Nigeria — Overview
Nigeria presents an undulating landscape of Africa that is alluring to visitors, from tropical rainforest, to semi-arid desert, to world renowned nature reserves, to the intricate riverine area of the Niger Delta. With a single visit here you are awarded an insight into a large cross section of the African continent. The rich landscape of Nigeria can be considered culturally too, with a rich history, one of the oldest recorded in sub-Saharan Africa and one of continuing significance. Today, with 155 million people, Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa. It is also the continent’s largest oil producing nation, allowing Nigeria to have prominence on the global stage.
Yankani National Park is by far Nigeria’s most popular tourist attraction, since it is a safari park which rivals any other in Africa. Here, you are able to head out on an excursion to see the famous ‘big five’ animals of Africa: lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, and buffalo. Nigeria is also a popular birding destination, with locations such as the calm and tranquil waters of the Azumini River. Many people choose to experience the wildlife from the vantage point of floating on a boat. Certainly, for any nature lover, Nigeria has a lot to choose from, and you will not leave disappointed.
Nigeria is well set-up for tourists, particularly when it comes to eco-tourism. Purpose-built lodges in the heart of the nature reserves cater well for visitors and possess experienced staff. In the larger cities, you will find many modern hotels, or you can opt to stay in a heritage colonial building to admire the intricate architecture.
There is no doubt that the beautiful nature of Nigeria will leave you astounded. However, cultural relics remain to be discovered here, such as Sungbo’s Eredo. This is the oldest known archeological site in Africa, and has been linked to the legend of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon’s mines. There are also intriguing cultural experiences to be had at the important Yoruba site of the Osun-Osugbo Sacred Forest.
The major airport of Nigeria is at Lagos, which is Nigeria’s most important city. From here, it is possible to connect with one of 24 other airports by a domestic flight. There is a national rail network connecting the three largest cities of Nigeria, and beyond. They provide a comfortable service, but with distances of 700 miles on the longest route, it can take a while getting around this way. Wherever you go in Nigeria, taxis are plentiful, and an affordable way of getting around due to low fuel prices.
The US state department has currently issued a travel warning on parts of northern Nigeria, although if you travel in the south there is less risk. It is important to always check and heed the current national travel warnings by regularly checking their website.
- Take a safari through Yankari National Park to spot the African “big five”
- Spend a day, or several, relaxing at one of Nigeria’s tropical golden beaches
- Head into the equatorial rainforest to experience lush and verdant jungle habitats
- Get rough and ready on an off-road tour of the semi-arid Mambilla plateau
- Climb Nigeria’s tallest mountain at Chappal Waddi and discover the tropical montane environment
- Explore the ancient defenses of Sungbo’s Eredo, Africa’s oldest pre-colonial archeological site
- Discover more about Nigeria’s colonial history and links to the world-changing slave trade
- Learn about the indigenous African culture of the Yoruba people at the Osun-Osugbo Sacred Forest