The Nigerian tourism industry has unfortunately being undermined for years. But it does offer a plethora of beautiful experiences that should be explored.
– By Chiamaka Obuekwe
When Nigeria is mentioned, tourism hardly ever comes to mind. Nigerians travel a lot to other countries for tourism, leaving Nigeria out. Many blame it on lack of tourist centres in Nigeria, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Nigeria is a country rich in culture, beautiful landscapes and adventurous destinations begging to be discovered. One only needs to open their eyes to see the beauty within. There are so many places to explore and this list is not exhaustive; it just contains a few exciting ones we believe you will enjoy exploring this year.
Kajuru castle, Kaduna – Like something out of a fairytale, Kajuru castle is located in Kaduna. This medieval style castle which was built in 1980 by a German expatriate was built as a private apartment, but is now open as a tourist attraction due to its architectural splendor. The castle stands on a collection of hills and is complete with a dungeon, tower, a swimming pool and sauna.
Obudu mountain resort, Crossriver – Obudu would leave you mesmerized with the breathtaking views of the mountains and greenery. The resort has a wide range of activities that everyone can enjoy, ranging from the swimming pool, to the canopy walk, the forest trail, the scenic mountains, to the mini waterfalls and especially the cable cars.
Fifth Chukker Polo resort, Kaduna – Fifth Chukker resort is one of Kaduna’s best kept secrets. It is a Northern styled polo resort with a fully functional equestrian academy. They host polo tournaments and also have lots of attractions for guests like quad bikes, a club house, swimming pool and sporting facilities. Fifth Chukker Resort is a good option if you want a scenic environment to learn to ride a horse.
Rufus and Bee, Lagos – Rufus and Bee is a new arcade game center that offers maximum fun for both kids and adults. If you want to have unlimited fun, it is a place worth exploring.
Idanre hills, Ondo – With 660 steps to climb to the top of the hills and standing proudly at 3000ft above sea level, Idanre hills is one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Nigeria. More interestingly is the fact that an ancient civilization existed there over 800 years ago and the ruins of that civilization can still be seen. If you love nature and history, you should visit Idanre hills.
Lekki conservation center, Lagos-The conservation center is an off-shoot of Nigerian conservation foundation, an NGO which preserves nature parks and conservation centers around Nigeria. Founded in 1990, the center is complete with nature trail, a canopy walkway and the family park. The Canopy walkway is the longest canopy walkway in Africa with a height of 22.5 ft that gives you a bird’s eye view of the forest and some other parts of Lagos.
Abeokuta – The ancient town of Abeokuta has a lot to offer travelers. Olumo rock is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Nigeria. The rock holds a lot of history for the Egba people. Abeokuta also houses the newly completed Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library and Green legacy resort. The innovative library and museum contains history of Nigeria. There are other places like the Itoku adire market, the Abeokuta golf course, the Herbert Ogunde museum, University of Abeokuta Zoo and Alake of Egbaland’s palace.
In this season where buying Nigerian made goods to improve the Naira is a recurring narrative, then enjoying the beautiful sites that Nigeria has to offer should be a priority as well.
Chiamaka Obuekwe (Social Prefect) is a travel enthusiast, travel writer, tour guide and tour operator. She is the CEO and Co-founder of the innovative company – Social Prefect Tours: a tour operating company that promotes African tourism and connects people and has organized over 50 tours since its inception in 2015. She has been featured and interviewed on popular media platforms including Guardian Life, Guardian woman, Genevieve magazine, Bellanaija, Punch, Channels TV, Leading ladies Africa, etc.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read more articles.