The most populated country in Africa, Nigeria has become an untapped tourist paradise with long stretches of exotic beaches, lush mountains, well preserved tradition and culture and enchanting tourist attractions.
Here are 12 tourist attractions in Nigeria.
1. Ado Awaye Mountains and Suspended lake (Oyo State).
The main attraction here is the suspended lake (aquamarine green), the only one of its kind in Nigeria and one of two worldwide. The view from the hilltop is priceless; and the hike up it is as thrilling as the landmark spread across the range, providing a glimpse into the lifestyle of society that lived there centuries ago.
2. Mambilla Plateau (Taraba State).
Visiting the Mambilla Plateau is no mean feat, but the sights and sounds that welcome you on arrival is worth all the stress and strain it takes to get there. Travellers who make it there are awe-struck by the sheer beauty of the surroundings and have nothing but inspiring tales to share. It’s awash with waterfalls, many yet undiscovered; and its residents are most welcoming of visitors. Mambilla’s peak, locally called Gangirwali, is 6,000ft above sea level and is a mountain adventurer’s dream.
3. Gashaka-Gumti National Park (Taraba/ Adamawa States).
The largest and most diverse conservation park in Nigeria, Gashaka-Gumti spreads across two Nigerian states and covers an estimated 6,600 sq km on the Mambilla Plateau. It houses multiple ecological zones — from scrub and savannas to forests and montane; and it is home to a wide spectrum of wildlife: chimpanzee, giraffe, cheetah, red-river hog, duikers and colobus monkey, among them.
4. Kajuru Castle (Kaduna State).
Kajuru Castle was built in the 1980s by a German resident in Kaduna in the 1970s. It was under the travel radar for so long and only became a hit with Nigeria’s top travellers and tour operators in the mid-2010s. Named after the town in which it is located, it is encircled by a range of hills and is a statement in tranquillity. Guests can book accommodation in advance and also sign up for guided tours. The facility includes a rooftop terrace, a garden, a spectacular pool.
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5. Osun – Oshogbo Grove (Osun State).
Covering 75 hectares, the grove is one of Nigeria’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a spiritual, cultural and historical enclave of shrines, stone sculptures and wood carvings in honour of the Yoruba deities and especially goddess Osun. Situated along the Osun River, it is the centre of activity for faithful and tourists during the annual Osun-Osogbo festival.
6. Olumirin Waterfalls (Osun State).
Also known as Erin-Ijesha Waterfall. Rocky cliffs, tall trees and cascading falls make this place a tourist delight. It’s also a perfect setting for mountaineering. Driving into the Erin- Ijesha community and walking towards the pool (takes about 12 minutes) on the ground level is both soothing and refreshing. You’re likely to meet local drummers welcoming you with songs and dancing.
7. Obudu Cattle Ranch (Cross River State).
Also known as Obudu Ranch Resort, the elegant hills is at an elevation of 5,200 feet above sea level. While here, you can literally reach for the clouds. Temperature is in the 7°-20°C year-round. Obudu, the town it is named after, is 6okm away. Other things to expect here: waterfalls, a nature resort, a Gorilla camp, scenic grassland, natural pool and walking trails.
8. Idanre Hills (Ondo State).
Idanre town is a 25-minute drive from Akure. The range of hills, on the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site for years, is a marvel of nature. They are dome-shaped, steep-sided and smooth on the surface. The peak, reached through walking up 640 stony steps, is more than 3,000 feet above sea level; and from there, you can see the new town spread out in the distance.
9. Ngwo Pine Forest ( Enugu State).
The unique forest dynasty that is found in Ngwo Pine is a huge draw for visitors, romantically set by Mother Nature with sharp twists for adventure seekers, beautifully set pine trees and gently flowing stream for lovers, and the loud splashing of the waters inside the dark cleft inside a cave would blow off one’s imagination.
10. Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route ( Abia State).
The sacred altar, a six foot gully that takes people to the temple and the waterfall in Arochukwu Long Juju Slave route, beg tourists to explore the shrine of Ibn Ukpabi and the cult momument of Kamula.
11. The Giant Footprint of Ukhuse Oke (Edo State).
In a sacred grove where prehistory meets the modern, between a village called Ukhuse-oke and Ukhuseosi lies this distinct footprints of a prehistoric giant that are embedded permanently on flat granite rocks.
12. Alok Ikom Monoliths (Cross River State).
300 carved stones standing upright in circles, facing each others in groups with images and texts inscribed on the monoliths are how you would see Alok Ikom Monoliths (UNESCO World Heritage Site) that are in form of a phallus.