Best places to visit in Nigeria

Best places to visit in Nigeria

After one or two days, the majority of visitors to Nigeria wish they had planned to remain longer.

Once they begin to see the sites and interact with the locals, they realize that there is far more to do than they had anticipated. Don’t repeat the error; grant yourself a long leash. The country’s 36 states are divided into six geopolitical zones for administrative convenience. If you plan to stay in more than one state, organize your travels along the same lines; choose an anchor city and proceed state by state or zone by zone.

In the South-South, for instance, the picturesque and leisurely city of Uyo can serve as a base from which to explore the Niger Delta states. Bauchi is an ideal location for exploring the rocky landscapes of Plateau, Adamawa, Borno, and Taraba states in the North East.

Narrow down your list with these top places to visit in Nigeria.

Best city for an intro to Nigeria

Whether you are traveling alone or with a group, Abuja is the ideal place to begin your exploration of Nigeria. By design, it is a city for vacationing: hills, public gardens, and recreational parks are interspersed throughout its residential areas, so you are assured of ample green space. The landscaped grounds of Millenium Park attract hundreds of picnickers; rent a mat and relax. Aso Rock, from which the Nigerian presidential palace derives its name, rises impressively in the distance.

The expansive sidewalks and boulevards of Abuja make walking a delight at any time of day. Central Park, Magicland Amusement Park, Jabi Lake Park, and the Arttech District are popular family destinations. They provide dining, outdoor activities, and sports, including horseback riding, roller skating, bicycle trails, and go-karts.

Every weekend there is a hike up one of the city’s peaks in Abuja, which is also a city for hiking. There is little to no formality required to join hiking groups and societies like Naija Adventurers, Tha Outdoor Tribe, and Mantrek Hikers Club. Occasionally, the trekking extends to nearby landmarks in the states of Niger, Nasarawa, and Kaduna.

2. Calabar

Best city for heritage and celebrations

Calabar connects a number of nature and heritage locations, including the Slave History Museum, Cross River National Park, Obudu Mountain Resort, and Afi Mountain Drill Sanctuary, which attracts tourists.

The Bakor (or Ikom) monoliths, a collection of more than 300 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) tall stones, are also one of the region’s most popular attractions. Clans in the host communities believe these ancient stones to be their ancestors. A permanent exhibition is housed in an open-air museum at Alok, 156 kilometers (97 miles) north of Calabar. Some of the stones are easily accessible from Calabar, while others are in more desolate forested areas.

Calabar’s exciting events, culminating in the Christmas festival, a month-long celebration of concerts and street parties, are another cause to visit. The carnival, a pan-Nigeria cultural parade with participation from at least a half-dozen countries, is another event that draws large crowds. The Leboku New Yam Festival, one of the most popular in Nigeria, is celebrated in August or September. On the eve of the festival, the host communities perform ritual ceremonies to their “stone ancestors” and re-paint them with colored chalk in preparation for the festival proper.

3. Lagos

Best place to hang out on the beach

Lagos is delightful on multiple levels. The coastline of the city is already a corridor of resorts and beach cottages. On weekends, Lagosians flock to a long stretch of private beaches to party and participate in a variety of water-based activities. Take a short boat journey to Tarkwa Bay for the best beach experiences, or drive to Landmark Beach.

As the birthplace of Nigeria’s film industry (Nollywood) and the now-global Afrobeats movement, the city has been at the center of Nigeria’s entertainment growth for decades. Lagos’ creative side is in full motion during the second half of the year, as it hosts a multitude of festivals such as the Lagos International Poetry Festival, Lagos Fringe Festival, and Art X Lagos.

The “city of aquatic splendor” combines urban appeal with well-preserved traditions, despite its teeming metropolis. As the location of the Eyo masquerade, downtown Lagos is a network of Igas (palaces), sanctuaries, and markets. Badagry, once a town of enslaved people, is now a destination for travelers and pilgrims to visit historical sites, including the Badagry Heritage Museum, Mobee Slave Relics Museum, Vlekete Slave Market Museum, and Brazilian Baracoon.

Best for adventure travelers

The Mambilla Plateau represents the pinnacle of Nigerian travel experiences. On this multi-day trip, you will traverse vast savannah lands and lengthy, winding roads, driving up and down numerous hilly terrains, past dairy farms, streams, and rivers. On the highway between Mayoselbe and Tunga, you will arrive within a few feet of a group of monkeys.

Multiple cascades await you at Maisamari, Lemetela and Mbanga towns. Chappal Waddi (7,936 feet), the highest point in Nigeria, is the objective of every visitor to Mambilla. At Gembu, a major transit hub near Cameroon, you can explore the Donga River on local paddle boats or visit any of the tea plantations, Highland Tea being the most prominent, where you can watch harvesters toss the leaves over their shoulders into elongated, hand-woven baskets. Gashaka-Gumti National Park is the largest of Nigeria’s 17 national parks, which are all administered by the Nigeria Parks Service.

Best city for culture and history

Ilorin, in Nigeria’s North-Central region, is typically not on tourist itineraries, despite its merits. The emir’s palace is the center of cultural and spiritual activity in Ilorin. The excursion usually begins at the four pillars commemorating the emirate’s past military achievements. Ilorin transitioned in the early 19th century from an outpost of the Old Oyo Empire to a stronghold of the Sokoto Caliphate, and the numerous buildings within and adjacent to the palace (such as the Ilorin Central Mosque) serve as relics of various eras.

Ilorin has maintained many of its traditional cottage industries, including aso oke (handwoven fabric), mat- and basket-weaving. Visit the unmissable Dada pottery to discover skills passed down through generations of women.

What is a special place in Nigeria?

Abuja’s most prominent tourist destinations include the National Assembly, Zuma Rock, Abuja National Mosque, Millennium Park, Aso Rock, Millennium Tower, National Church of Nigeria, and Abuja Stadium. How many days are sufficient to explore Nigeria? Five or six days would be sufficient to see the finest of Nigeria.