30 Jun 2006
Flying from Douala in Cameroon to Lagos (Nigeria) on a clear day can be very exciting for anybody that likes to admire nature. My advice is that you take a seat by the window in a plane. I bought a return ticket from Virgin Nigeria airlines for about $300 for my trip of 25th June 2006.
The plane took off on a clear sunny day at 3.15 pm for the roughly two hours (including a 45 minutes stop over at Port Harcourt) flight to Lagos.
As we flew over the coastal regions beginning from Youpwe (see photo at this link http://www.njeitimah-outlook.com/albums/album_image/2075996/1061390.htm) on the outskirts of Douala, I had the opportunity to observe serene coastal settlements, meandering rivers, scenic clouds and retreating forests.
From aboard the plane, the picture of human settlements blending into the surrounding sea, river or forest conveys a feeling of tranquility, beauty and gracefulness. I could clearly identify a river that has been rendered dirty by erosion or pollution from the orange brown colour.
The effect of deforestation strikes your eyes clearly as you can easily notice that most of what was once a forest has virtually disappeared leaving behind patchy plots of obviously tertiary forest. It is evident that the trees are disappearing irreversibly and this is more pronounced as you start flying over Nigeria. Scanty palm trees and others dot the landscape as you approach Port Harcourt airport.
Flying from Port Harcourt to Lagos gave me an opportunity to observe the River Niger Delta area- a hotbed of militant agitation against foreign oil companies and the Nigerian government. Flames flaring from oil production facilities are quite visible. The mangroves and meandering rivers of this area are quite appealing to the eyes.
The picture of Lagos as you approach Murtala Mohammed International airport is that of a compact mega city with almost no end in sight.
Copyright© 2006 by Njei Moses Timah
Njei Moses Timah