Zuma Rock | Facts and Information

This article is all about the Zuma rock.

Zuma Rock | Facts and Information

Zuma rock is a large igneous rock and monolith, majorly made up of gabbro and granodiorite, it is an ancient and historically important rock located in Nigeria, and it is one of the largest rocks in west Africa. It is a very important location in Nigeria and Africa, it is popularly known as ‘the gateway to Abuja’ because it can be seen en route to Abuja from Kaduna State.

History and Background of Zuma Rock

The name “Zuma” evolved from “Zumwa“, “Zumwa” is the original name given to the rock by the people of Zuba and Koro, the name “Zumwa” simply means a place for catching guinea fowls’. This rock was named “Zumwa” because of the abundance of guinea fowls in that area in the past.

Sources say that the people of Zuba first discovered the rock in the 15th century before the people of Koro came along and settled down with them around the rock, while other sources say that these two tribes were living and moving together and they discovered Zuma rock at the same time.

The people of Zuba and Koro were later bumped into by the Hausa people who started expanding their original horizon, the Hausas pronounced couldn’t correctly pronoun the name. so they pronounced it as “Zuma” when the Europeans came along they couldn’t pronounce it too, so they pronounced it as “Zuma” too; so the rock became known by the name ‘Zuma”.


Size and Height of Zuma Rock

Zuma rock has an approximate side-to-side perimeter of 3,100 meters (10,170.60 feet), covering an approximate area of 725 meters square ( 2575.46 square feet), this gives it a gigantic look, as it towers above every structure around the area it is located.

Zuma rock has an approximate height of 700 meters (2,296.59 feet) and an approximate prominence of about 300 meters (984.25 feet), it has a total surface area of several kilometers square and has large-sized boulders.

The Zuma rock is very tall, it is the tallest rock in Nigeria, it is taller than Aso rock and Olumo rock put together, and it is over four times taller than the tallest building in Nigeria.


Location and Tourism of Zuma Rock

Zuma rock is located at the Nothern border of Abuja, it is officially located in Niger State, it is situated along the Suleja-Abuja highway, Northcentral region of Nigeria, the coordinates of Zuma rock are 9°7’49″N 7°14’2″E.

Zuma rock is one of the popular historical tourist sites in Nigeria, it has a beautiful and special natural rock formation. It provides a good environment for picnicking and relaxation, climbing the rock gives you a nice view of the entire Abuja city.

It is advisable to visit the rock between April and October to have the chance of seeing the “Zuma fire”, visiting is free for the general public, however, rock climbers have to pay a certain amount of money before they can be granted access to the top of the rock.


Age and Importance of Zuma Rock

The exact of Zuma rock is unknown, it was discovered about 600 hundred years ago, so it must be over 600 years old, the rock existed before the present home of the Gbagyi, Zuba, and Koro tribes was founded, it has very ancient looks and is expected to be a very old rock.

Zuma rock is very important to Nigeria’s culture and tourism, it is considered one of the most important sites in Nigeria; a majestic sight to behold, it is also of great religious importance to some tribes in Nigeria.

Zuma is considered very important by the people and the government, that’s why a picture of it was used in the designing of the Nigerian 100 Naira note.

Zuma rock served as a fortress for the Gbagyi tribe, during inter-tribal wars; it gave them protection because of its high peak and a good vantage point from where they shot arrows and threw stones and spears at their enemies in defense.

It served as an altar for the people of Zuba and Koro as they come to the rock to offer sacrifices to the gods, they worshipped this rock as they believed that it is possessed by powerful spirits; so it was was of great spiritual importance to them.


Legendary Myths and Spirituality of Zuma Rock

The natives believe that sometimes, a loud and clear sound is heard; mimicking the sound of a door opening and closing, whenever this mysterious happening occurs, the death of a popular and important person has occurred and the news soon circulates.

It is believed by the natives that the Zuma rock is currently sitting over a very huge source of underground water, which means that if the rock should get destroyed or moved out of place, a huge amount of water will rush out of the ground and submerge an unimaginable expanse of land. The reason behind this ideology is yet to be known.

The natives believe that the Zuma rock has magical powers which can be triggered by sacrifices to the gods of the rock, these magical powers render their enemies helpless and powerless during inter-tribal wars, that was why they fought many wars and never lost any of them.

The natives believe that there are no spirits in the world that are stronger than the spirits harboring in the rock… Zuma.

The natives believe that when people die, their spirits go to the rock, they also have a belief that masquerades represent the spirits of the dead, so every masquerade originates from Zuma rock.

It is believed that before the end of time, Zuma will be at the center of a very large human settlement.

The natives believe that no man is allowed to come close to the rock or climb it with a cap, hat, or any covering on his head, this practice is kept in respect to the deity, they also believe that whoever fails to follow this practice will be killed by the deity with a thunderbolt.


Fun, Amazing and Mysterious Facts about Zuma Rock

    1. The rock used to serve as a fortress for the people of Gwari in the past.
    2. The image of Zuma rock appears on every 100 Naira note.
    3. Zuma is higher than any two rocks in Nigeria put together.
    4. It is over four times higher than NECOM house (the tallest house in Nigeria).
    5. It holds the highest point in Nigeria.
    6. The rock has natural contours on one side of it which resembles a human face, with visible features such as eyes, mouth, and nose. The locals believe the face represents the gods of Zuma rock who protect and govern the affairs of the community.
    7. Traditionally, no man is allowed to go close to the rock or climb it wearing a hat, cap, or any kind of head coverings to avoid the punishment of death from the gods of the rock.
    8. The Zuma rock sometimes catches fire under heavy rainfall, between April and October.

The only scientific explanation for the fire which burns at the top of the rock during rainfall is not grounded and was given by a geologist and lecturer of Nasarawa State University, who bear the name: Dr. Kistso Ngargbu.

He said that during rainfall, a boulder or piece of rock may get saturated with water and also lubricated, the piece of rock ten slides over the surface of the rock, in the process, friction is created and fire lights up.


Summary on Zuma Rock

This article is concise and contains all information about the Zuma rock, including legendary stories behind it, history, size, popularity, and much more.


  1. Top 10 Most Endangered Animals in Africa.
  2. List Of Environmental Agencies In Nigeria – updated.
  3. Free Scholarships For Nigerians to study in the UK.
  4. Biggest Environmental Problems.
+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.