If you are planning a trip to Africa, Nigeria is one destination you won’t want to miss. With its breathtaking scenery and once in a lifetime animal encounters (and much more!) it’s certainly one that you shouldn’t be rule out in favour of more ‘popular’ African countries. Whether you’re after something off the beaten track or luxury with plenty of things for tourists, there will be something for you here. Nigeria has well over two hundred and fifty ethnic groups speaking over five hundred languages, it’s a land of diversity and experiencing this destination is something different to anywhere else you will have visited in the world. Here are some of the incredible things you can get up to in this cultural country.
National Parks and Safaris
When Nigeria contains some of the most incredible wildlife in the world, being able to see animals in their natural environment is a hugely exciting part of travelling to Nigeria. There are various safari experiences along with eight national parks, each offering interesting opportunities to see some of the amazing animals. From powerful predators like crocodiles, lions and leopards to gentle giants like giraffes and elephants. Along with many other species of birds, reptiles and mammals, this is a great chance to see and experience things you could only have dreamed of.
Lagos and Victoria Island
The Luxurious Victoria Island is situated in the coastal city of Lagos. Victoria Island serves as the city’s main business and financial center and is known for its beautiful high end properties. Victoria Island also has thriving nightlife and all of the conveniences you need on your travels. Lagos, known as one of Africa’s most interesting cities, is full of history. Since it’s along the coast, there are numerous beaches for you to take in the sights and enjoy a picnic or barbeque by the sea. You can visit the bars, restaurants, cafes and shops or the Lekki Conservation Centre- this dense park is like an oasis within the busy city.
Nigeria’s Capital Abuja
If you fancy seeing some cool geographical formations, then Nigeria won’t disappoint. Zuma Rock is a large monolith, consisting of a single massive igneous rock. It towers spectacularly over Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. Abuja National Mosque should also be on your list of places to see when visiting, this stunning building with its golden dome is open to the public. The trained guides give tours around the monument and can teach visitors a bit about it’s history. One of Nigeria’s national parks Chad Basin Park is situated in Abuja, it is rich and abundant in fauna and flora life. Some of the animal species include the resident black crowned crane, helmeted guinea fowl, white storks and elephants.
Nigerian National Museum
The Nigerian National Museum contains a stunning collection of Nigerian art, including statues, and carvings, archaeological and ethnographic exhibits. The museum also features a small village selling woodcarvings and other crafts, which you’re able to purchase as souvenirs. You might also see a demonstration of adire cloth-making from Abeokuta. The Nigerian National Museum is also home to artwork by some of the best artists in Nigeria, as well as from artists all over Africa. Once you’re finished looking at the exhibits, dining is available at the Museum Kitchen where you can taste the local cuisine of Nigeria. For another interesting cultural place to visit on your trip try the The Nike Art Gallery. This is run by the artist Nike Davies Okundaye and is great place to visit to browse or buy various types of Nigerian art. Along with the stunning pieces of art, you can also see documentaries about it to find out more. There really are so many interesting topics to learn about in Nigerian culture.
Nigerian Festivals and Nightlife
There is no better way to immerse yourself and experience the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria than joining in with the colourful celebrations at its famous festivals. There are so many for you to choose from. The biggest street party in Africa ‘Calabar’, the worship of the goddess Oshun in the Forest of Osun, or the beautiful Eyo masquerades. Think long feathered headdresses, colourful costumes and mesmerising dancers. The street parades and the bands attract thousands of tourists, and it really is a must-see on your trip. The festivals are dotted across the country, from busy city carnivals to cultural countryside ones- be sure to research before you go so you’re able to spot one of these magnificent colourful events. Nigerian nightlife is also excellent with a number of bars, clubs and restaurants to visit you certainly won’t be stuck for things to do on your trip.