Top 10 Beauty Spots of Nigeria
Enjoy breathtaking natural features including a secluded cave, warm springs and acres of parkland
Located on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, Osun- Osogbo Sacred Grove is situated in one of the last remaining high forests in southern Nigeria. Here, you can immerse yourself in Nigeria’s religious heritage; it is widely regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility, Osun. The landscape is divided by a trickling river, its banks rich with little sanctuaries, old shrines and sculptures. Visit the palaces, pay a visit to each of the five sacred places along the banks and watch the priests and priestesses perform their daily worship. The grove is the last in Yoruba culture and is an important symbol of identity for all Yoruba people.
Flickr Credit: Gates Foundation
The impressive and imposing Zuma Rock is a recognised symbol of Nigeria and is even depicted on the country’s 100 naira note. Zuma Rock is hard to miss at 725 metres tall and approximately 3.1 kilometres in circumference! If you look closely, you may be able to see a human face depicted in the rock. Some of the more superstitious locals believe that this face holds some mysterious power and has the ability to cause disaster. Despite the rumours that surround it, Zuma Rock is a must-see for any traveller.
Image credit: Flickr - Jeff Attaway
The Obudu Plateau is a stunning area of natural beauty in southern Nigeria and marks the highest peak in the Cross River State. At 1,575 meters about sea level, the drive to the plateau along 11 kilometres of winding road is in itself an exciting experience and the rolling mountain ranges below provide excellent photo opportunities. Enjoy the eerie atmosphere that results from the tall, dense forests where the branches form a canopy that completely prevents the sun from filtering through. On the plateau, cattle are bred on a ranch for fresh milk, butter and cheese which can be purchased at the dairy shop. At such a high altitude, the views are absolutely breathtaking and the air is clean and fresh. There is also a spectacular grotto which substitutes as a natural swimming pool with glistening, clean water and a great view of the long winding waterfall.
Yankari Game Reserve is a premier game reserve, located in savanna woodland around the Gagi River. The reserve was established in 1956 and has since become one of the most popular game reserves in Nigeria, bursting at the seams with elephants, baboons, bushbucks, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, monkeys, antelopes and other exciting animals including the occasional lion! Visit the reserve to enjoy the breathtaking natural features including a secluded cave, warm springs and acres of parkland. After a hot day of game-viewing, relax in the six feet deep Wikki Warm Spring.
Kwa Falls is a spectacular waterfall located in a steep, narrow gorge, branching off the Kwa River. It is situated in the Oban Nature Reserve which is part of the Cross River National Park. The river and waterfall are stunningly beautiful with a deep plunge pool at the bottom, surrounded by tropical rain forest. While you are there, visit the zoological garden which houses some rare animal species.
Flickr Credit: Gavin Fordham
Kamuku National Park is located in Bimin Gwari, in the north-central part of Nigeria. The park boasts a land area of approximately 1,120 square kilometers of typical savannah woodland vegetation. The flowers and fauna are richly diverse with the dominant species being Isoberlina, Daniellia Raphia and a few lily plant species. The park is also incredibly diverse and supports around 19 species of mammals including elephants, antelopes, warthogs, monkeys and baboons. This is a destination perfect for people interested in botany.
Old Oyo National Park is a great example of eco-tourism being gradually introduced into the area. The park an abundance of wildlife, water recreational activities, facilities for bird watchers and a deep cultural heritage which attracts many visitors.
In the heart of Ikogosi, a small, quiet town, lies a mysterious warm spring flowing parallel to a cold spring. This double formation is a geological wonder and is said to be completely unique. The warm and cold springs of Ikogosi originate in very close proximity to the other and their meeting point is what attracts so many people to come and marvel at the sight each year. Ikogosi Warm Springs is widely-believed to have a therapeutic effect which relieves the body of aches. Take a dip when you visit and see whether it works for you!
Olumo Rock is situated in Abeokuta with the peak of the rock 137 metres about sea level. Olumo Rock holds significant religious and historical importance to the Egba people who predominately live around the base of the rock. When the Dahomeans waged war from 1830- 1833, the Egba people used the rock as a refuge and vantage point to monitor their enemy’s advance and often worshipped it for keeping them safe throughout the battle. From the top of the rock, enjoy the remarkable views of the entirety of Abeokuta.
Flickr Credit: Melvin 'Buddy' Baker