The North-Central region of Nigeria is also known as the Middle Belt. The states that make up this region are FCT (Abuja), Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Benue, and Plateau. These days, tourists are hereby advised to seek clearance from Nigeria security agents before embarking on a tour in this region.
If you are going with a tour agency, make sure it is one you trust who has access to current security information and will provide extra security for their tourists on such trips. Once confirmation of the security status of the place has been settled, you are free to tour the middle belt of Nigeria.
Anwase-Abande Ranges – The range is located in Kande LGA and extends into the Nigeria-Cameroon border via the Obudu-Cameroon range. The climate here is temperate. The scenery includes natural forests, dykes, incised valleys, flowing streams, great dissected hills, and other natural formations. It is perfect for outdoor activities like camping, sightseeing, mountaineering/ hiking and picnicking. This area is untouched by civilisation, so go with the mind of being in the wild/one with nature.
Federal Capital Territory (FCT)
Central Business District (CBD) – The CBD is at the centre of Abuja; making it easy to link up with Maitama (towards the North), Wuse (towards the West), Asokoro (towards the East) and Garki (towards the South). On Its own, the CBD is home to several sites worth viewing on a city tour. Places like the Arts and Crafts Village where art enthusiasts can see and purchase local arts and crafts like statuettes, traditional masks and jewellery or even a custom-made painting of themselves.
Also, you get to see Silverbird Cinemas Abuja by Memorial Drive (which is not the same as the one located at Jabi Lake Mall, with a chance to visit Jabi Lake in the Jabi District). Other places to see are the National Library, Eagle square, National Christian Centre, Aso Hill, the Ministry of Defence office known as ‘Ship House’ and The Three Arms Zone (where the Federal Administrative Offices of the Legislation, Judiciary and the Executive are located). The plan without this location is to kill many birds with one stone.
Mount Patti – Located in Lokoja city, Mount Patti is about 1,500 feet (460m) above sea level. The top of this landmark is filled with interesting sites for tourists to see. The journey up this massive hill includes a drive through a mylina tree plantation. The best of all is the confluence point of Rivers Niger and River Benue, the view that gave way to the name of our country. Other attractions include a statue of Lady Lugard (Flora Shaw), Lord Lugard’s Rest House (his office – now Kogi State Government House – was built at the bottom of the mount), the big 100-year-old Baboa tree, an NTA office, telecommunication masts, a panoramic view of Lokoja and a Museum of Colonial History. The Museum house Lord Lugard’s properties and relics including records of his administration which teaches visitors more about our colonial past. Devoid of mosquitoes with a fantastic weather, the climb up the mount is not for the faint-hearted or unfit persons, but it is worth it.
Esie Museum – Built by colonial masters in 1945, this is the first Museum in Nigeria. It is located in Irepodun LGA just 53km south-east of Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state. It is home to tombstones of human-shaped stone figures which were first discovered in 1775. Tourists can see each stone figure depicting a human activity. It is famed to be the largest collection of soapstone images in the world.
Owu Waterfall – There are many other lovely waterfalls in Kwara state like the Ahoyaya waterfalls. But Owu waterfall cascades down a rocky cliff with a steep height of 120metres, making it a fascinating sight. People say it to be the second highest waterfall in West Africa. In Ifelodun LGA just 112km from Ilorin, the cold pool beneath the fall and the rocky and evergreen surroundings makes this place picturesque. NO wonder it is called the ‘Wonder in the Wilderness’.
Farin Ruwa Waterfall – This is the most gorgeous waterfall in Nigeria, you can call it our version of Victoria Falls. In Wamba LGA, 120km from Lafia (the state’s capital), it falls from a height of 150km and its 50m wide. Besides taking amazing pictures and climbing to the source of the falls, this spot is good for bird watching and picnics even though it is at its best during the rainy season.
Keana Salt Village – If you are curious about salt production, then this is your stop. Keana which is 67km from Lafia is just one of the salt villages in Nasarawa. Salt is available here in large quantities/ridges, you will see get to see tools and pots used for mining salt traditionally which date as far back as the 12th century. The speed of the processing and packaging of salt will leave you amazed.
Kainji National Park – Established as a merger between two game reserves in 1979, this is one of the largest National parks in Nigeria. It is located in Kainji, Borgu LGA, close to the famous Kainji hydroelectric dam. This park is a conservation centre with biodiversity, a Lake and a wide variety of animals like Roan Antelope, Hartebeests, lions, Baboons, Hippopotamus, Monkeys, etc.
Gurara Falls – Discovered in 1745, the unique feature of this waterfall is not only it’s resemblance to Farin Ruwa Falls but it has the largest width of all the waterfalls in Nigeria. It is 200 – 300metres wide and cascades down a height of 30-50 metres into a brown murky looking pool. Located along the Suleja-Mina road, it has become a popular tourist attraction.
National Museum Complex – Also called Jos Museum, this place is the first erected Museum of antiquities and the second established Museum in Nigeria (after the Esie Museum in Kwara state). What makes this Museum unique is not just the Nok terracotta heads, Pottery hall or other well-crafted clay artefacts dating 500 BC to 200 AD found in it. It’s inclusion of the Museum of Nigeria for Traditional Architecture where buildings displaying architectural designs of prehistoric Nigerians are exhibited. Also, close to this location at the heart of Jos City is another attraction worthy of visiting, the Jos Zoological Garden. It was established in 1957 as a home to animals such as porcupines, donkeys, Ostriches, a variety of birds and reptiles.