Kano is West Africa’s oldest city, founded over a thousand years ago. It is also the third largest city in Nigeria.
Kano used to serve as a major stopover point on the trade routes that stretched across the Sahara. In the Middle Ages, Kano was also a very important Islamic center.
It may be worthy to note that alcohol has been banned in Kano since 2004, as it is the capital of a sharia state. However, tourists who wish to enjoy an alcoholic drink or two may still avail of them at the upmarket bars and restaurants in the Christian Sabon Gari district.
Kano also hosts an annual Durbar Festival, a combined celebration of the two Muslim festivals of Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and the Eid al-Adha, which marks the hajj holy pilgrimage.
Yankari National Park
Yankari National Park is located 225 kilometers east of Jos. It is one of Nigeria’s most popular national parks for wildlife observation, with growing populations of baboons, bushbuck, waterbuck, and buffalo. Bird watching is also one of the major attractions of the park.
However, one of the best known characteristics of the Yankari National Park is the elephant population of around 500. The elephants can be seen roaming around freely, enjoying the natural habitat within the park.
If you wish to visit the Yankari National Park, the recommended months to do so is from November to May. During these months, before the rainy season comes, the animals usually satisfy their thirst by drinking from the waters of the Gaji River, where they all congregate.
Taking your own rented vehicle around the park is permitted, though there are safari trucks available for rent from the park authorities. Tourists who wish to take pictures with their cameras are required to pay a certain fee.
Lagos is known as Africa’s largest city. There are people, cars, and stores everywhere, making it a cramped – but very interesting – city.
It used to be a center for British politics; until 1991, it was Nigeria’s capital.
Today, Lagos is still an important cultural and economic hub of the country. The street life in Lagos is one of the most unique in the whole Western African region, due to its bustling music scene. The markets in Lagos never rest, with crowds of sellers and buyers looking for the best bargains.
Lagos may not appeal to everyone because of the immense congestion in the city. However, what Lagos offers to those interested to visit is a true urban African adventure – and in Nigeria, Lagos is probably one of the best cities where one can get this kind of experience.
Sukur Cultural Landscape
The Sukur Cultural Landscape provides a remarkably intact picture of a society established in the past. The culture of the area’s past inhabitants, both material and spiritual, is reflected in the Sukur Cultural Landscape.
Its terraced fields and sacred symbols found within them, not to mention the remains of an iron industry that once flourished in the region, speak of an interesting past.
The landscape has been unchanged for several centuries and shows how the inhabitants interacted with their environment. It also shows how the land was used by the people living in the settlements during the critical times of their existence.
In fact, the remnants of several furnaces for iron smelting are still found here. Bellows were used to blow on these furnaces, which were most often located near the homes of the owners. Tourists can also visit the remains of altars and shrines in the area.
The Sukur Cultural Landscape is located in a plateau in northeastern Nigeria, near the borders of the adjacent country of Cameroon. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
The Oguta Lake is a freshwater lake – the second largest in the country. It has been a fixture in Nigeria for thousands of years. Located within a rainforest area, it is a vital part of the livelihood of the people living in nearby areas.
The major attraction for tourists is the Oguta Lake Holiday Complex. The complex boasts of a full 18-hole golf course, a war relic in the form of a mini bunker, the Golf Club Bar House/Oguta Lake Motel, a recreational park for children, and cruise services for Oguta Lake.
There are a multitude of other recreational activities that can be found in the Oguta Lake Holiday Complex, most of which are water based. If you wish to get your share of fun in the water in a beautiful location, then the Oguta Lake should definitely be part of your itinerary.
Lake Chad is one of the most important lakes in the whole continent of Africa, for it is the main water source for more than 20 million people residing in the countries of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.
According to archaeologists, it used to be an inland sea covering an area of 400,000 square kilometers (154,441 square miles). However, due to changes in the weather, the area of the inland sea of the past continued to shrink, forming the Lake Chad of today, with its size of around 1,350 square kilometers (521 square miles).
The part of Lake Chad that is in Nigeria is located in the northeastern region of the country. The lake is home to a healthy collection of aquatic life. In particular, in the swamp and reed bed portions of the lake, over a thousand algae species can be found.
Other animals that you will see on Lake Chad are hippos, crocodiles, and shore birds. Birds that are on their migration route can also be seen resting in Lake Chad before they continue flying on to further regions. During the wet season, the lake becomes a treasure trove of fish.
The Hills of Benue
The hills of Benue, located in the center belt region of Nigeria, have several interesting features that attract tourists. Most prominent, as can be inferred from the name, are the hills in the area.
There is an assortment of hills of all shapes and sizes, along with a unique soil make-up that gives each hill a unique color. Some of the hills are the Bassa Hills, the Ushogbo Hills, and the Swern Hills.
Another tourist attraction in the area is the Ikyogen Cattle Ranch. The relatively pleasant climate in the region has made it possible for lush, green grass to grow throughout most of the year; on this, the cattle of the ranch graze.
The hills of Benue have been left largely untouched by man’s activities, allowing you to experience the natural beauty of Nigeria.
Zuma Rock is located along the Kaduna Abuja highway in Niger State, 107 kilometers (66 miles) away from Minna. Its dominating presence looms over the area – a characteristic that made the people of the past use it for defensive purposes.
The natives of the Gwari, the people who used the Zuma Rock to defend themselves, thought that the rock had a special ability to render their enemies powerless. The rock also provided them with hiding places during attacks by enemy tribes.
As you move in for a closer look, you will see a face that is engraved on the side of Zuma Rock. Engravings on the rock make up what seem to be the eyes, nose, and mouth of a “face” that looks toward the Abuja road.
After marveling at the Zuma Rock up close, tourists can linger in the well-kept area surrounding it, which is ideal for picnics and relaxation.
Ibeno Beach is located in Nigeria’s Akwa Ibom State, in the southern coastal area of the country. There are several beaches in Nigeria, but Ibeno Beach’s natural appeal makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
The beach is one of the longest beaches in Western Africa, stretching for 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) on the Nigerian coast. It is part of the West African beach, with white sand that stretches for more than 90 kilometers (56 miles) in the Atlantic coast.
All the usual beach activities, such as swimming and sunbathing, can be done on Ibeno Beach. Visitors can also enjoy water sports such as scuba diving and snorkeling around the coral reefs in the area.
The waters of the beach are usually calm, which makes for relaxing recreation within or beside the waters. The Ibeno Beach is a perfect getaway for adventurers, couples, and families.
Osun Sacred Grove
The Osun Sacred Grove, located on the outer edges of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remaining pieces of Southern Nigeria’s primary high forest. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
It is believed that the Osun Sacred Grove is the home of Osun, the goddess of fertility. This is why the grove is the site of several shrines, sanctuaries, sculptures, and pieces of art that are dedicated to Osun, though there are a few dedicated to other gods. Paths laid down for devotees lead to a total of 40 shrines in the grove and 9 worship points beside the Osun River.
The grove covers an area of 75 hectares, with a mature and very much untouched forest canopy. This allows the area to support a flora and fauna profile that is diverse and rich – for one, the grove is home to the endangered white-throated monkey.
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