Agulu Lake… An emerging paradise

Aerial view of Agulu Lake with the new Hotel Resort in the middle PHOTO RANDIE CHIMA

Aerial view of Agulu Lake with the new Hotel Resort in the middle PHOTO RANDIE CHIMA

Though popularly known for its commercial viability, Anambra State is not lacking in the area of tourism as well. So, if you are in love with nature or just need to take time out for relaxation, vising Agulu Lake won’t be a bad idea.

Located along Awka Road in Agulu Town, Aniocha Local Council of Anambra State, the Lake, one of the major tourist sites in the state, is home to an estimated three hundred crocodiles and water turtles. Immaculate white in colour and sometimes turns green by algae, depending on the season of the year, the Lake itself is very wide, with a lengthy diameter and beautiful surface area.

Though visitors are allowed to view this alluring gift of nature, fishing is not allowed on the lake, and the crocodiles, being sacred animals to the people of Agulu, cannot be killed.

Legend has it that these crocodiles were instrumental in delivering the town from enemy soldiers during the Nigerian Civil War. It is believed by the natives that these sacred crocodiles and turtles transformed themselves into beautiful ladies and lured the soldiers unawares into the lake where they disappeared without trace. However, this claim has not been confirmed.

Notwithstanding, at noon, the crocodiles and the turtles appear at the banks of the lake to take in sunlight. So, if you are lucky to visit within that period, there are possibilities that you might catch a glimpse of these sacred reptiles.

Though caution is should be applied while at this site, the lake has a special custodian, who offers annual sacrifice to it, making it less dangerous for harmless visitors; his hut is just beside the water. However, the fascinating thing is that he lives side by side the crocodile without fear; he feeds and takes care of them.

In case you plan to visit the lake, then the custodian is your sure guide; he’s ever willing to take tourists around, sharing myths about the lake. But if you want to enjoy the visit, go with few pieces of chicken and watch as he feeds the crocodiles.

In 2013, the former governor of Anambra State began the development of the lake, with the plan of turning into not just a tourist site, but also a tourist resort with a 5-star hotel. The resort was first conceived in the early 1970s, in the old Eastern Region, together with the Nike Lake Resort. While Nike project had been achieved, Agulu Lake Resort remained a stillbirth until Obi’s administration.

Meanwhile, the current administration in the state led by Willie Obiano is gradually making that dream come alive, as work has reached advanced stage on the resort. Upon completion, the resort, which will serve as accommodation for tourist, will also a perfect venue for retreats, conferences and seminars.

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