Tourism is the act of travelling or sightseeing, particularly away from one’s home. It is the organization and operation of holidays and visit to places of interest. As a tourist, you visit different places and you see different things, historical places, sacred things and basically things that interest you. Nigeria is a country that is rich with history. They are a lot of tourist attractions across the country. In Nigeria, there are many places you can visit for sightseeing and basically have fun. Places that both international and local tourist would love and see different and unique things. You can learn about other places as well as different cultures of others as a tourist.
Here are top 20 tourist destinations in Nigeria:
1) Yankari National Park
This is a large wild life park located in the south-central part of Bauchi state, in north eastern Nigeria. It was originally created as a game reserve in 1956, but later designated Nigeria biggest national park in 1991. In Yankari national park you see the Nigeria best wild life park. Crocodile, baboons, hippopotamus, water bucks etc are all present at the park. It also features four warm water springs.
2) Ogbunike Cave
The Ogbunike Cave is located at Ogbunike, Anambra state. It makes an idea tourist destination. The Ogbunike Caves are closely associated with spiritual and historical significance. It is divided into segments with their unique significance. It is among the nature wonders and an ideal destination.
3) Olumo Rock
Olumo Rock is a mountain in south western Nigeria. It is located in Abeokuta, Ogun state. Olumo is a popular tourist attraction in Nigeria. It sits in the heart of Abeokuta –a name which means “under the Rock” in the Yoruba language. It has unsual trees, natural captilevers gardens on the rock etc. It also has a height of 137 metres above sea level. In Olumo Rock there is a museum, restaurants, water fountain and the ancient itoku market which lies outside the Olumo rock premises. There is a man-made stairs carved into the rock to aid climbing. Olumo Rock is indeed an ideal tourist site. You do not want to miss it!
4) Obudu Mountain Resort
Obudu Mountain Resort formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch is a ranch and resort on the Obudu plateau in cross river state. This is a tourist destination for both international and local tourist. It is filled with special features that will keep you wow! There are breath taking views, and beautiful scenery.
5) Nike Art Gallery
Nike Art Gallery is Nigeria leading art gallery located at 2 elegushi beach road and owned by Chief Nike Davies Okundaye. If you are an art lover, then the Nike Art Gallery will blow your mind. The fence of the compound is adorned with rare marbles and its walls are covered in different artistic inscription and drawings. This is a wonderful tourist destination in Nigeria.
6) Ngwo Pine Forest
This is another popular tourist destination in Nigeria. It is a unique forest dynasty that is found in Ngwo Pine. At the Ngwo Pine Forest, you will appreciate nature as there are beautifully set Pine trees and gently flowing stream. Ngwo Pine Forest is located in Enugu – Onitsha road, Ngwo asaa, Nigeria. There is a pool formed at the base of the caves through the natural water fall, one can relax and enjoy there.
7) Aso Rock
This is another popular tourist site in Nigeria. Aso Rock is a 400-meter rock. It houses the major seats of power of the Nigeria government; Presidential villa (Aso Rock Villa), National assembly, and the Supreme Court. Tourists are still allowed in to visit but the access has become limited due to security reasons.
8) Zuma Rock
The Zuma Rock ranks high as one of the choice tourist attractions in Nigeria. It is a large monolith, an igneous intrusion composed of gabbro and granodiorite that is located in Niger state, Nigeria. During the raining season. The apex of the Zuma Rock catches fire while it is raining. You don’t want to miss this opportunity of seeing the Zuma Rock fire.
9) Azumini Blue River
The Azumini Blue River is another favorite tourists resort because of its rare clear blue water. It is located at the boundary between Abia state and Akwa Ibom, Abia. It has relaxation spots where one can sit and enjoy special delicacies. This is a place worth visiting as you experience the beauty of nature.
10) Kajuru Castle
Kajuru Castle is a luxury villa at Kajuru village in Kaduna state, Nigeria. The castle is privately owned and has the capacity to contain 150 guests. It is very popular for honeymoon getaways, group vacations and pool parties. The Kajuru castle has a portcullis (the vertically closing gate) with a crocodile pit.
11) Lekki Conservation Centre
This is another tourist destination. Lekki conservation centre (LCC) is 78-hectre (190-acre) natural resource conservation in Lekki Lagos state. It is endowed with an abundance of plant and animal life and it protects the wetlands of Lekki peninsula which consist of swamp and savannah habitats. It is one of the best nature reserves in Nigeria and the conservation and relaxation centre offers a breath of fresh air and an escape from the buzzing city of Lagos.
12) Eleko Beach
If you love an atmosphere of peace and tranquility then Eleko beach is for you. It was opened in 1989 as a serene and private beach in Lekki peninsula, about 30 miles east of the Lagos Island. At Eleko beach, you will find various beach bar and restaurants and you can make choice in the spot you want to chill. This is another tourist attraction site.
13) Agodi Gardens
This is a tourist attraction in the city of Ibadan. Also called Agodi Botanical Gardens, is a serene environment on 150 acres of land. It is usually patronized by families during festival periods and weekends. If you want to tour with your family, then Agodi Gardens is for you. It has great picnic spot, mini lake, mini zoo; it is just a combination of everything ng for a wonderful experience.
14) Osun Sacred Grove
If you are looking for a place to tour, then Osun Sacred Grove should be among your list. The Osun scared Grove is classified as one of UNESCO world heritage sites. It attracts a large number of tourists and it is situated on the outskirts of Osun state along the banks of Osun river. The forest contains about 400 different species of plants that are used for medicinal purposes. In the Grove you will find shrines of different deities. You will get to see the beauties, and wonders of the massive forest.
15) New Afrika Shrines
This is another good tourists destination. The New Afrika shrine is an open air entertainment centre located in Ikeja, Lagos State. It serves as the host location for the annual Felabration music festival. It showcases photo galleries of Fela and music performances by Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti, making it a tourist attraction.
16) Kainji National park
This is a national park in Niger state and Kwara state, Nigeria. It was established in 1978, and covers an area of about 5,341km2(2,062 sq mi). The Kainji National Park includes three distinct sectors. The Kainji Lake, Borgu Game Reserve. This is a tourist attraction and a fun place to be.
17) The Ancient Nok Settlement
The Ancient Nok settlement is seen in galleries and museums all over the world. This little archeologists’ haven is located in Jaba local government, Kaduna State. It was in the Ancient Nok Settlement that the Terracotta Figurine was discovered in the world. This is a major tourist destination.
18) Awhum waterfall
The magical Awhum waterfall is another tourist site. It is located at Amaugwe village of Awuhum town in Udi local government Area, Enugu state. The waterfall is unique, humbling for its peacefulness and mysterious. The waterfall is 30 metres high and famed to have healing powers and the capability of dispelling satanic or evil forces.
19) The Long Juju Slave Route of Arochukwu
The Long Juju Slave Route of Arochukwu is a sacred altar, a six foot gully that takes people to the temple and the waterfall in Arochukwu. Tourists explore the shrine of ibini ukpabi and the cult monument of kamula. Due to the great influence of the long juju shrine, stewards and lower members of the juju cult migrated to clans south of the Niger and settled. There is also the throne of judgment – the dark presence (the holy of holies) where those found guilty of a crime are made to walk into dark tunnels while those found innocent went back to their relatives. Other features include a hill of rags, where the condemned were instructed to undress and leave their clothes before they disappeared into the tunnels. There is also red river where it is said that as the victims disappear, the aro would colour the river red to give people the impression that the condemned has died. This is one of the top tourist destinations in Nigeria.
20) The Giant Footprint of Ukhuse Oke
This is another tourist attraction. The distinct footprints of a prehistory giant are embedded permanently on flat granite rocks. It is located in a sacred grove Owan, Edo state.
21) Abuja Arts and Crafts Village
The Abuja Art and Craft is another tourist attraction. It is located at the central district in Abuja, behind the silver bird cinema. There you will find various hand crafted product, the shops are built with red clay and thatched roofs and there are a lot of artifacts and handicrafts there for tourists to see and even buy.
Written by Teniola Egbuwalo