Are you in Nigeria or planning a holiday to Nigeria? We have some thrilling news for you! For a total foreigner or ‘native foreigners’ who are still strangers to the vast natural endowments of the most populous country in Africa, we have compiled a list of top places to visit in Nigeria if you plan to have a memorable holiday.
From lush forests in the south to the beautiful sand dunes of the desert in the north, Nigeria’s landscape is a sight to behold. Take a trip to some of Nigeria’s most beautiful locations and be amazed at the sheer beauty of the country. In case you do not know where to go, allow our list to guide you to the most wonderful places you should not miss out on in Nigeria:
1. Zuma Rock
Starting our list is the large, natural monolith, Zuma rock. Rising at an estimated 700m above sea level it is located in Madalla, Niger state to the north of Abuja, the capital city and is visible from the Abuja-Kaduna expressway. The rock is said to have been discovered by the Zuba people who named it “Zumwa” meaning the “the place of catching guinea-fowls” as there were a lot of the birds in the forest surrounding the rock at the time. It was also said to be used as a defensive retreat for the Gwari people of the area against invaders. Another amazing thing about Zuma rock is the natural contours on the face of the rock closely resembles a human face and locals believe it is the deity protecting the communities. Visit the rock during the raining season and get a chance to see the apex of the rock catch fire during rainfall. You would also get a chance to go rock climbing and hear exciting myths about the rock.
2. Ikogosi Warm Spring
Located in Ikogosi, Ekiti state, what makes this spring so dynamic is that there are two springs one warm, the other cold flowing side by side with each other while still maintaining their individual thermal properties before meeting at a confluence point. The area is also surrounded by lush green vegetation which provides cool shade for tourists. The Baptist mission built a religious camp around the spring in the 1950s which was later sold to the Nigerian government. The buildings of the camp were renovated and converted to guest chalets for visitors to the spring.
3. Kajuru Castle
The castle turned hotel is located in Kajuru village, Kaduna state. It was built in the 1980s by a German expatriate who was living in Nigeria at the time. The castle features turrets, armory and even a dungeon! It is situated on a mountain top so you can be sure of breathtaking views. The castle has a capacity of 150 guests but the hotel accommodates only 12 individuals or 5 couples at a time.
4. Yankari Game Reserve
Located in Bauchi state, north-eastern Nigeria, the reserve covers an area of 2,244 square kilometers and has the richest wildlife population in the country. It is the home of the largest surviving elephant population in Nigeria and one of the largest in West Africa. It also supports a population of West African Lion (critically endangered species) one of the four known populations that still survive. Take a trip to Yankari game reserve and see lions, hippopotamus, olive baboons, elephants and many more. Be sure to take a dip in one of the various springs before you go.
5. Obudu Mountain Resort
The Obudu Mountain Resort formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch is situated on the Obudu Plateau, close to the border of Cameroon in Cross River state Southern Nigeria. If you love hiking and bird watching then this is the place for you. Also the scenery and calm of the environment makes it the perfect relaxation spot.
6. Olumo Rock
Olumo rock is located in Abeokuta, Ogun state. At 137m above sea level, the rock was used as a fortress by the Egbas during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. The name of the town Abeokuta means “under a rock” and Olumo itself means “all the troubles and sufferings are over”. Olumo rock offers hiking and rock climbing activities for tourists. The apex of the rock also gives a clear view of the town of Abeokuta, St. Peter’s Cathedral which is the first church in Nigeria and the home of the late Moshood Abiola. You would also see carvings and sculptures dedicated to the mountain deity.
7. Ogbunike Caves
The Ogbunike caves are a collection of caves located in Ogbunike, Anambra state. The caves served as a refuge to the natives during the Nigerian Civil war and also as a way to hide from slave traders during the pre-colonial era. Explore the tunnels of the cave while you are there and also the beautiful environment surrounding it.
8. Awhum Waterfall
It is located at Amaugwe village in Awhum town, Enugu state. It is managed by the Catholic Monastery located there. The 30m high waterfall is a popular site for Christian pilgrims and tourists and the water is believed to have healing powers and dispel evil spirits. Visitors to the Awhum waterfall should prepare for some serious hiking.
9. Idanre Hills
Idanre hills or Oke Idanre is located in Idanre town, Ondo state, Southwest Nigeria. This scenic beauty rises 3000m above sea level and is home to various flora and fauna. With 660 steps, the Idanre hills provide hiking adventures for the adventurous tourist.
10. Nok village
Located in Jaba local government area of Kaduna State, 160 kilometers northeast of Baro, the Nok settlement was discovered in 1928 as a result of tin mining activities in the area. The settlement was the site of the discovery of the terracotta figurines. Take a walk around the village and imagine how life was for one of the oldest African civilizations.
So we leave it to you! Start planning your visit, don’t leave Nigeria without a story to tell the people back home. Have you visited any of these places? Please share your experience with Nature lovers in the comment box or you can publish your story direct by creating an author account. (Visit site on PC/DESKTOP, click register on top right hand corner, follow the prompts)