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Discover Nigeria: Ibadan- The City at the Savannah’s Edge

Located in Southwest Nigeria is Ibadan (Ẹ̀bá-Ọ̀dàn), the capital of Oyo State, with a population of about three and a half million people. By population, it is the third largest metropolitan area in Nigeria, after Lagos and Kano. Ibadan is very old as it was the centre of administration of the old Western Region since the days of the British colonial rule. The city has stood the test of time and while it has developed into a metropolitan city today. It has got a strong combination of tradition and sophistication and is still driven by its ancient heart.

Top sites include:

Bower’s Tower
An over 60 feet tall tower located on the hill top of Oke Are in Igbo Agala (Agala forest) area of Ibadan, the Bower’s Tower is the highest hilltop in the city and it has about 47 spiral staircases. It is not only ancient but unique as it offers a panoramic view of the whole city from the top.

Mapo Hall
A remarkable structure commissioned during the colonial era by Captain Ross in 1929, Mapo Hall is located right beside Bere Market in Ibadan and is a symbol of the ancient’s key roles in Nigeria politics.

Agodi Gardens
The most popular of the city’s six parks, Agodi Garden is a lovely park which spreads over 13 acres of land is a lovely park right at the centre of Ibadan city. Most tourist flood the location for different forms of entertainment and recreation.

Planning to visit?
Ibadan is quite metropolitan and as such, most of its hotels can compete with hotels in cities like Abuja and Lagos. Visitors can choose from over 300 hotels within the city via  From ultra-chic and luxurious to quaint and charming or affordable and basic, no matter your preference and even budget, there is a perfect match for you. Also for budget travellers are decent mid-range options on the ground.
There are several major areas to go shopping in Ibadan- from the local and bespoke to the mega shopping centre. There are also many craft, books and souvenir shops in the old city. Most visitors love to buy the adire – “tie-dye” cloth dyed locally in large pots of indigo is popular in the city- as souvenirs.
People in Ibadan love to eat. A lot. And there are plenty of terrific restaurants in and around the city. One of the first places locals will take you is to a get amala, ewedu or efo — basically, their most favourite local meal. The local foods are best gotten in market areas and restaurants around town. There are also opportunities for fine dining either at the top hotels including Owu Crown and Premier hotels.

Did you know?
The Cocoa House, located at the hub of the city’s commercial centre, is the first skyscraper in Nigeria.


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Nkem Ndem is a dynamic freelance writer and editor who can be reached for online writing(web content and blog) and editing, screenwriting, ghost writing, copy proofreading and reviews. She has since worked with Jumia, SpiceTV Africa, and Bella Naija. Check out her Instagram: @kem_dem, twitter: @ndemv and snapchat: @ndemv

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