Wary about visiting Nigeria? Understandable – Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, and the main city, Lagos, is overflowing. However, get off the beaten track and you’ll soon discover that Nigeria has much more to offer than bustling cities and wall-to-wall people. Get away from all the noise (and traffic!) to these five Nigerian attractions: any traveller should have these on their bucket list.
- Yankari National Park
The number one spot for observing wildlife in Nigeria, Yankari National Park and Game Reserve covers 2,244 sq km. Home to around 550 elephants, the park has the largest population of these remarkable creatures in West Africa, so safari here is a must for elephant-lovers in particular. Otherwise, you might spot buffaloes, waterbucks, leopards, hyenas, baboons and maybe even lions. Visitors can also visit the impressive bat-filled caves or unwind with a swim in the crystal-clear Wikki Warm Springs, near the park lodge.This beautiful natural warm spring is 200m long and 10m wide and a constant a 31°C. It’s picture perfect, too.
- Agbokim Waterfall
Just one of Nigeria’s many waterfalls, the Agbokim Waterfall is arguably one of the most beautiful. Surrounded by lush rainforest scenery and steep hills and valleys, the captivating serenity of the Agbokim falls is hard to beat. Seven cascades descend from a cliff, through the tropical rainforest, and the view is simply incredible.
- Zuma Rock
750 metres above the surrounding plains, Zuma Rock is known as the ‘Gateway to Abuja’. Arguably one of the seven natural wonders of Africa,Zuma Rock features on the Nigerian 100 naira bill, and the monolith is easily observed on the drive out of the country’s capital, Abuja. Be sure to travel this route – always bearing in mind the local laws when getting around Nigeria – it’s definitely worth a detour.
- Osun Sacred Grove
On the outskirts of the city of Osugbo lies the Osun Sacred Grove, a World Heritage Site. Regarded as the domicile of Osun – the goddess of fertility – mysterious forest surroundings and a meandering river make the idyllic setting for this unique and other-worldly grove, which is scattered with a variety of curious looking shrines, sculptures and sanctuaries. The grove is regarded as a symbol of identity for the Yoruba people, and the forest shrine is visited annually as part of the Osun Osogbo festival. The weird and wonderful Osun Sacred Grove is not to be missed.
- Idanre Hills
Naija Treks via http://www.skyscrapercity.com/
Idanre town is a tourist haven, and with good reason; surrounding the town, hills as tall as 3,000 ft above sea level are dispersed between spectacular valleys, and it’s one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Nigeria. The Idanre Hills are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and can be seen from anywhere in the town. Climbing to the highest point gives visitors spectacular panoramic views of Idanre and the surrounding planes; a must for lovers of climbing and hiking in particular.