Nigeria boasts a diverse range of tourist attractions that are sure to leave travelers in awe.
From bustling metropolises to serene natural wonders, this post unveils the “Top 10 places to experience in Nigeria as a tourist.” Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a history enthusiast, or simply looking for a taste of authentic Nigerian culture, this list promises to inspire your wanderlust and help you discover the gems that make Nigeria a unique and unforgettable tourist destination.
So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the vibrant and multifaceted attractions that await in this dynamic African nation.
1. ZUMA ROCK RESORT
Zuma rock resort ranks high as one of the top places to experience in Nigeria tourist. Zuma Rock, the monolithic Inselberg with a human face, is located in Madalla, Niger State, to the North of Abuja. It was once described as the unquestionable watchman of the F.C.T. It is the sandy concealment that hangs like a haze over Zuba Town. The other mountains in and around it stay a considerable distance from it, which the Zuba people see as a form of respect being paid by the other mountains to Zuma Rock for its royal presence in the locality.
Visiting Zuma Rock between April and October, which marks the rainy season in central Nigeria where the rock is situated, would afford you the opportunity of seeing the much talked Zuma Rock Fire, as the apex of the Zuma Rock catches fire under heavy rainfall. Over time, this has remained one of the wonders of the Zuma Rock.
2. OGBUNIKE CAVES, ANAMBRA STATE
The Ogbunike Caves is located in Anambra State offer a unique tourist experience with their historical and spiritual significance. Descending the 317 steps said to have been constructed by the Anambra State Government in the mid 90s. At the end of the walkway is an open space used as a reception point where visitors are by tradition to remove their shoes.
The main cave consists of a massive structure with a big open chamber of about 5m high, 10m wide and 30m long at the entrance. There are ten tunnels at the main chamber leading to different directions. Within the tunnels are big chambers and other tunnels of varying lengths, some of which are inter connected. The caves are occupied by a large colony of bats of various sizes. There are streams and body of water at various places. A stream flows out from one of the tunnels into a rapid flowing river (River Nkissa). At the meeting point of the river and the stream one can feel the warm water from the caves and the cold river water.
Beside this portion of the river is a table land of about 5 X 5 square meters used as a relaxation spot by visitors to the caves. The immediate environment of the caves up to about 200 meters radius is a thick tropical rainforest type of vegetation. Among the fauna of the site are deer, antelope, grass cutter, porcupine, rabbit, alligator, snakes and frogs. Others are fish, crabs and birds.
3. OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT (OBUDU CATTLE RANCH)
Obudu Mountain Resort, formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch, is one of the most beautiful and pleasant tourist center destinations to experience in Nigeria. Located on the Obudu Plateau, close to the Cameroon border, in the Northeastern part of Cross Rivers State. This resort center has grown to become a major destination choice for tourists. It has an attractive landscape and calming ambiance, with clouds smiling down on its peaks and valleys. It offers visitors a good blend of warm and cold temperatures, as it has very temperate weather.
The rooms in Obudu Mountain Resort are made up of chalets, standard rooms, executive rooms, huts to presidential suites. Although this resort is open to visitors throughout the year, the period between October and February is the best time to visit, as it is the time when the sky is very bright and the air is frosty.
4. THE GUYANA WATERFALLS
The Gurara Waterfalls is one of the famous tourist sites to experience in Nigeria. Located in Niger State and close to FCT, the site is popular with foreigners and Nigerians who visit the recreational area to swim, have picnics and go bird watching.
According to the local history, there is a story which states that the waterfalls were discovered in 1745 by a Gwari hunter who was called Buba, as he was traveling from Zaria to hunt for animals. The name which is the same as the river on which they are located, is derived from the two Gods that were worshiped by the local population, Gura and Rara.
When the water is calm and clear during the more dry months between January and March, it is possible for visitors to swim in the pools just under Gurara, which even though sometimes is dangerous it is quite nice and relaxing just to be in touch with the cool water and amazing greenery that surrounds it.
5. IDANRE HILLS
Idanre Hills, also known as Oke Idanre, is located in the quiet town of Idanre local government and paints the landscape with its beauty. It is a cultural, economic and lifestyle lodestone to its community. It has about 667 steps, including five resting points, which are set at about 100 meters apart from each other. You are welcome to climb if you dare.
Idanre hill is one of the most awesome and beautiful natural landscapes in Nigeria and its existence is surrounded by many myths and beliefs of its people. With different stories to be told about the hills, tourists should anticipate hearing and sighting the 9 wonders of Idanre: “Ibi Akaso” (The Steps), The King’s Palace, Agboogun’s Legacy, Unreadable signs, Agboogun’s footprint, The wonderful mat, “Omi Aopara” (Aopara Water), The Orosun Hill and Arun river.
6. WIKKI WARM
The Wikki Warm Spring can be found in the Yankari National Park, Nigeria’s most revered national park for spotting wildlife. The Wikki Warm Spring is the biggest of the four warm springs in Yankari, which have come about as a result of geothermal activity below the park.
The spring is Mother Nature’s answer to a spa with a consistent temperature of 31°C which boasts crystal clear waters and flows into a beautiful lake which is 200 meters long by 10 meters across and nearly two meters deep, making it the perfect spot for a swim.
The spring provides visitors with a chance to enjoy the warm water and relax in a tranquil environment, surrounded by nature. Located about 42 kilometres from the main entrance of the park, you can stay in one of the many furnished chalets at the “Wikki Camp” which is the tourist centre of the Park and you can make use of this graceful and elegant natural phenomenon.
7. AWHUM WATERFALL
The Awhum waterfall is located in a beautiful scenic community, one that emits a kind of old mystic beauty that leaves one feeling like they have been transported back in time. Awhum boasts of numerous immaculate lakes, cav waterfall and a monastery. Awhum Community of Enugu State has two twin attractions – a waterfall and cave. Both require a walking exercise to reach from the community. Visitors go through a footpath that serves as the road to the natural facilities. They will cross two shallow streams to reach it.
The cave, which formed as a result of a massive outcrop of granite rock, is a sight to behold. Water cascades down from the top to form a stream at its base with white sand along its shores. The cave itself stands at 30 meters (98 feet) high. The water flowing down the waterfall remains warm throughout the seasons.
Awhum’s waterfall is believed to have healing powers and the ability to ward off evil spirits. Because of this, a monastery was built close to the waterfall site. This has made the waterfall cave a pilgrimage and a prayer center for Christians, the site is sacred and therefore entry to the site is regulated by the monastery.
8. IKOGOSI WARM SPRINGS
Ikogosi warm springs are hidden away in the lush forest of Ikogosi-Ekiti, in Ekiti State and there’s something quite mysterious and magical about the springs. The warm water has a temperature of 70o c and maintains a temperature of 37o c after meeting the cold spring of water at the confluence. One could literally see the steam rising from the warm spring of water and the cold water was freezing! Of course, there is the scientific explanation for this geological wonder of why you have the cold and warm springs converging and yet maintaining their unique thermal properties side by side. Whilst this was not a waterfall per se, it was no less idyllic and exciting to see in real life.
Ikogosi warm water is also a top place to experience as a tourist in Nigeria.
9. MAMBILLA PLATEAU
A trip to the Mambilla Plateau is the ultimate Nigeria place to experience as a tourist. The Mambira Plateau is a plateau in Taraba State, Nigeria. At an average altitude of about 1,600 meters (5,249 feet) above sea level, the Mambira Plateau is the highest plateau in Nigeria. Part of the village is on a hill above 1,828 meters (5,997 feet) above sea level. Some of the plateaus and surrounding mountains are over 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) high, including Gan Wadi and Chappal Wadi, which are 2,419 meters (7,936 feet) above sea level. The Mambilla Plateau is about 60 miles (96 km) along its curved length. It is 40 km (25 miles) wide and is surrounded by cliffs about 900 m (2,953 ft) high in places. The plateau covers an area of over 9,389 square kilometers (3,625 square miles).
10. AGBOKIM WATERFALLS
Agbokim Waterfalls is located at Etung Local Government Area, Cross Rivers State, Nigeria. Named after the host town, Agbokim Waterfalls is made up of seven streams which display a breathtaking cascade of fresh water plunging down the high cliff into the beautiful tropical rainforest. This is why it’s often called the seven-faced wonder. It is surrounded by steep hills, valleys, and luxuriant vegetation. Agbokim Waterfalls, which is one of the waterfalls in Cross Rivers State, has attractive scenery and has for years being a centre of attraction for tourists. At this waterfall, you would be left in awe of the glowing beauty and serene environment, in addition to getting lost in the euphoria of nature’s awesomeness. In order to get the best out of your trip to Agbokim Waterfalls, you should visit this place during the rainy season. You could be lucky to catch a glimpse of the rainbow across the falling sheets of water. Rainy season in Cross River occurs between April and September, with a short break in August. You should also have a non-slippery footwear with you, which is both water-resistant and would enable you to climb the rock effectively.