Trip to Nigeria to attend the Durbar in Kano
A 7-day trip to Nigeria to attend the impressive Durbar Festival in Kano, one of the most fantastic cultural experiences to be seen in Nigeria and all of West Africa.
The Durbar Festival is possibly the most important traditional festival in the north of the country and is held twice a year, on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) and Eid-el-Kebir (three months after Ramadan). Also known as Sallah or Hawan Daushe, it is celebrated in several cities, including Katsina, Sokoto, Zazzau, Bauchi, Bida and Ilorin. This grand cultural, political, religious and equestrian celebration offers all the tribes of the region the opportunity to come and pledge allegiance to the Emir, in a riot of ‘pomp’ and lavish costumes.
Kano, the oldest city in West Africa, is famous for having the largest Durbar country, and during the festival is said to be the largest parade of decked-out horses in the world. On this trip to Nigeria we will see thousands of people marching on horseback, riders dressed in beautiful cloths and spears under the throbbing sound of the famous traditional trumpets.
Some visitors exhibet live crocodiles, hyenas, camels or powder rifles in deafening explosions. A colourful spectacle that will transport you back in time for several days.
Kano, other visits than attending the Durbar
The city of Kano is an important economic centre for northern Nigeria and was a crucial part of trans-Saharan trade in pre-colonial times.
In addition to attending the preparations and the Durbar festival in Kano on this trip to Nigeria, we will have the opportunity to visit other highlights of the city, such as its market, its dye wells and we will try to attend some traditional Hausa Dambe boxing.
Fabric dyeing pits
The historic town of Kano has for more than six centuries been home to dyeing pits, where beautiful fabrics are produced using ancient techniques. The materials, dyed a distinctive deep blue colour, have long been sold in Africa and the Middle East. In ancient times the Tuaregs, men of the desert, came to Kano to trade dates and camels for the distinctive blue fabrics.
Dambe, hausa boxing
Three centuries old, Dambe is a traditional form of boxing associated with the Hausa people who mainly inhabit northern Nigeria. Although many urban youths, seeking prestige, money or just for fun, immerse themselves in the world of Dambe, even today, most Dambe boxing fighters still belong to the caste groups of the Hausa butchers. Visit our post to learn more about Dambe boxing.
Other emirates in northern Nigeria
We leave open the possibility of visiting some other emirates in northern Nigeria during this week’s trip. Possibilities include Zaria, Dutse or Gumel.
Exploratory and prospective trip to Nigeria
What does exploratory and prospective trip mean? It means real adventure. It means that we have never been to the Durbar festival in Kano before, so it will be a shared discovery with a small group of travellers. If we know Kano and Zaria, cities we travelled to years ago, and much of Nigeria. It also means that the level of improvisation during these days is big and there may be changes of plans, hotels, etc., and that we will also try to make other visits that could be interesting.