“Nigeria is painted with thousands of attractive colours by Mother Nature; it is a story to sold and told. So why not opt for vacation today.”
Nigeria offers a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended roomy rivers and ocean beaches (ideal for swimming and other water sports), unique wildlife, vast tracts of unspoiled nature like tropical forests, and magnificent waterfalls. Some rapidly growing cities and climatic conditions are particularly conducive for holidaying. Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs, rich and varied handicrafts, and other colourful products depicting or illustrative of native arts and lifestyle.
The government has enacted laws and regulations, which govern the activities of the people involved in the hospitality industry, like hoteliers, travel agents, tour-operators, and car hire services. This is to ensure that their conduct is not detrimental to the objectives of the industry and the security of the nation and tourists. Beach and Coastal Resort development (Nigeria has over 700km of unpolluted sandy beaches). Conservation and Protection of 8 national parks and over 10 game reserves. Development of hotels and standard restaurants Transportation: water recreation, package tour services, air and rail services. Development of caves, tunnels, waterfalls and spring waters. These are all part of the activities and policies of the government to ensure that the industry is monitored and regulated.
There’s enough time to take advantage of the tropical weather in Nigeria, please don’t be stationary. Nigeria is painted with thousands of attractive colours by Mother Nature; it is a story to sold and told. So why not opt for vacation today. Check these ten amazing tourist sites in Nigeria.
Yankari Games Reserve
The Yankari National Park is the premier game reserve in Nigeria. Yankari Park and Wikki Warm Springs are located around the Gagi River. The beauty and size of The Yankari Game Reserve makes it the most popular reserve in Nigeria. Japanese, Western Europeans, Americans, and Southeast Asian tourists, among others, come in droves to visit the park. The reserve covers 2,058 sq. km. of savannah woodland and is well stocked with elephants, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, crocodile, hippopotamus, roan antelope, buffalo and various types of monkeys. The best time to visit is between November and May, when tourists are likely to see more game since the dense vegetation has dried out and the animals congregate around the rivers.
Game reserve (spotted leopard)
Wikki Warm Springsis a famous attraction in the Yankari National Park. It is particularly prized for its warm water. It is available both night and day for tourists who cherish swimming. The spring gushes out from under a cliff, where the water is at least 6 ft. deep, with a bathing area that extends for 600 ft. to an open area. The park is inhabited by a variety of birds, including the huge saddle bill stork, goliath heron, eagle, vultures, kingfishers, bee-eaters and more.
The Mambilla Plateau, in the southeast corner of Taraba State, shares a border with Cameroon. A high grassland plateau averaging about 1800 meters, it is scenic, cool and a pleasant change from the heat and humidity of Lagos. Because the roads are still under construction, a sport utility vehicle or jeep is recommended and visitors should pack essentials, camping equipment, and food. As an option, there are a few hotels on the plateau. The Park provides an attractive setting, well worth a visit. Mambilla has cattle ranches, tea plantations, and rolling, grassy hills. It is different from the rest of Nigeria with regard to flora and fauna and is home to some rare species of birds and animals.
Gushaka Gumti National Park
This is a vast land of spectacular wilderness (6,000 sq. kin) in the southeast corner of Taraba State, adjoining the Mambilla Plateau. Mostly mountainous, with height ranging from 457 to 2407 meters, it contains Nigeria’s highest mountain, Chapal Waddi (2409m). It is the most ecologically diverse conservation area in the country and contains swaths of guinea savannah, gallery forest, moist forest, mountain forests and grasslands. Many rivers flow through the park, including the Taraba River, a major tributary of the River Benue.
A wide variety of animal life can be found, including buffalos, roan antelopes, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, hippopotamus, hyenas, giant forest hogs, lions, and leopards. The park is a birdwatcher’s paradise with a wide variety of species. Also there is excellent fishing in the River Kam. These rest houses provide self-catering accommodation at a small fee. The entrance to the park is about 15 km south of Serti. In the dry season, it is possible to drive to the former headquarters at Gashaka village, some 30 km from the entrance gate, where more self-catering accommodation is available. The park is best explored on foot and it is possible to hire game guards, guides, and porters who are available at Serti or in Gashaka village.
The Obudu Ranch Resort
The Obudu Ranch is a popular holiday destination for adventurous tourists wishing to explore the remote corners of Nigeria. Situated in the northeast corner of Cross River State, only 45 miles from the Cameroon border, a tourist can enjoy the countryside of both Nigeria and Cameroon at the same time. The Obudu Plateau is spread over an area of 40 sq. miles. It is 5,200 feet above sea level. The climate is cool and pleasant with no mosquitoes. The landscape is spectacular, with rolling grasslands, deep-wooded valleys and waterfalls. It’s best to visit Obudu in the dry season since during the rainy season much of the ranch may be covered in mist and low clouds and there are thunderstorms. Between December and February the harmattan is heavy; therefore, the best times for a visit are the end of October to December and between March and May, before the rainy season.
Cable cars (located at the top of the ranch)
Ariel view of the ranch with its elbow turns.
Gorilla Camp, 13 km from the hotel, is accessible either by vehicle or on foot, where one can take a long, picturesque walk to the camp, and observe gorillas in their natural habitat. Guests may also ride horses or embark on hiking trips into the wild (comfortable shoes and a guide are recommended). Bird watching here is unparalleled and there is a pleasantly shaded natural swimming pool near the Ranch House. If visitors accept the challenge of a three-hour hike, they’ll be rewarded with a stop at the waterfall, nestled amid captivating scenery. In spite of the altitude, it can get quite hot in the day, with five sunshine hours in the dry season (October – April) and roughly two during rainy season (July to August). Other activities include: golf, badminton, lawn tennis, squash, and horseback riding. The sights are spectacular on the drive east, through rolling mountains, and the dense forest with trees so high their branches form a canopy, shading out the sun entirely. This phenomenon has led to the area being called “Nigeria’s Amazon” and is not to be missed.
The Kainji National Park
This Park, in Kwara State, was established in 1979 and incorporates the Borgu Game Reserve and Zugurma Game Reserve to the southeast in Niger State. The Bourgu sector of the park alone covers an area of about of 3,929 sq. km. of savannah woodland, and Zugurma covers an area of about 1,370 sq. km.
The Kainji National Park also contains the Kainji Dam, an artificial lake which covers the town of Old Bussa. Here Mungo Park, the explorer, was said to have come to grief in 1805. Now the lake hides the scene of the accident. The lake is 136 km long and tours of the dam are available on request from the Nigeria Electric Power Authority. Boat trips on the lake can be arranged by the Borgu Game Reserve office at Wawa. To reduce the expense, it is better for several visitors to share the cost. Fishing is allowed on the lake.
AZUMINI BLUE RIVER ROSE
Azurnini Blue River is located in Abia State towards its boundary with Akwa lbom State. The River has become a resort for tourists because of the pleasantness it offers.
The attractive features of the River include its crystal-clear blue water, canoe rides, and sandy beaches with such relaxation facilities as chairs and tables. At the beach, also, barbecue (BBQ) grill and other delicacies provided for tourist.
The Hills of Benue
Located in the middle belt region of Nigeria, Benue State shares boundaries with Taraba State on the East; Plateau State on the North; Edo State on the West; and Anambra, Enugu, and Cross River States on the South. The entire landmass presents hills of various shades and tourist appeals.
lkyogen Hillsexudes mild weather conditions which ensures steady green vegetation and a round-the-year grazing of animals in the areas which is also known as Ikyogen Cattle Ranch.
Ushogbo Hillsin Ushogbo town also offers clement weather condition that makes it a most fulfilling spot for tourists and adventures.
Bassa Hills, like the Ushogbo Hills, are worth visiting especially for their satisfying scenery; and Swern Hills are valued for their historical linkages. The hills are believed to be the place for origin of the Tiv people.
Lake Chad occupies a strategic location serving not only Borno State of Nigeria where it is located, but also the three neighbouring countries of Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. The lake, apart from serving the agricultural and economic needs of the people, attracts a great number of tourists. Of paramount interest to tourists is the boating opportunity and visits to the numerous fishing villages in the area.
Abokim Water Falls
Some short distance away from the Nigeria-Cameroon border is the very captivating sight called Agbokim Waterfalls. The falls situated in Cross River State lies less than 30km from Ikom and is highly recommended for picnics. The falls are pleasantly surrounded by green vegetation.
Water fall during the rains
Oguta Lake Holiday Complex
The holiday complex is situated in Oguta local government Area of Imo State about 40km away from Owerri, the Capital of Imo State. The lake is fresh water and the second largest natural lake in the country after lake Chad. To complement the complex water-based recreation services, there are other interesting attractions to watch.
(a) Golf Course with 18 standard international holes.
(b) Relic of war (mini bunker) constructed by the defunct Biafran Navy during the Civil war.
(c) Natural confluence of Oguta Lake and Urashi River.
(d) Cruise boat services.
(e) Golf Club Bar House/Oguta Lake Motel for refreshment, lodging and feeding.
(f) Mini-children recreation park
Although it may seem like a lot of money, but it’s far from your assumptions.
Are you thinking of having a vacation in Nigeria? Did you say yes? Then look no further than home; these ten destinations will make you appreciate the natural wonders of Nigeria.
Written by ERU KOBE GODWIN