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Tourism In Nigeria (Places of Interest) (Reviewed, 27th May 2005) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

An Introduction

Tourism is relatively a budding enterprise in Nigeria but owing to Nigeria's potentials, it has undergone a gradual but progressive evolution in the past three decades.

The Badagry Water Front, Lagos StateNigeria is a country greatly endowed. It is blessed with warm, sundry climate, over 800 kilometers of fascinating beaches and evergreen vegetation in the South, while in the North, alluring landforms overshadows savannah grasslands. Added to these are the interesting natural features in form of water falls, springs, hills, some mountainous areas with temperate like climate and a range of special and common species of tropical wildlife. These, coupled with wide market opportunities, diverse socio-cultural heritage that gives the nation its uniqueness and the hospitality of the about 120 million people earn Nigeria the sobriquet, GIANT OF AFRICA.

It is almost impossible to deny Nigeria its prime of place amongst the richly endowed potential tourist destinations in the world.

Places of Interest (Tourist Attractions in Nigeria)

Tourist attractions in Nigeria can be classified as follows:

1. Natural Attractions: There are abundant physical attractions, which include hills, caves, springs, lakes and mountains across the entire country. These fascinating features and alluring scenes are good sites for leisure, adventure and other tourism-related endeavours. Example of these physical attractions are old Oyo National Park, Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi; Obudu (Protea) Cattle Ranch, in cross River State and the Jos Wildlife Park in Plateau State.

2. Man-made Attractions: These are man made sites created for the purpose of relaxation. These include the Rayfield Holiday Resorts in Jos, the Bower's Tower in Ibadan and various amusement parks that dots the length and breadth of Nigeria's major towns and cities.

3. National Parks: National Parks are special natural ecosystems with unique attributes. They play unquantifiable roles vital to national/regional well-being as well as act as a catalyst for the development of eco-tourism. They also enhance ecological processes and life support systems such as soil regeneration, protection of nutrient cycles, cleansing and purifying hydrological cycles. There are eight such parks in Nigeria. They are: 

i. Yankari National Park: This is situated within Duguri, Pali and Gwana District of Alkeri local Government Area of Bauchi State. It could be reached by road from Jos Airport through Bauchi State route and from Kano through Jos-Bauchi route.

Tourist Facilities: The park has 110 visitors chalets categorised along student/low income hotel, a standard restaurant, conference hall, in-door and out-door sport facilities such as table tennis, squash racket, badminton etc. There are species of large mammals like elephants, harte beasts, hippopotami, lions and about 153 known species of birds, fish, reptiles, and monkeys. It is also rich in ethno-historical and archaeological attractions.

ii. Kainji Lake National Park: This is closely linked with the famous Kainji lake oil hydroelectric complex. It lies between Borgu and Zugurma sectors of Kwara State. It can be reached through Lokoja, from Lagos through Ibadan, Ilorin and Jebba. The park is full of diverse wildlife, a variety of ethno-historical and cultural sites amongst which are Kobs, antelopes, hippopotami, lions etc.

Tourist Facilities: Available in the park are chalets restaurants, conference hall and a waterbus for lake cruising.

iii. Old Oyo National Park: This is located in the Northern part of Oyo State. It is rich in fauna and flora resources significant species of animals of which are the buttons, kobs, buffaloes, bushbuck and wide variety of birds. The park is close to cities like Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Oshogbo, Abeokuta, Lagos, Saki, Iseyin etc. These are cities and towns that have commercial and rich traditional impacts in Nigeria.

Tourist Facilities: Facilities available include chalets, tourist camps, standard restaurant, air conditioned bus and facilities for boat cruise and sport fishing etc.

iv. Gashaka Gumte National Park: This park is regarded as the most scenic of all the parks in the country. It is full of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, rivers, streams etc. It also has pleasant sub temperate climate and a home to some very highly endangered species of wild life. The Gashaka Gumte National Park comprises two sectors, each rich in its own unique flora and fauna species. The Gumte sector is located in its Northern fringe while the Gashaka is on the Southern fringe. The twin park is regarded as the largest in Nigeria and situates on a vast land of mountains and valleys shared between two states: Adamawa and Taraba in the North-East of Maiduguri, Jalingo, Yola and Republic of Cameroon.

Tourist Attractions: The park contains some historic sites, one of which is the old German Fort at the Gashaka hill. Gangarwal peak of the chapal wadi mountain in range located in the park is the highest peak in Nigeria. The fauna include chimpanzees, cheetah, leopards, giant forest hog, colobus monkeys etc. The park is also a spawning ground for some fish species such as Nile perch, electric fish, Tilapia etc.

v. Chad Basin National Park: It situates between Borno and Yobe States. The wetlands of Bade and Buguru are internationally acclaimed as congregation site for migrant birds coming all the way from Europe. The park contains some rare desert-fronted gazelle etc.

vi. Cross River National Park: This is about an hour's drive from Calabar and can also be linked through the Port Harcourt route. It is in the forest zone of South East Nigeria. It has two sectors, the Southern urban division near Calabar and the Northern Okwangwo near Obudu.

Tourist Facilities: The park is home to many localised species of plants and animals which include gorillas, drills, chimpanzee, an gwantibo, or golden potto forest elephant, saleginella species.

vii. Okomu National Park: It is located in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State. It lies 45km West of Benin City and immediately South of Udo town, it can be linked from Lagos and Warri. This park is endowed with forest elephants Loxodants Africana, buffaloes, red river hogs, Chimpanzees, leopards, white throated guenos. Okomu is also rich in bird life.

Tourist Facilities: Ranger escorts, canoeing and sports, panoramic view of the park can also be enjoyed.

viii. Kamuku National Park: It falls wholly within the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The park could be reached through the Kaduna-Lagos route from the South - West and North-East and with central parts of the country. From Abuja, the park is 305km, from Lagos, it is 780km and from Kaduna, it is 125km. The park has Elephants, Antelopes, Oribi water busts, Hunting dogs, Wet cats, Green Monkeys, side-stripped Hyena and Jackal. A wide variety of birds also are found in the park.

4. Eco-Tourism and Recreation: Park viewing and bird watching are prominent recreation activities. Others are hiking among the trails. The Dogon Ruwa waterfalls has a high potential for the development of swimming pool. The rocks are not only fascinating but are good training grounds for mountaineering and endurance training.  

5.Cultural Attractions: These are activities based on people's ways of life expressed as religious beliefs, colourful festivals, dance, songs, artworks etc. The cultural assets of Nigeria are amongst the most fascinating in Africa, some of which include the Osun Oshogbo festival, Osun State, Eyo festival in Lagos, Kano/Katsina Durbar, Argungu in Kebbi State and Mmanwu festival in the South Eastern Nigeria.

6. Museum and Monuments: Nigeria is enriched with finest collections of Arts and Crafts as well as archaeological relics showing our historical past like Terra-Cotta head from the old Nok Culture, the famous Benin Bronze art works and the Yoruba's exciting sculptures. These great varieties of ancient relics can be found in all the branches of Nigeria national museums.

7. Nigerian Crafts: Crafts are symbols of Nigeria's material and spiritual heritage. Crafts are well integrated into the living patterns of Nigerians and inseparable from their spiritual philosophies. They are therefore prized objects for the promotion and preservation of tourism. Nigerian crafts are grouped into textiles, pottery and ceramics, fiber crafts, bronze, brass and iron works, woodworks, calabash decorations, leather works, ivory, jewelry etc.

8. Conference/Business Tourism: Conference/Business Tourism is a veritable area of tourism in which Nigeria is selling fast her credentials to the rest of the world community. There is an international conference center located in the Central Business District of Abuja, which can comfortably host any conference of international standard. The elegant ECOWAS secretariat located in Asokoro District of the FCT is also complementing its service. It serves as the Administrative Headquarters of the Economic Community of West African State with facilities for international conference. The international conference centre serves as venue for conference, seminars and conventions. It has an auditorium with a sitting capacity of 2,000 and other smaller committee rooms with communication equipment and gadgets capable of translating at least four languages simultaneously. The centre is located along Herbert Macaulay Way in Garki District in Abuja.

9. Sports Tourism: Nigeria can pride itself in the area of sport tourism. It has produced sport and soccer veterans whose names are today household names as far as sport tourism is concerned such leading veterans include Chioma Ajunwa, Akeem Olajuwon, John Fashanu, Bash Ali, Nwankwo Kanu, Jay Jay Okocha, Daniel Amokachi, Taribo West and Sunday Oliseh etc. Nigeria hosted the 1999 edition of World Soccer Championship in Lagos, an event that brought to Nigeria at least over 60 countries around the world. In 1984, young talented Nigerians captured the Maiden Kodak under 16 world cup held in China and in 1996, the flying Eagles, Nigeria's Junior National Team, made an impressive outing at the Olympics held in Atlanta. Nigeria has been slated to host All Africa Games in Abuja come 2003.

State By State Highlights of Tourist Attractions In Nigeria.

State  Capital  Attraction/Description 
ABIA UMUAHIA Arochukwu Caves, Natural/Physical attraction * National War Museum Monument Umuahia. * Akwette Weaving Centre Arts and Crafts (Souvenirs) * Long juju of Arochukwu Cultural festivals * Azumini Bule River Natural/Man-made Tourist Village. * Museum of Colonial History Monument
ADAMAWA YOLA Gashaka Gumti National Park, Eco-Tourism (Wildlife) * Sukur (UNESCO World Monument Heritage Site) * Lamurde Hot Spring Natural/Physical * Modibbo Adam's Tomb Monument * Three Sister Rocks Monument * Mandara Mountains Natural/Physical * Kiri Dam Natural/Physical
AKWA UYO Ibeno Sand Beach/ Natural/man-made IBOM Mobil oil treatment * Ekpo Masquerade festival Cultural * Oron Museum, Oron Museum/ Monument * Mary Slessor House/ Monument Tomb
ANAMBRA AWKA Ogbunike Caves Natural/Physical * Rojeny Tourist Village Man-made Oba * Mmanwu Festival Enugu Cultural * Agudu lake/Gully Natural * Aguleri Game Reserve Eco-Tourism * Igbo Ukwu Archaelogical Monuments Reservations
BAUCHI BAUCHI Marshal Caves, Yankari Natural Park * Wikki Warm Spring, Natural Yankari Park * Tafawa Balewa Tomb Monument * Lame/Bura Game Wildlife/Eco- Reserve Tourism * Geji Rock Painting Monuments
BAYELSA YENAGOA Oloibiri Oil Museum Museum/ Monument * Slale Transit Hall Resort/Man-made * Igidi Shrine Cultural
BENUE MAKURDI Ushongo Hills, Ushongo Natural/Physical DI * Ikwe Holiday Resort Natural/Man-made * Enemabia Warm Spring, Natural Okpoya * Kwag-hir Puppet Festival, Cultural (Nov./ Gboko/Makurdi Dec.) Souvenir * Dajo Pottery, Makurdi Traditional * TIV Anger Weavers, Monument Ajikpo * J.S. Tarka Foundation Cultural Centre, Makurdi * Montane Game Reserve Wildlife/Eco- Tourism * The Rare Manatee, Natural Katsina-Ala River
BORNO MAIDUGURI Laffy falls, Kuya L.G.A. Natural * Chad Basin National Eco-Tourism Park * Abba Kari Zoo, Maiduguri- Eco-Tourism * Gwoza Hills Natural * Sambisa Game Reserve Wildlife/Eco- Tourism * Kyarimi Amusement Resort/Man-made Park
CROSS RIVER CALABAR Kwa falls, Kuya L.G.A. Natural RIVER * Agbokim falls, Ikom Natural L.G.A. * Obudu Cattle Ranch Resort (Man- made) * Coercopan, Ishie Close, zoo Calabar * Cross River National Park Eco-Tourism/ Wildlife * Drill Ranch, Calabar Zoo * Ekpe Masquerade Cultural * National Museum Monument * Rock with foot prints National
DELTA ASABA Chief Nana's Palace Cultural * Koko Port Natural/Man-made * Escravo's Beach Natural/Man-made
EBONYI  ABAKALIKI Umuana  Afikpo Golden Natural Lake Sand Beach
EDO BENIN Fugar Caves Physical * Okomu Wildlife Eco-Tourism Sanctuary * Igwe Festival Benin Cultural  (September) * Igun Bronze Casting, Souvenir/Cultural Benin City * Oba's Palace, Benin Cultural * Ramat Park Monument * Sakpoba Holiday Resort.Man-made Resort * Asoro Shrine Cultural/ Traditional Rel. * Samorikal Hills Physical
EKITI  ADO Erinta Falls, Ekiti West Physical L.G.A. * Olosunta Hills, Ikere Physical * Ikogosi, Warm Spring Natural
ENUGU ENUGU Mmanwu Festival Cultural * Nike Holiday Resort Natural/Man-made * Ezeagu Tourist Complex Man-made * Nkalagu Silicon Sand Physical * Uzo-Uwani Natural Nature's Wonder * Iva Valley Coal Mine Natural
FCT  ABUJA  Abuja Amusement Park, Resort/Man-made Zone 1, Wuse * Abuja Gardens, Central Resort/man-made Area * Abuja Zoological Garden, Zoo/Man-made Area 1, Garki * ECOWAS Secretariat Man-made * Women Development Resort/Man-made Centre * Abuja Plant Nursery Physical/Man- made * Aso Rock Physical/Natural * Usman Dam Man-made * IBB Golf Course Sports Tourism * Jabi Dam and Holiday Man-made/Resort Resort
GOMBE GOMBE Tula Highlands/Hills Physical* The Famous Tangale Dome Shaped Rock/Hill Formation Physical * Dadin Kowa Dam/Tomatoes Factory & Farms Man-made * Buba Yero Tomb * Ashaka Cement Factory Man-made
IMO OWERRI  Oguta Lake Holiday Resort, Natural Man-made Oguta * Ikeji Festival, Arondizogu Cultural * Palm Beach Holiday Resort, Awo-Amana Man-made/Natural * Zoological and Botanical Garden Nekede * Amusement Park, Owerri Zoo/Man-made
JIGAWA DUTSE Hadejia/Ngum Wetlands and Bird Sanctuary, Jigawa Eco-Tourism/Wildlife * Binin Kudu Rock Painting Natural/Man-made * Ringim Dyeing Pits Cultural * Baturiya Birds Sanctuary Wildlife * Wowan Rafi Lake Natural
KADUNA KADUNA Luggard Hall and Government Monument Bridge * General Hassan Usman Park, Man-made Kaduna * Nok Terra Cotta, Nok Village, Cultural Kaduna * National Museum Museum/Monument * Emir of Zazzau's Palace, Zaria Cultural * Jakaranda Pottery, Kaduna Souvenir
KANO KANO Roxy Amusement Park, Airport Road, Kano Man-made * Cooky Amusement Park, Kano Man-made * Hills and Valleys Amusement Park Dawakin Kudu Junction, Kano Man-made * Bagauda Lake/Tiga Lake Resort Man-made * Tourist Camp, Kano Man-made * Audu Bako Zoo, Kano Man-made * Kano Salla Durbar Cultural * Gidan Makama Museum Monument/Museum * Emir of Kano's Palace Cultural * Kofar Mata Dyeing Pit, Kano Cultural * Bagauda Lake Resort Conference Centre, Kano Man-made/Business Tourism
KASTINA KASTINA 300 years old Gobarau Minaret Katsina Monument/Cultural * 10th Century Kusugu Well, Monument/Cultural Daura * Emir of Katsina Palace Cultural * 11th Century KASTINA City Walls of 7 gates Monument/Cultural * Jibia Holiday Resort, Jibia Resort/Man-made
KEBBI BIRNIN KEBBI Argungu Fishing Festival Natural/Physical * Kanta Museum, Argungu Museum/Monument * Girmace Shrine, Zuru Cultural/Traditional Religion
KOGI LOKOJA Ita-Okueta Weaving, Okene Cultural * Ata Igala's Palace, Idah Cultural * Inikpi (Shrine) Statue Idah Cultural * Kpata Rock, Bassa Physical * Confluence Zone, Lokoja Natural * Relics of Colonial History, Natural Lokoja * Lord Luggard's Residence & Office, Lokoja Monument * Warlord War Cenotaph Monument * Iron of Liberty Monument
KWARA ILORIN Owu Water Falls, Owa Kajola Natural * Wreckage of Mungo Park Boat, Monuments Jebba * Owe Kajita Falls Physical * Owu Water Falls, Owu Physical * Tomb of Past Emirs, Ilorin Monument * Ubo Aiyegunle Lakes Physical
LAGOS IKEJA  Bar Beach, Lagos Physical/Man-made * Badagry Beach, Lagos Physical/Man-made * Kaiyetoro Maiyegun Beach Physical/Man-made * Eleko Beach Physical/Man-made * Lekki Peninsula Physical/Man-made * Tarkwa Bay, Lagos Physical/Man-made * Water Parks, Toyin Street, Ikeja Man-made Resort * Apapa Amusement Park Resort/Man-made * Frankid Leisure Park, Festac Resort/Man-made * Whispering Palms  Iworo- Physical/Man-made Badagry * Lekki Conservation Centre Man-made * National Museum, Onikan Museum/Monument * Slave Relics Badagry Monument * First Storey Building, Badagry Monument * MUSON Centre, Onikan Man-made * National Theatre, Iganmu Man-made * Oba's Palace  Lagos Cultural* Igbo Igunun, cultural
NASSARAWA LAFIA Peperuwa Lake Physical/Eco-Tourism * Late Captain Maloney Tomb/ Monument Hills * Oku Akpa Picnic Centre Physical * Ogan Fishing and Cultural Cultural Festival * Akiri Warm Spring with Curative Power in Awe L.G.A. Cultural * Akiri Salt Village, 145km, from Lafia Town Natural * Doma Dam, Doma L.G.A. Eco-Tourism * Dyeing Pits and Calabash Carving in Lafia Cultural/Souvenir Arts & Crafts * Hunki Ox-Bow Lake, Awe L.G.A. Crafts * Farin Ruwa Falls Wildlife/Eco-Tourism * Keana Salt Village, Keana L.G.A. Arts & Crafts/ Souvenir * Numan Rocks, Akwanga L.G.A. Physical * Ara Rocks/Festival Physical * Eggon Hills and Caves Cultural/Physical * Keffi Hunting; Festival Feb/April Cultural
NIGER MINNA Gurara Falls, Gurara LGA Natural/Physical * Zuma Rock, Near Suleija Natural/Physical * Kainji Lake National Park Wildlife/Eco-Tourism * Brass/Glass Works, Bida Arts & Crafts/ Souvenirs * Shirro Dam Tourist Resort Natural/Man-made * Mayanka Water Falls Natural
OGUN ABEOKUTA Management Training Centre, Ogere Man-made * Adire Market, Itoko Abeokuta Cultural * Olumo Rock, Abeokuta Physical * Birikisu Sungbo Shrine Cultural/Religious Attractions * Obute-Oni Tourist Beach Natural * Ancient Palace of the Cultural/ Alake of Egbaland Monument * Ogunde Theatre Centre Man-made/Monument
ONDO AKURE Idanre Hills, Idanre Physical * Owo Museum Monument * Ipale Iloro Water Fall Physical
OSUN  OSOGBO Mat Weaving, Ipetu-Ilesha Arts & Crafts / Souvenir * Ooni's Palace, Ile-Ife Cultural * Ife Museum, Enuwa, Ile-Ife Monument/Museum * Osun Osogbo Festival/Shrine Trad./Religious Study Centre/Cultural * Ife Bronze, Ile-Ife Physical * Oramiyan Staff, Ile-Ife Cultural/Souvenir, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
OYO IBADAN Igbeti Hills, Igbeti Physical * Trans Amusement Park, Ibadan Man-made Resort * Captain Bower, Tower, Ibadan Monument * Agodi Gardens, Ibadan Man-made * Old Oyo National Park Wildlife/Eco-Toursim * University of Ibadan Zoo/ Zoological Garden Man-made * Alaafin of Oyo's Palace Cultural * Calabash Carving Cultural/Souvenir * Ado-Awage Suspended Lake Natural * Aso Oke Weaving, Iseyin Traditional/Souvenir
PLATEAU JOS Assop Falls, Rivom LGA Physical * Shere Hills, Near Jos Physical * Riyom Rock Formation, Rivom Physical * International Youth Tourism Centre, Kurra Falls Physical/Man-made * Rayfield Resort, Jos Man-made Resort * Heleena Farms, Liberty Dam Physical/Man-made * Jos Wildlife Park Wildlife Eco-Tourism * Jos Zoo/Museum Zoo/Monument * Naraguta Leather Works, Arts & Crafts/ Naraguta Souvenirs * Solomon Lar Amusement Park Man-made
RIVERS  PORT HARCOURT Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt Man-made * Monument of King Jaja of Opobo Monument * Okrika Aquatic Stadium Man-made * Ifoko Beach, Ifoko Physical * Port Harcourt Tourist Beach Physical
SOKOTO  SOKOTO  Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio, Monument Sokoto. * Sultan's Palace, Sokoto Cultural * Sokoto Museum Monument
TARABA JALINGO  Mambilla Holiday Resort, Gembu Man-made * Gashaka  Gumti National Park Wildlife-Eco-Tourism * Mamara Crocodile Pond National * Kpambo and Fikiyu Mysterious Rocks Physical
YOBE DAMATURU Dufuna Canoe, Damaturu Discovery/Monument * Hadejia  Nguru Bird Life Project Wildlife/Eco-Tourism * Gujba Forest Reserve Wildlife/Eco-Tourism * Fika Ancient Town, Fika Monument * Bula Tura Oases, Nguru Natural * Mai Madrinama's Palace Cultural
ZAMFARA GUSAU Kalele Hippo Pools, Maru LGA Natural/Wildlife/ Eco-Tourism

Source: Partly from Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Publication. Other information was researched by our team.

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