#nigeria #africa #lagos #travel #holidays #adventure
Capital : Abuja
Airport : Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS)
Nigeria, situated on the western side of the continent, is the most populous and one of the largest countries in Africa. It is surrounded by Niger, Chad, and Cameroon on the northern and eastern sides while sharing its borders with Benin on the western side. The southern side of the nation opens up into the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. The largest city in Nigeria is Lagos and it happens to be one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world!
The captivating thing about Nigeria is its diversity. The diversity could be experienced among its people where just a few miles bring you to a different tribe, in its geography where just by crossing a plateau you'd experience the change from huge expanses of savannahs to lush, green rainforests, and so on. The bigger cities such as Abuja and Lagos have charms of their own and truly bring city spirit to life! True to an African experience, you'd also come across all kinds of wildlife features as you travel through the country. All in all, Nigeria is a package of an experience, and here are some of the most impressive places that you cannot miss while on a trip to Nigeria.
Lagos is the largest city on the African continent and it immediately shows as you step into this amazing city. It has a life of its own and would charm and captivate you with its uniqueness. Lagos is one of the best entry points into a Nigerian vacation given the fact that it receives regularly scheduled flights from a lot of international destinations such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Dubai, South Africa, and the US. Lagos is also well connected by air, road, and railway routes to the rest of Nigeria allowing you easy access to the neighboring areas.
This huge city is home to 18 million dwellers. The streets are filled with all kinds of people and you get to see the vibrant charm of Nigeria face on. There is a multitude of beer bars and clubs with live music and interesting food. If you are looking forward to exploring the party life in Lagos, you should head to Ikeja or Victoria Island districts where you find all kinds of people- locals, ex-pats, and sailors- sharing stories over mugfuls of beer. Lagos is near the coast and you could easily experience beach activities in the Lagos bar Beach area where the beautiful golden beaches mix with the clear blue of the Atlantic. If you like adventure you could head to Tarkwa Bay and try your hand at jet skiing. For the history lovers, Lagos' horrifying history could still be felt at the Point of No Return, where the slave trade prevailed extensively in the colonial era!
Abeokuta is an interesting place that should be on your list of top places to visit in Nigeria. It is the capital city of Ogun State and lies on the northern side of Lagos. The best and most economic means of transport into Abeokuta has to be the railways. Regularly scheduled high-speed trains are available connecting Lagos to Ibadan. Abeokuta falls halfway between the two cities and it roughly takes about an hour to reach this city from either end.
As you enter Abeokuta you will be passing through huge fields of yam and maize, large expanses of woody savannahs, and numerous fields of palm oil plantations. It is an important location in the history of Nigeria. Abeokuta used to fall on the route connecting Lagos to the heart of Western Africa and thus was witness to the extensive slave trading operations that happened here. Because of this, fortifications have also been raised around the city by previous inhabitants, examples of which are still standing today in some places. The gigantic Oluma Rock bulges out of the earth in the backdrop of this city and is, quite obviously, one of the most striking details about the city. There are several cultural museums that you could go to while you are in Abeokuta. The craft shops are a great haunt if you are looking to collect souvenirs. The caves around Abeokuta are interesting to explore and would give you an illustrious and detailed history of the ancient human settlements in the entire Ogun State region.
Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. It is neat and clean and offers you a relaxing time- however, it is not as grand or lively as Lagos. Being the capital, it receives regularly scheduled flights from international destinations including several European countries and the US. However, the best way to get into Abuja would be from Lagos airport if you are planning to fly in. being the capital city, it is also well-connected to the rest of Nigeria through a network of train and bus routes.
It is a comfortable place to spend a night or two as you relax and prepare yourself for the energetic tour through Nigeria. There's not much to do here other than go for city-like attractions such as the Abuja Millennium Park. The Abuja National Mosque is a beautiful structure visible from afar thanks to its four towering, spear-like minarets and should be on your list of places to visit in Abuja. The National Assembly Complex will give you an insight into the modern political system that grips the nation while shopping at Wuse market could be a heart-warming experience for shoppers.
Yankari National Park
Yankari National Park was initially opened as a game reserve to the public in 1956 and attained national park status in 1991. It is a stunning visit and one of the most popular national parks to visit in Nigeria. The best time to spot a huge variety of animals at Yankari National Park has to be the dry seasons between October and May. It lies to the east of Abuja and can be easily reached from the major cities like Abuja and Lagos via flights which will drop you at Bauchi. The national park is about 110 km from Bauchi on-road and takes about 5 hours to reach.
The verdant Yankari National Park sees an annual footfall of 20,000 people making it a very popular destination amongst tourists. This ensures that there are a lot of lodges to choose from and many tour operators who offer all-inclusive packages to explore the national park. The area boasts an excellent collection of flora and fauna to look out for. Huge herds of African elephants abound the place and you are sure to see them if not anything else. Many caves in the region have excellent records of the ancient settlers of the African continent. The Kalban Hill is easy to scale and you will come across several lookouts giving way to excellent vistas. The chiseled rocks of Tonlong Gorge are also an exceptional feature to look out for.
Kainji Lake National Park
The Kainji Lake National Park is one of the biggest protected areas in Nigeria covering an area of almost 5,000 km2. However, there is nothing natural about this area since Kainji Lake started as a huge water reservoir in 1968 and earned the status of being a national park much late as the flora and fauna around the area developed. There are two nearby airports through which you can head to Kainji Lake National Park, namely Minna and Ilorin Airport, both of which receive regular local flights. The area is well connected through a network of roadways to all the major cities in Nigeria and is a much better means of entering the national park.
Three different regions together encompass the park- Kainji Lake, Borgu Game Reserve, and Zugurma Game Reserve. There are various kinds of flora to be found in this area. the fauna is also varied and ranges from predatory species to simians to other plant-eating varieties. There are many lions to be found in this region and it is regarded as a Lion Conservation Unit. Among other animals, you are most likely to see herds of elephants, Patas monkeys, baboons, green monkeys, buffaloes, warthogs, and Grimm's and Red-flanked duikers.
Gashaka Gumti National Park
Gashaka Gumti National Park is the largest one in Nigeria and was established in the last decade of the 20th century. It is situated along the north-easter border region of Nigeria. Access to the park is very easy either by air or through the road. If you are planning on flying into the national park you have to get down at Yola Airport. The cab ride from the airport will take you about 7 hours to reach Serti, the entrance to the park in the Gashaka province. If you are going on the road, Jos is the best place to start your journey and it will take you about 10 hours to reach the park gates.
The Gashaka Gumti National Park covers over 6,000 km2 in area and was established in 1991 by combining two humongous game reserves in Nigeria. The rivers that pass through this park make it all the more famous, sometimes opening up into the most gorgeous cascading waterfalls. The diversity in fauna throughout the park is exceptional and it is noted that there are about 103 different species of mammals alone, not to mention so many species of birds, reptiles, and whatnot! It is a haven for bird watchers since it hosts some rare bird species too such as the red-faced lovebird. Elephants are a common sight as far as terrestrial life is considered and so is the African golden cat. Chimpanzees and buffaloes are also found in plenty as you explore the park premises.
Erin-Ijesha is a quaint town situated at Ilesha in Osun state. There are several ways to get to Erin Ijesha including self-riding bikes. However, irrespective of the route you choose you would have to break your journey as you’d have to take a different vehicle from Ilesha to reach your final destination.
The charm of Erin-Ijesha lies in the Erin-Ijesha waterfall, the most popular waterfall in Nigeria. Also known as the Olumirin Waterfalls, this is a seven-step waterfall and is the best haul for adventure enthusiasts. The city of Ilesha has its own store of history that intrigues visitors but the waterfall has some magic of its own! The first three tiers of the waterfall are easy to traverse and it gets more and more difficult as you go further down. Mind you, from the fourth tier onwards, the climb down is for the brave-hearted only. However, a trip to this amazing waterfall is mandatory if you are visiting Nigeria otherwise you will be missing out on a lot.
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