The long weekend is upon us! Looking for something fun to do in Nigeria? The Jovago.com team has put together some of the natural & manmade attractions Nigeria is blessed with. Nigeria is a country richly blessed with mineral resources and amazing attractions. Nigeria boasts of both natural and manmade wonders in the different states of the federation. Jovago.com, Africa’s number 1 hotel booking portal researched and put together a list of 10 must visit attractions below. Remember you can get hotels across Nigeria on Jovago.com plus a 25% discount to boot!
I go on a lot of road trips, but mostly for work-related stuff and never really just for the heck of it. And so, I found myself thinking “How fun would it be to go on a road trip from one part of the country to the other?”. I’m pretty sure a couple of you have felt the same way. The idea of packing up and going on a road trip with one or two of your closest friends with food and music and lots of jist is pretty inviting. But where to go?
Did you know Nigeria has 7 Natural Wonders all waiting to be explored and appreciated? You could visit:
1. Ogbunike Caves in Anambra State – Located on the outskirts of the town behind the undulating Ogba hills, 10km from Onitsha, are the caves referred to as ‘Ogba Ogbunike’; cocooned in a valley with tropical rain forest and buffered by 20 hectares of lush vegetation.
The caves which sit on two levels, the lower of which leads to an underground river, are a network of about ten tunnels, sandstone chambers, and streams each one with its own rich history and traditional stories all narrated by tour guides during visits. Visitors are advised to carry along a torch and light water proof covering.
2. Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State – I know you know of it, but have you actually ever been there? We often plan things and then just never get around doing it. Don’t let visiting Yankari be one of those things.
The park boasts the largest elephant population in West Africa, although spotting them is pretty hard because of the dense vegetation. And if you don’t want to go elephant watching, you can always visit the Wiki Warm Springs, located near the Park Lodge, where baboons and elephants sometimes come down to play as well. If you’re feeling uber adventurous, you can camp out or, if you aren’t so sure, you can lodge at the spring’s hotel.
3. Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State – Did you know Mambilla Plateau is home to Chappal Waddi mountain,which is considered the highest point in Nigeria with an average height of about 2,419 metres (7,936 ft) above sea level?
Mambilla is a great place to visit because the weather is great, the people are hospitable, and the site is so rich in history, you’ll never get tired of discovering. There are rolling hills, back dropped with exotic flora and fauna, great views from the top, a waterfall, and fresh air. You’ll get to see the famous cave in Mbamnga — Ndumyaji Cave, the rock with a giant foot print of an ancient warrior at Kabri, the rock with a horse foot print at Hienary, the historic site of the ancient blacksmith that existed before the modern one at Killa yang, and a historic rock of the Mbar people that looks like a woman and her daughter.
4. Owu Falls – Kwara State – Owu falls, known as the highest and most spectacular natural water fall in West Africa, is located in Ifelodun Local government area of Kwara State. The origin of the waterfall itself is said to be untraceable, but that shouldn’t stop you from just appreciating its magnificence. The fall is surrounded by a beautiful natural ambience and hills so you can enjoy some sightseeing.
5. Farin Ruwa Falls In Nasarawa State – At the The Farin Ruwa Falls (which translates directly to ’The White Water Falls’) you’ll find an abundance of physical attractions ranging from hills, waterfalls, springs, caves, lakes and mountains. The falls earned its name as a result of the force of its gushing water that makes it often look like white smoke and is really just a beautiful place tobe at and appreciate nature.
6. Ikogosi Spring in Ekiti State – If you were to take a trip to the town of Ikogosi in Ekiti State, you would find a warm spring with a cold spring flowing right by its side. This warm and cold spring running from the same rock formation, needless to say, is a geological wonder. Of course there are several folklores surrounding the origin of the springs but you have to visit to hear them straight from the locals.
7. Confluence at Lokoja – Everybody knows the ‘Y’ on the Nigerian coat of arms signifies the confluence at Lokoja where Rivers Niger and Benue meet, but how many have actually been to see it? Granted, the view is much better appreciated aerially, but that shouldn’t deter you. There are several elevated landscapes around the confluence that can easily give you the same amazing view. Lokoja also has other tourist attractions you can see, like Lord Lugard’s former residence for instance.
.8. Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River State – Set on a scenic plateau more than 1,500 metres above sea level on the Oshie Ridge of the Sankwala Mountains in the south-east of Nigeria, the Obudu Mountain Resort boasts a number of exciting, rare features together with Africa’s longest cable car ride – 34 cars, each carrying eight people, climbing up through the clouds for four spectacular kilometres. Just 70 km from the border with Cameroon, the cable car stretches from deep tropical rainforests of “bottom hill” to the summit where you’ll find world-class tourist attractions that are popular with vacationers, adventurers and event planners from all around Nigeria and Africa – and beyond. Equally exhilarating is the drive up to the resort – especially the last ten kilometres of winding road with 22 bends, including the famous Devil’s Elbow and its dramatic, stomach-lurching views. Whichever way you arrive, you will find water parks, trekking, a gym, floodlit tennis courts, a squash court and 9-hole golf course, nature trails, canopy walkway, waterfalls, a hotel and eco-tourism huts.
9. Idanre Hills (“Oke Idanre”), Ondo State – Immortalised by Africa’s only winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Wole Soyinka, in his poetry collectionIdanre and Other Poems, the hills of Idanre are an imposing sight, eclipsing all around them thanks to their stature and might. Located around 24 km from Akure in Ondo State, south-west Nigeria, and providing the nucleus for the Idanre people, the Idanre Hills offer jaw-dropping panoramic views across a beautiful natural landscape that has been the sacred home of the Idanre for almost a millennium. Today the unique indigenous fauna and flora remain gloriously undisturbed by modern life and the hills are the natural habitat of a species of tailless, herbivorous mammal, the hyrax, which lives amongst the grass-tufted rocks and crevices. Five resting posts, designed especially for visitors, are a welcome addition to the steps leading to the peaks where gasp-inducing vistas abound.
10. National War Museum, Umuahia, Abia State – Created to house the relics of Nigeria’s 30-month civil war that raged between 1967 and 1970, this fascinating museum serves as a poignant reminder of a devastating period of conflict and national pain. Commissioned in 1985, the War Museum has become a major attraction in the south-eastern town of Umuahia, the Abia State capital, a site chosen for its role as a strategic military location in the enclave of the short-lived Biafra Republic. A trio of main galleries – Traditional Warfare Gallery, Armed Forces Gallery and Civil War Gallery – contain a wide range of armaments, munitions, war paraphernalia and vehicles such as armoured cars, an Iluyshin bomber and a two-seater single-engine plane equipped with rocket launcher. A basement houses the bunker from where the shortwave radio station Voice of Biafra transmitted its programmes. A British-built naval vessel – the NNS Bonny – is also kept (on land) at the complex and contains a restaurant specialising in assorted local delicacies.
There’s so much history and nature to explore in Nigeria, and the best part is it’s all nature’s gift. Visiting these places won’t cost you a whole lot, especially if you go with friends, and you’ll learn so much about the nation’s rich heritage while having fun.