For many people, fishing is a way of life. But for a small town in Argungu, Nigeria, fishing is both a way of life and a symbol of peace between them and the people of Sokoto. Every year, the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria is celebrated to commemorate the harmony between the two neighbors. Fishermen from Argungu, Sokoto and nearby towns participate in a bare-hand fishing contest in Matan Fada River where the winner is awarded generous prizes and the title, "Fisherman of the Year". The winner is the one who catches the biggest fish using only a net and a calabash floater. The Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria is a four-day festival which also includes different sports activities like archery, swimming, catapulting, animal-skinning among others. But the main event is the bare-hand fishing wherein a fisherman is given one full hour to catch the biggest fish to the sound of the beating drums. Winners will receive cash prizes and other gifts given by sponsors. Generally, the participants and audience are all male so verify with the event organizers if you are female and want to experience the excitement.
When to Go
The best time to see the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria is on March 16th or 17th. Again, always check with the organizers to prevent missing the dates as sometimes, the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria is postponed due to low water level of the the Matan Fada. Usually the Argungu fishing festival starts on a Wednesday and ends on Sunday. If you are a bit of an adventurer and would love to dive into the waters of Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria or in any of the events, recently, they have allowed male foreigners to join the contests and the festival was brought to International level. The people are known to be friendly and helpful and it is most honorable to be able to experience the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria. Weather during this time will be hot and balmy with some occasional rain shower, make sure to drink lots of water because it will be crowded. Moreover, if you are a spectator, expect it to get muddy especially if it rains in the Matan Fada. It is recommended to travel with a local so hire a trustworthy guide from a local tour operator.
Odds n' Ends
Currently, there is a travel advisory against going to Nigeria due to the bombing of Abuja UN building in August 2011. Nonetheless, if travel conditions get better in time for the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria, make sure to wear light but conservative clothing if you are a woman and are permitted to attend the festivities. Also, always bring cash credit cards are not likely to be accepted. US Dollars may easily be exchanged to the local currency in banks in the city. In addition, accommodation in Argungu would be difficult during that time so stay in nearby towns and cities like Birnin Kebbi. There are also hotels in Abuja but prices there are a bit costly. Useful information that you may use should you decide to travel and experience the Argungu fishing festival in Nigeria is provided below:
Kebbi International Hotel
Government House, Birnin
Inquire about the Kebbi International Hotel here:
West Agora Limited
Tel.: 234 (1) 804-4841
Tel.: (060) 231262-4
Argungu Fishing Festival Organizers
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