Eloghosa is an adept travel blogger residing in Nigeria. He is certified content writer by Henry Harvin Education & Udemy.
Reputable and infamous for countless reasons, the Giant of Africa boasts of exhilarating sites that could take your vacation to a whole new level. From quirky-shaped mountains to enthralling waterfalls, Mother Nature's benevolence to the black nation has known no bounds.
Albeit Nigeria's interrupted topography, tropical climate, and border with the Atlantic ocean may be the cause for some of her natural wonders, the nation's diverse cultural heritage undeniably entices tourists. The culturally diverse 924,000 km² consists of about 250 ethnic groups that speak over 500 languages. And each ethnicity's intriguing stories backed by palpable shrines, museums, and landmarks provide experiences like never before.
Owing to the numerical quantity of tourist attractions, narrowing 7 of the best was herculean. But, whilst tourist sites in Nigeria are not limited to the ones below, they are undoubtedly some of the best to visit for an unforgettable experience.
7. The Giant Footprints of Ukhuse Oke
Never believed giants really existed? Try arguing with an obstinate native of the ancient city of Benin. Considerable that lack of evidence may be the reason your disbelief a trip to Owan West LGA in Edo State could clear those doubts.
Between the villages of Ukhuse-oke and Ukhuseosi lies unmistakable giant footprints on flat granite rocks. Situated amid a sacred rainforest copse, these footprints have proven to be an enigma to archaeologists and even the locals.
Some elderly locals who have tried to connect the dots linked the footprints to Arhuanran - a great Benin warrior who grew to become a giant. Legends say that he was a prince of exceptional strength who uprooted palm trees with his bare hands to sweep with its fronds.
6. Ngwo Pine Forest
An easterly dry season picnic can't get any better under the serene shade of Ngwo pine trees. The forest's charming atmosphere offers a soothing sense of repose as you hike along its narrow winding path.
Aside from relishing the priceless coniferous view, the subtle sound of the waterfall could compel you to explore the hidden cave. The limestone sculpture is filled with unique markings on its walls, and the waterfall forms a shallow pool.
If you enjoy hiking adventures, the pine forest is definitely one of the best stops for some quality time.
5. Agbokim Waterfalls
Situated in Etung Local Government of Calabar, the 70m fall has one of the most captivating views of its kind in the country. The picturesque sight gained an appellation of the 'seven-faced wonder of nature' justified by the seven streams, which gush down the cliff.
The history of the fall dates back to the '90s when a hunter, Ntankum learned about it. He then brought his family to reside close to the breathtaking attraction. And since then, people of the Agbokim community have cared for the waterfall in various ways mostly by encouraging afforestation. They believe that the water comes from the plant remains, therefore increasing plant-life nearby would increase water volume.
For the best experience, it is advisable to visit during the rainy season. This period is between April to September, and you could be fortunate enough to find a rainbow glimpse fall on the accelerating wave.
4. Ikogosi Warm Springs
Undisputedly one of the pillars of tourism in Western Nigeria, Ikogosi warm springs is well-known for relaxation in its hot & cold water confluence. Sources claim that this kind of natural merging is the first type worldwide being about 70°C hot at the source and 37°C at the intersection.
Nigerians are very keen on confluences as most believe it depicts unity. It's no wonder why the nation includes a confluence on some of her national symbols, so witnessing one, in reality, is a dream come true for kids.
Ikogosi also possesses a waterfall, parks, and artificial pools in a thrilling atmosphere which could further coax you to linger around. Every second in the seemingly appealing resort is really worth the experience.
3. Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
Proudly occupying a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List is a sacred grove located in a dense rainforest of Osogbo. It is the last among the holy woods of traditional worship in Western Nigeria owing to extensive urbanisation. Thanks to Susanne Wenger, the Austrian who brought the grove's abuse by poachers to an end.
Regarded as the ancestral home of the goddess of fertility, it contains shrines, sculptures, and artworks in her honour. While you can't help but giggle at the bizarreness of risible-looking artefacts, most of the carvings in the shrines could startle you.
One of the best times to visit the grove is during the annual Osun-Osogbo festival celebrated at the venue. It attracts thousands of worshippers, spectators, and tourists from all walks of life, and you definitely won't want to miss out.
2. Ancient Kano City Walls
If the splendour of The Great Wall of China could fascinate you, then that of the Ancient Kano City would be no different. Built for the same purpose of fortification, construction of the Kano walls dates back to 1095AD. Through 1134AD, the wall attained full completion in the mid 14th century.
Initially, the walls had an estimated height between 30 to 50 ft, and about 40ft thick at its base. Authorities governed entry and exit through 15 installed gates & UNESCO has claimed that the wall covered a 14km radius.
Due to old age and mismanagement, it's sad to note that some parts are in ruins. But if you hurry quick, you can still find some of the bolstered mud walls as maintenance has begun lately in some of its parts.
1. Nike Art Gallery
Founded & owned by Nike Davis-Okundaye, the art gallery is among the few tourist attractions in the country managed without the government's intervention.
It boasts over 8,000 artworks from highly esteemed Nigerian artists which arguably makes it the largest in West Africa. The five-storey duplex is located in an affluent neighbourhood, Lekki in Lagos State, Nigeria's previous capital.
Unlike most galleries, the Nike art centre gives room for appreciating African culture to tourists by providing them with clothing attires for dazzling pics. Feel you aren't photogenic enough? Make a stop at the gallery's workshop and quickly learn as much as you can from painting to embroidery, and weaving. You can also grab souvenirs from affordable art pieces to scrap metals to rekindle the worthwhile recollection of the trip.
Whether you're a fan of art or not, an experience with such diversity of stunning African artworks and engaging activities would be unforgettable.