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World Tourist Day: 40 hotspots in Nigeria you should visit!

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Monday, March 21st, 2016
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Today, 21st of march is world tourist day and there is no better time to profile breathtaking holiday locations and attraction sites in Nigeria. It is such an irony that Nigerians will spending hundreds of thousands travelling to Dubia to visit the artificial water-falls in the Atlantis when there is a naturally endowed one under our nose and will cost about 10% of the foreign trips.

Here is a profile of 40 hotspots in Nigeria you should visit in your life. The first 30 were profiled by Ernest Emeka for travelstart.com.ng and the subsequent is our addition to the list. Of course, we welcome your addition to the list in the comment section!

  1. Ibeno Beach

 

Photo: skyscrappycity.com
Photo: skyscrappycity.com

A blissful destination for tourists stretched over 245km on a sand bank in Ibeno lies the Ibeno Beach, a little haven for leisure seekers. The roaring waves, spots for sunbathing, unpolluted foliage of the mangrove forest, cool breeze from the water and a lush surrounding give this destination an unimaginable allure for tourists.

Location: Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State

2. Obudu Cattle ranch

Obudu-Cattle-Ranch1-780x585

Above the sea level on the Oshie Ridge of the famous Sankwala Mountains sits majestically the Obudu Mountain Resort. The temperate climate, breathtaking views, idyllic tranquility and beautiful scenery has made this resort one of the famous tourists’ sites in Nigeria.

Location: Obudu, Cross River State

3. Ngwo Pine Forest

Ngwo-Pine-780x585

The unique forest dynasty that is found in Ngwo Pine is a huge draw for visitors, romantically set by Mother Nature with sharp twists for adventure seekers, beautifully set pine trees and gently flowing stream for lovers, and the loud splashing of the waters inside the dark cleft inside a cave would blow off one’s imagination.

Location: Ngwo, Enugu State

4. Awhun Waterfalls

Awhum-Waterfalls

Awhum boasts of numerous immaculate lakes, waterfall and a monastery. The waterfall forms beautiful scenery where water cascades over its top forming a stream, which has become a religious tourist site. It is close to the Awhum Monastery.

Location: Awhum, Enugu State

5.Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route

Photo:Tourists tracing the Slave route to the long Juju of Arochukwu
Photo:Tourists tracing the Slave route to the long Juju of Arochukwu

The sacred altar, a six foot gully that takes people to the temple and the waterfall in Arochukwu Long Juju Slave route, beg tourists to explore the shrine of Ibn Ukpabi and the cult momument of Kamula.

Location: Arochukwu, Abia State

6.The Giant Footprint of Ukhuse Oke

Giant-Foot-of-Ukhuse-Oke

In a sacred grove where prehistory meets the modern, between a village called Ukhuse-oke and Ukhuseosi lies this distinct footprints of a prehistoric giant that are embedded permanently on flat granite rocks.

Location: Owan, Edo State

7.Port Harcourt Tourist Beach

Port-Harcourt-Tourist-Beach-780x582

If you are looking for a destination where you can run away from the bustling life of a city; one that is built on an artificial sand beach, Port Harcourt Tourist Beach is where you should be. It is a leisure hub along Kolabi Creek.

Location: Port Harcourt, Rivers State

8. Gashaki-Gumpti National Park

Gashaka-Gumti-National-Park-780x585

A national park that offers a fascinating insight into life in medieval times in Nigeria is the Gashaki-Gumpti National Park. It is located within the Chappal Wadi, Mountain, Chappal Hendu and the Mountain of Wind. It is Nigeria’s largest and most diverse National Park.

Location: Gashaki-Gumpti, Taraba State

9.Alok Ikom Monoliths

alok-ikom-monoliths
alok-ikom-monoliths

300 carved stones standing upright in circles, facing each others in groups with images and texts inscribed on the monoliths are how you would see Alok Ikom Monoliths (UNESCO World Heritage Site) that are in form of a phallus.

Location: Ikom, Cross River state

10. Isaac Boro Peace Pack

Isaac-Boro-Peace-Park

Isaac Boro Garden Park is situated opposite the Mile One Bridge along the Old GRA in Port Harcourt. Today, it has become a tourist location where baseball and softball are played and a center for trade fairs and live entertainment. The tomb of Major Isaac Boro, a soldier killed in the Nigeria Civil War lies here.

11. Tinapa Free trade zone

Tinapa-Business-And-Leisure-Resort-Cross-River-State

The charm of Calabar mingled with the taste of its rich culture gives Tinapa Free Zone & Resort that magnificent scenario that mesmerizes tourists. It has 860,000 sq ft lettable retail space, an entertainment strip that houses a digital cinema, restaurants, a mini amphitheater, casino, and children’s arcade, a Studio Tinapa for Nollywood, a night club and pubs. Visit: Tinapa Free Zone and Resort

Location: Calabar, Cross River State

12. Osun-Osogbo groove

Osun-Osogbo-Grove-780x585

This is the only tourist destination in Nigeria that has sacred shrines, sanctuaries, sculptures and art works that are created in the honour of the goddess of fertility, Osun. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated along the Oshun River.

Location: Oshogbo, Osun State

13. The Emotan Statue

emotan-the-market-woman-native-statue-for-western-nigeriah-city-retro-images-archive

Located opposite the Oba market in Benin City- Emotan Statue stands majestically, clad in her traditional wrapper and a headgear that is associated with royalty in the Benin Kingdom.

Location: Benin, Edo State

14. The Royal Palace Of Oba Of Benin

palace of oba of benin

 

The royal palace of the Oba of Benin is a UNESCO listed heritage site, centrally located near the King’s Square. It holds a huge collection of sculptural pieces of a lot of Benin Obas in bronze, ancestral shrines and ivory.

Location: Benin, Edo State

15.Sukur Cultural Landscape

Sukur-Cultural-Landscape

Madageli- is the home of the Sukur cultural landscape is populated with traditional cemeteries and ritual terraced areas. Blessed with lush avifauna and situated on top of the Mandara Mountains. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Location: Madageli, Adamawa State

16. Queen Amina’s Wall

queen amina's wall

In the city of Zazzau (Zaria) was built well-fortified walls to protect the ancient city by Queen Amina of Zaria, who is renowned for her wise military exploits and strategies so many years. This wall still stands majestically in the modern city of Zaria.

Location: Zaria, Kaduna State

17. Surame cultural landscape

Surame-Cultural-Landscape-sokoto-dessert

When it comes to the wonders of human creativity, ingenuity and civilization, Surame cultural landscape makes that possible. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has walls made of huge stones and a palace for the village chief; Hidi.

Location: Surame, Sokoto State

18. Oban Hills, Cross River State

Korup National Park of Cameroon shares a border with the Oban Hills. Home to a lot of wildlife and plants; and this is one of the few places on earth you can find the Xavier’s Green Bull the Cassin’s Hawk eagle, Crested Guinea fowl, Bat Hawk and over 400 Chimpanzees lives here.

Location: Oban,Cross River State

19. Oke- Idanre Hill

Nigeria-Idanre-Hills

visit to the Oke-Idanre Hill gives a tourist access to a lot of spectacular valleys that are interspersed with inselbelgs and high plain about the sea level. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has Omi Aopara; the thunder water, Agbooogun foot print, burial grounds, shrines and the Owa’s palace.

Location: Oke-Idanre, Ondo State

20.Ogbunike Caves, Enugu State

Ogbunike-Cave

Ogbunike Caves make an idea tourists destination. These caves are closely associated with historical and spiritual significance. There are 317 steps that need to be used to descend down to the caves. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Location: Ogbunike, Anambra State

21.Ancient Kano city wall

kano-city-wall-780x520

There are much more to the beautiful medieval city of Kano when you see the impressive ancient Kano walls (listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ tentative list) . This 14km radius earth monument has a spiritual, cultural and historical significance. It is associated with the Emir’s Palace.

Location: Kano, Kano State

22. Coconut beach

Coconut-Beach

No place tells the story of tourism fused with history like Badagry. It has breathtaking and beautiful ocean views, a perfect place for relaxation. 20 miles before you get to the Republic of Benin lies Coconut beach, and it is surrounded by a lot of coconut trees.

Location: Badagry, Lagos State

23. Bar Beach

bar beach

If you are looking for a beach without plants or even coconut trees, Lagos Bar Beach should be your destination. Located close to the center of the magnificent Victoria Island and it is open to the public. The cool breeze from the ocean and the ocean side walk can be thrilling. Not forgetting the occasional parties and events that take place here.

Location: Victoria Island, Lagos

24. Millennium Park

millenium-park-abuja

The Millennium Park is the largest public park in the capital city of Abuja. It is situated in the Maitama district. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was the one who inaugurated the park that has become kids’ paradise and a relaxation haven.

Location: Maitama, Abuja

25. Nana Living History Museum

Nana-Living-History-Museum-750x430

The magnificent national monument of the Nana Living History Museum is situated in Koko in Warri, a museum that was built by a powerful 19th century business man, Chief Nana Olomu Ebrohimi.

Location: Warri, Delta State

26. The Ancient Nok Settlement

Nok-Settlement1

All over the world, the antiquities from the Ancient Nok Settlement are seen in galleries and museums. This little archaeologists’ haven is located in Jaba Local government. It was here that the Terracotta figurine was discovered in the world.

Location: Jaba , Kaduna State

27. New Afrika Shrine

Cultural-Display-at-New-Afrika-Shrine
Cultural-Display-at-New-Afrika-Shrine

When you feel like getting lost in music from the legendary Fela’s family,the New Afrika Shrine is where you should visit. This is the replacement of the original Shrine that was burnt down. A cover charge of N500 is collected. It is located in Adeleye Street, Ikeja.

Location: Ikeja, Lagos State

28. Abuja Arts and Crafts Village

abuja art and craft village

Abuja Arts and Crafts Village is located at the Central Business District in Abuja , behind the Silverbird Cinema. There are lots of artefacts and handicrafts here for visitors to see and even buy.

Location: Abuja

29. Kainji National Park

Kainji-Lake-national-parks

Kainji National Park was established in1978 which has 3 distinct sectors, the Borgu Game Reserve, the Zugurma Game Reserve and the Kainji Lake where fishing is prohibited. It is situated in Kwara and Niger State.

Location: Niger State

30.Yankari National Park

yankari 2

n Bauchi State is the 2,244 km2 Yankari National Park; a home to wildlife in the state’s South-Central part. It houses a lot of natural warm water springs and it is the one of West Africa’s eco-destinations.

Location: Bauchi State

31. Ikogosi Warm Spring

ikogosi

Ikogosi warm spring is about fifty-five kilometres from Akure, the state capital of Ondo State. Ikogosi is located in Ekiti West Local Government Area. The warm spring roll down over a hilly landscape. From another hill rises a cold spring which Joins the warm spring at a confluence.

Together they form a continuous stream.The whole landscape with its green vegetation is fascinating.

The immediate surrounding of the spring reveals tall evergreen trees, forming a canopy under which visitors can relax. The vegetation also checks erosion.

The spring is said to have some therapeutic effects on some diseases like rheumatism and guinea worm. The undulating topography enhances the aesthetic beauty of the people of Ikogosi.

The most scientific plausibility, however, is that the deeper a body of water goes underground, the hotter it becomes and if by chance it is forced back to the surface through some earth faults, the temperative becomes relatively high.

In an effort to make suitable arrangements for the comfort of guests, well furnished chalets have been constructed to meet the needs of the tourists.In addition, there are facilities for conference, seminars and catering services. These are apart from a Zoological Garden which is being developed.

The provision of sporting and gaming facilities such as an enlarged swimming pool, tennis courts, table tennis and a golf course are being planned. Coupled with these is the rehabilitation of roads linking the centre with the major towns in the state.

32.The Iron of Liberty:

Lokoja, because of its location near the banks of River Niger, was an important centre for slave trade during the era of slavery in Nigeria.

Also because if its strategic location, Lokoja aroused a great deal of interest in the European explorers and missionaries in the early 19th century, and it soon became a commercial post for European merchants and missionaries.

Hence, when the British Government started to wage war against slave trade, Lokoja became a collection centre for slaves seized from slave merchants to be consequently set free.

The spot where such slaves were freed was marked with a piece of iron pole now referred to as the “Iron of Liberty”. This crusade was championed by the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther

33. Olumo rock, Abeokuta

Olumo Rock (Tourist Centre) Abeokuta

olumo rock
Olumo Rock is a massive outcrop of granite rocks of primitive formation from which Abeokuta (meaning under the rock )the capital of Ogun State derive its name.

Abeokuta lies South West of the Republic of Nigeria and is 100 kilometres from Lagos . To the North some 70 kilometres away is the city of Ibadan the capital of Oyo State.

The climate is hot and humid with an annual rainfall of 47 inches. The Rock is sacred to the Egba of Abeokuta because it was the place where they found refuge from their attackers te the days of internecine wars.

By l83O,the main body of the Egba has already settled at the site of theOlumo and the refuge provided by the rock marked the end of their wonderings and struggles for existence.

From that time onwards they have regarded Olumo Rock as their protection shrine and so made annual sacrifice to its deity. The importance of Olumo Rock to the Egba is conveyed in the assertion that Abeokuta was the gift of the Olumo, as Egypt was the gift of the Nile.

To the Egbas, Olumo Rock stands not only as a monument of faith in unity but also a source of strength and unfailing protection and sustenance from the supreme being who led their ancestors through the perplexities of life safely to Abeokuta.

Hence the interpretation of Olumo meaning “Oluwa fi mo” “God has put and end to our wanderings” Officially known as AT3, Olumo Rock is located off Alatise between lkija and Ikereku neighbourhoods of the town.

The highest point of Olumo is about 137 metres above sea levels. Looking from the top one would appreciate the wisdom of the first settlers to have chosen such a perfect bulwark against external invasion.

The name ‘Olumo, meaning God built if derives from the fact that rock is naturally surrounded by caves. One of which is about twenty feet long and twenty five feet wide. This has slab like stones which appear to serve as seats used by the ancient dwellers.

It probably was used as a hall of conference room. Another cave, some twenty metres long and seventy metres wide appears to be actual dwelling place.It has five built in rooms with a long corridor used as sitting room, kitchen and store.

At the east end of it is another bug cave, Out with mud walls in outer and inner chambers. This is used as a shrine by the devotees of Orise lgun (God of Longevity).

34.Gurara Waterfalls

The-Gurara-Waterfall
This wonderful falls which is best described as Nigeria’s Premier falls is located at kilometre 76 along Minna Suleja roads. From Suleja to the junction is about 45 kms while from the junction to the falls is about 2 kms.

35. Erin-Ijesa Water falls.

erin ijesa waterfallerin ijesaerin ijesa4

Erin Ijesha or the Olumirin Waterfall is one of natural wonders of the world. It is located in the Osun state of Nigeria. At the outset, you will find nothing unique, but as you climb the uphill plain, which is on seven levels, you will have braktkg views of nature, boundless amount of nature stored.

At all the levels, the views are spectacular; you will also find the water refreshing. However seventh level is somewhat diffcult to climb. You will find the third level equal to trudging the snow-white sharp Mount Everest.

The seventh pale is a wonderful; you will be at the peak of the waterfall. It is also a settlement for the ancient inhabitants for a number of years. The cascading waterfall amidst the soaring mountains, gives a blend of wildlife with tranquility.

The Erin Ijesha is also home to the fresh water prawns, belonging to the Atyidae, aridea family, and genus Caridina (genetic terms).

36.The Mambilla Plateau

mambilla plateau

This is a Plateau of about 1,830 metres above sea level. It has temperate climate within the tropical region. It has an undulating landscape free of insects.

Temperate crops like the avogad’s pear, Straw berries. Coffee arc grown there. The popular Mambilla Tourist Centre is located at Gembu in the high land.

Location ; Taraba state.

37. Karuju Castle

kuruje castle Kajuru German Castle

The Karuju Castle was interestingly was built in 1978 by a controversial German expatriate who lived in Kaduna at the time. This breathtaking architectural master-piece is a tourist wonder of sorts. It stands out because of its European and German design, with a baronial hall and suits of armor.

In the castle, there are bedrooms looking like dungeons and several towers with crenulated walls. Beware; there are also, the crocodiles in a pit protecting the huge castle like gates! The road up to the castle is not a journey for the faint hearted, neither is it for vehicles without plenty of HP under the bonnet.

38.Okonni Wildlife Sanctuary

okonnisanctuary
The Okomu Wildlife Sanctuary, Benin City, Edo State was the first in the country to be protected by law for conservation in August 1985. It is jointly managed by the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, (NCF). The sanctuary contains rare species like the white-throat- ed monkey. Also present are the mona monkey, the putty nosed quenon, the red-cangaby, chimpanzees, elephants, bush-baby, the potto buffalo, red river hog, duikers, horn bills, porcupines, etc. TheOkomu Forest Reserve is the second largest in the country after theOban Forests in Cross River State

39.Ososo Tourist Centre
Ososo town, on the boundary between Edo and Kogi States, is hilly and rocky. It lies about 40 kilometres from Igarra and 200 kilometres from Benin city in Edo State, The rocks and hills present a beau tiful scenery. There is a non-catering Rest House on top of a hill at Ososo, which grants a wide view of parts of Kogi State to as far as the Niger. From the Rest House can be seen some distance away a crater take with colourful fishes. An amusement park is being developed as part of the resort which has tem- perate weather for long periods in the year.

40. Whispering Palms resort

whispering-palms-resort-lagos-64196whispering_palms_badagry_4b-460x250.jpg 2

The Whispering Palms Resort is an activity center that lies on the bank of the Lagos Lagoon, in the outskirts of the city.
At Whispering Palms you can be assured of finding the uncanny balance between rest and fun.

Location: Badagry, Lagos.

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