. Visitors can hire taxis, motorbikes, or bicycles to get around the town. Visitors can also opt for public transportation options like buses and shared taxis, but these are often crowded and not always reliable.

Where to Go Next from Gembu: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Yankari National Park: Yankari National Park is one of Nigeria’s most popular national parks and is located in Bauchi State, just a few hours drive from Gembu.

  • Kano: Kano is a bustling city located in northern Nigeria and is known for its rich history, bustling markets, and beautiful architecture.

  • Makurdi: Makurdi is the capital of Benue state and is known for its natural beauty, ancient history, and rich cultural heritage.


Gembu is a town that holds great promise for travelers seeking to explore Nigeria’s rich cultural and natural heritage. The town’s stunning landscape, rolling hills, lush forests, cultural festivals, and historic sites make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and enriching experience. This travel guide to Gembu provides all the information you need to plan a safe and amazing trip to this beautiful Nigerian town.