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5 Must-See Places When You Visit Nigeria

If you are returning home or you are a foreigner visiting the country to celebrate your heritage or just a tourist, there are invaluable places you just need to plan to visit. These places will take you back in time to an era long before you were born. You will experience the euphoric feeling that comes with the mystical and magical relics, the emotions that accompanied the civil war and admire the raw talent represented in Nigerian art.

Some of these places are:

Idanre Hills

Idanre hills, also called Oke Idanre, are located in Idanre, Ondo state, Nigeria. Idanre hills are about 3000ft above sea level with a large village atop it. You will have to climb over 660 steps before you get to some parts of the village. This was a place where the people of Idanre hid in times of war and unrest. They were mountain climbers who scaled these hills with ease.

The village atop the hill contains the King’s Palace which is visited every year and also for the coronation of every new king. This was the palace of the king while the idanre people still lived atop the hills. You will find a shrine which is still in use, old prison cells, an old court, and even the house of a priest.

There is a small body of water that reflects the rainbow constantly and is believed to have healing properties. A small rock in the village is used for evaluating the readiness of a man who is contemplating marriage. If he can lift it to his chest, he is termed capable and ready. Every male of marriageable age should try this out (you can too).

Agbooogun footprint is one unbelievable and most mesmerizing feature of the hill. It is embedded in a steeply part of the hill that only the adventurous dare to get to. Any foot size fits perfectly in it, be it a baby or a grown adult. This is no joke. It’s like magic. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can’t leave without visiting it. Do you know? Some hills reach the skies, cutting through the clouds. You can pull your hands right through it.

Erin Ijesha Waterfalls

This is another wonder of creation that will leave your mouth agape. Erin Ijesha, also called Olumirin was said to have been discovered in 1140AD by one of the daughters of Oduduwa. It is located in Osun state, Nigeria. It is a gigantic, seven-step waterfall, each step having a flowing fountain. It is a magnificent, natural work of art that could never have come about by chance. You cannot doubt the existence of a creator in the presence of Olumirin.

It exudes a therapeutic ambiance that makes the people of Erin Ijesha consider it as a second god. The first step leaves you mesmerized, but wait till you get to the second, then the third and you can’t escape the feeling of wanting to remain there. It gets more adventurous as you go higher but only the daring do.

Are you daring? The village atop the waterfalls is another sight. You will never know how wondrous this enormous, enthralling piece is if you don’t get to the very top. It’s no wonder that Osun state is called the state of the living spring. The power Olumirin exudes, its peace and refreshing nature, the source of its fountains, could only have been divinely designed.

Nigerian National Museum

The Nigerian National Museum is located in Onikan, Lagos. History captured in art is found here. The museum is known for its amazing pieces of carving and ethnographic exhibits. Brasses from Benin City and Nok terracotta are displayed in this museum.

In 1976, General Murtala Mohammed, the then head of state, was assassinated. The bullet-ridden car in which he was killed is right there, preserved over time. You will also find textiles like “ADIRE”, which is made by the Abeokuta people of Nigeria. It is beautiful and a work of art. You can buy some, sew and wear with pride. Represent your base in style. It is open from 5am every day except on Sundays.

First Storey Building in Nigeria

It is located in Badagry, Lagos. The house was completed in 1845. Some returnee slaves lodged there, so did Bishop Ajayi Crowther, the man who translated an English Bible to Yoruba. The originally translated Yoruba bible and the Bible from which it was translated are housed in a glass case in one of the upper rooms of the house.

The site of the Agia tree (now fallen but replaced with a monument), where Christianity was first preached in the country, is a common site shown to visitors. The point of no return from which enslaved Nigerians were taken is close by. This is a place where the tears and pain of slavery can be felt.

National War Museum

Did you ever hear of the Biafran War? Or did you experience it? This was the war that would have made the eastern part of Nigeria, Biafra. This museum is located in Ebite Amafor, Umuahia. Various weapons fabricated according to the needs of the war are kept in this museum. It is located in the same place where the bunker housing the radio studio of the “Voice of Biafra” was.

Some artifacts there include spears, shields, bows, arrows, metal vests, ceremonial uniforms of army officers, insignias that differentiate military ranks, pictures of past leaders, and the Biafra flag. The large radio transmitter used is still there along with other obsolete equipment and weapons. The civil war brought a lot of hate, pain, fear, and distress but Nigeria survived it. For those who experienced the war, visiting the museum will be like going back in time but it will help you appreciate how far the country has come.