Trip to Ilachi waterfalls - Our first experience
Trip to Ilachi preparation
Throughout the prior morning, the rain did not cease in the city of Malabo. Generally, when it rains a lot at night and in the morning, the sky usually clears in the afternoon. It is our general normal without scientific basis. The only question that arose was whether the sky would hold long enough to allow us a dry ride or, on the contrary, it was simply waiting for our arrival to receive us with a downpour and water down our first excursion with tourists to this wonder.
The previous time we inspected the path during the dry season took us an average of about 45 minutes. But assuming that our dear customers would want to portray this excursion, and the weather conditions, we estimated that we would do it in 1 hour round trip.
Departure to Moka
The exit of Malabo was very quiet, at 7:30 we were on the road towards Moka. We felt adventurous and decided to take the longest road to the destination, which included passing through illustrious cities like Rebola, Baney and Riaba. During the trip the road was relatively comfortable and in good condition despite some bumps and obstacles around Baney.
An importante key point is that the military controls characteristic of Equatorial Guinea went smoothly. In fact, the officers were quite attentive and pleasant. The trip started nicely, and our clients were having a good time, which was the most important thing after all.
The first doubt arose when we reached the crossing of Riaba and Moka. As we had already been the previous day on the excursion to see Balboa beach in Riaba, we were tempted to spend a few minutes there again and enjoy another wonderful walk on the beach. But after a glance to the sky, we decided not to deviate in case we receive the visit of our always feared rain this time of year.
The road between Riaba and Moka is spectacular, a walk through the mountains while the fog falls on the road. Even though we like photography, at times we want to become even more expert, to be able to portray what our eyes see. Really, it’s something spectacular. From the viewpoint of Moka you can see the whole valley in fullness. Unfortunately, the grass is very high and therefore cannot be easily accessed. But we are thinking of hiring some locals to cut the herbs of the place and return to the viewpoint to its splendor.
Getting to know Moka
Once arrived in Moka, and despite the threat of rain, we decided to take a walk around the city before picking up our expert local guide. The city is divided into Moka Bioko and Moka Malabo. Most of the houses are concentrated in Moka Bioko. Some of them date back to colonial times and are very beautiful and different. Each resident has given it a special and colorful touch. Continuing along this road you will find the newest part of the city, with the supermarket and the great hotel of Moka, a luxury accommodation in the middle of this wonderful valley. In the second part of the city, a long road divides the houses on both sides. After going to the end of the village, in the middle of a square with a heliport, we parked our car and started what we hope will be the first of many visits with tourists eager to know this formidable site.
Treeking to Ilachi waterfalls
The road begins in a very pleasant way, reminds me of the meadows of northern Spain or even those of England. Large pastures where different species of cattle roam at will. The first unplanned obstacle is a small river that we crossed without major problems; luckily we made it clear to our customers to bring mountain boots.
After crossing the fence that separates these animals, we went into the forest we were waiting for. The first few minutes are pleasant and descend slightly making the road quite bearable. We establish a pleasant conversation with our clients about the future of the tourism of the country and the fresh air that is breathed so far from the city.
But soon, words and photos remained in the background. Due to the weather of the previous days, the surface is quite wet and slippery. This causes the descents to be done with the greatest possible care. Unfortunately we did not bring gloves and it is difficult to lean on the trees for greater support, but there is no other option to avoid a fall.
Leading the way, our incredible local guide at an enviable speed and with a facility that makes you feel out of shape. We place ourselves in second position leaving our customers at the end to observe the dangers and the points of support.
The slope quickly begins to descend and become more complicated, rather than by the terrain itself, by weather conditions. It must be said that weather respects us and it does not rain on the way down, but the ground is slippery. After about 45 minutes of descents and false plains, we reach the final test: A river of greater size than the previous one with a depth of approximately 40cm. It may seem scarce, but the previous day’s rainfall has increased the flow rate and there is a risk of an unplanned bath.
Our guide passes with amazing ease jumping between the rocks. (The importance of good footwear). Our client is in better shape than we had expected and with two jumps he reaches the other shore. To us, well, you can say that it took us a little bit longer to decide how we were going to cross, and we ended up wet to the knees but with the camera and the rest of the material intact, which after all was the most important thing.
From this obstacle, a light climb and 5 minutes later we reach the long awaited Ilachi waterfalls. Our fear was that the fog would prevent us from seeing them in their entire splendor, but at this point, the fog moves with relative fast, and we were able to contemplate and take photographs of this wonderful landscape.
After telling stories of these mountains sitting with these views, and having some fruits, we decided to come back before the rain gets us too wet. Our concern was the situation of the way back with great climbs after our passage and that of the rains.
Return to Malabo
Once the road and the dangers were known, the way through the forest back became more bearable, and instead of the estimated time, we covered it in 40 min. Clearly because of us, our guide was able to carry a devilish rhythm. What used to be dangerous downhills, now became hard uphills. The physical capacity of some of us was put to the test, and I have to admit that we had to stop a couple of times to breathe. The rain made an act of presence, the slopes were steep and the accumulated tiredness knocked at the door.
Once we arrived at the starting point of the excursion, we said goodbye until the following week to our wonderful guide, and after an obligatory change of clothes, we got into the car to return to Malabo. This time we decided to take the shortest road and we passed through Luba to reach our point of origin.
- The trip was full of adventures and we had a wonderful response from our customers, they loved the trip.
- The rainy season should not be an impediment to enjoy the forest if you are well prepared.
- Equatorial Guinea offers spectacular landscapes.
- We have much to discover and we will not stop until we make it visible to everyone.
Excursion to Ilachi waterfalls
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