Densely populated giant not to be forgottenNigeria is a country of extremes, of wealth and poverty living next to each other. While a few parts of the country remain problematic, the vast majority is as warm and welcoming to visitors as anywhere in Africa.
Across Southern Nigeria, old kingdoms carry on their customs, from creating elaborate brass sculptures to venerating the ancient gods. More modern traditions include one of the world’s pioneering primate conservation organizations. In the North, where the land dries out as it stretches towards the desert, Muslim Nigeria converts into dusty trading cities where memories of the Saharan trade routes still linger. In the North-eastern part Yankari National Park, a must-visit can be found.
Lagos is one of the most exuberant cities in Africa, while port city Calabar can be an enjoyable stopover for
Not a destiny to be visited for the first contact with West Africa, but definitely worthwhile for the more experienced traveler.
10 REASONS TO VISIT NIGERIA
- Nigeria is one of the largest countries of the continent, the most populated and one of the less known to Western travellers.
- The three great cultures of Nigeria are the Ibo, the Yoruba and Hausa, three ethno-historical realities that have marked the country’s destiny.
- Kano, capital of the Hausa Empire, can be found at the gates of the Sahara and is a meeting point of the different cultures. The adobe wall of Kano is a World Heritage Site. Other important Hausa historical cities are Zaria and Katsina, where traditional Hausa architecture can still be admired.
- Most people ignore that South-eastern Nigeria is still partially covered by tropical forests. One of the most intact ones is in the Cross River National Park. It is not easy to visit this protected area due to its lack of infrastructures to lodge the visitor; nonetheless it must be pointed out as a very special place where the last Nigerian gorillas survive.
- Ibadan, macro-Nigerian city is the capital of the Yoruba kingdom and a good place to admire the Afro-Brazilian architecture.
- The masked dances of the Yoruba and Ibo are of dramatically ethnical strength.
- Here one can find the Yoruba of Oshogbo temples, declared monuments by UNESCO, and some of the few animist ‘cathedrals’ of the world.
- A visit to the National Park “Gashaka Gumti”, the country’s largest sanctuary for species like the chimpanzee, leopard and colobus. The park contains interesting historical remains of the German colonial period and also hosts the highest peak in Nigeria (Mount Gangarwal approx 3000 mts).
- The Nigerian craft is one of the most reputable of the black continent. Highlights: the bronze art of Benin City, Ibadan Yoruba masks and leather objects from the North.
- Nigeria is a country rich in oil and has ignored its great tourism potential. Middle-Africa is opening new routes for this giant in West Africa especially for travellers in search of unconventional destinations.