A few kilometres from the old railway town of Kafanchan, Jema’a local government of Kaduna State, lies a natural beauty that is left looking shabby and unkempt, and unable to attract suitors. Though it is just a few metres away from the Kafanchan-Madakiya-Zonkwa-Kaduna highway and very conspicuous, it has no finesse and no one dares take a look at it.
The enchanting Matsirga waterfall can be spotted even from the road on the right hand side when you are going to Kaduna from Kafanchan. The crystal clear water cascading down the rock from a height of about 30 metres makes a splashing noise that can be heard from the road as well.
The path leading to the waterfall is bushy the tranquil environment is breathtaking, almost magical.
The bright morning sun glowed on the sparkling bubbles of water that flowed from atop what looked like a hard gypsum rock, and splattered at the base of the rock, forming a pool that looped and then flowed gracefully westwards.
The gaping mouth of the cave crested the pool and casted dark shadows on the surface of the water. As the stream meanders down, it changed colour from crystal clear to murky. The gentle lapping of the water as it streamed down, snaking through rocks produced sonorous music that was earful but at the same time delightful.
The green foliage of savannah grasses and shrubs on both banks of the stream and the chattering parrots and humming finches created a wonderful moment. No wonder, the locals call the stream that has produced the waterfall ‘river wonderful’.
If you ask locals around for Matsirga waterfall many will not know about it and might even think you are talking about a place that is nowhere near southern Kaduna, but once you mention river wonderful, you are sure of seeing a glint appear in their eyes and a flashing smile crossing their faces. They also revel in telling mysterious stories about the stream and its magnificient waterfall.
The waterfall which is reputed for producing rainbows on some Sundays and smoke from its pool straddles between Aduan 5, a suburb of Kafanchan, on the southern bank and Matsirga, a village that now lies in ruins following the 2011 post election violence, on the northern bank, which is actually in Zangon Katap local government.
A dilapidated railroad bridge crosses the stream at the ridge of the rock that causes fall from the eastern horizon while the highway crosses the stream from down west.
Many residents are nonetheless of the opinion that the tourism potentials of the waterfalls have largely remained untapped. Experts in tourism expect that utilizing the full potentials of these tourists’ sites could settle the unemployment problem in the state, since tourism requires the services of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Luckily, a heritage resort known as the Madikiya Heritage Resort is being developed by a private investor within the falls’ region to serve the relaxation needs of tourists and visitors. In addition to the resort, plans by another nonpublic investor to build a five-star hotel next to it have reached an advanced stage. Besides the Matsirga Waterfalls, there is the Awatsung Waterfalls at Madakiya, a neighbouring town to Matsirga.
The proximity of the Matsirga Waterfalls to Kagoro, venue of the touristy annual Afan National Festival and the Kagoro Hills, the Nok Cultural Center and its easy accessibility by train and route, makes it plausible tourist delight if adequately harnessed.Kafanchan is the commercial hub of Southern Kaduna and it is situated about 227 kilometers south of Kaduna city, the Kaduna State capital, northern Nigeria.