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9 Unique Reasons to Visit Nigeria Right Now

Nigeria is commonly referred to as the Giant of Africa because it is the most populated country in the continent. It has a population of about 188 million inhabitants and boasts over 500 ethnic groups. It is the second richest country in Africa besides Egypt and offers a plethora of exciting landmarks and attractions. We put together a list of 9 of the best ones and hope that they motivate you to visit Nigeria right now!

Lekki Conservation Centre

Courtesy of Clara Sanchiz on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Lekki Conservation Centre was established in 1990 to serve as a biodiversity conservation site. The reserve area covers 78 hectares (192 acres) of land and is located in the Lekki Peninsula near Lagos Lagoon. Once there you can take a one hour long tour where you may stroll through the longest canopy walkway in all of Africa. There are a variety of animals you may spot which include monkeys, crocodiles, giant tortoises, antelopes, fish, and snakes. There is also peculiar tree house that is connected to the canopy walkway which gives you a dynamic view of the center! We recommend you bring food and drinks and to wear comfortable shoes to have the best time here!

Abuja National Mosque

Photo courtesy of master_xpo on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Abuja National Mosque is located in Abuja, Nigeria. It was built in 1984 and is open to the non-muslim population when not in use for its religious congregations. With it’s shiny gold dome and four towering pillars, this magnificent mosque can hold up to 4000 people and its conference room alone has a capacity for 500 people. There is also a religious school and library located within the building. Trained guides work in the building helping visitors get to know more about the history of the building and the many celebrations that occur annually. The Abuja National Mosque is a must-see when you are in Nigeria’s capital city!

Zuma Rock

Photo courtesy Mark Hillary on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This impressive landmark is located north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja. Zuma Rock is an igneous intrusion composed of rock minerals gabbro and granodiorite. These types of rock are the product of the crystallization of magma inside earth’s crust and this particular one rises 725 meters above the ground. It is said that it served the purpose of a defensive retreat by the the Gbagyi people who were defending themselves from invading tribes during inter tribal wars. Zuma rock is an ideal destination for relaxation and picnicking so bring your friends and family and see for yourself how appealing this piece of geography is!

Emir’s Palace

Photo courtesy of Shiraz Chakera on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Palace of Emir of Zazzau is located in the city of Zaria in Kaduna, Nigeria. The palace reflects Hausa traditional architectural design which distinctly makes use of dry mud bricks in cubic structures and abstract vivid art that often conveys the owner’s level of sophistication. This important historical monument  is surrounded by elegantly created gates, one being the main entrance and the other gate separating the palace from the residential area. Inside you may find meeting halls, visitor halls, and the Emirate council hall. Pay homage to this solemn site in the historic kingdom of Zazzau which was a collection point for slaves to be delivered in northern markets.

Lekki Market

Photo courtesy of shawnleishman on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The well known Lekki Market or as locals may label the “Arts and Crafts Market,” is situated in Lagos and is a must-visit for travelers. Here you will find vendors that sell anything from vegetables, to household supplies, to dress material for clothes. This is the perfect place to visit before you go home because you can buy souvenirs, local and traditional jewelry, and paintings. A helpful word of advice is to buy more than one piece from a seller to incentivize a better bargain. Most prices here are negotiable so bring your best persuasion skills and make the most of your visit to the Lekki Market!

Tarkwa Beach

Photo courtesy of satanoid on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Tarkwa Beach is a secluded beach located near the Lagos Harbor which is only accessible by boat or water taxis. Fifteen minutes after setting sail, you will arrive at one of the most serene beach walkways ever! Tarkwa Beach is the perfect getaway for someone looking to have a quiet relaxing gathering because it is away from the noise and stress released by the city. The sea is calm enough to swim in safely and shallow to the point that you can walk far without getting completely soaked in water.  There are vendors selling fresh coconuts, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fried fish to make for a delightful picnic. You may take a water taxi from Fiki Marina under the Falomo Bridge to reach this destination. We recommend you dress in your swimsuit and have waterproof bags because you are bound to have to step into the water when you get off the boat.

Nike Art Gallery

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Weate on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Nike Davis-Okundaye is an awe-inspiring philanthropist whose made it her goal to train over three thousand young Nigerian artists and fund small business and art workshops in various parts in Nigeria. She has her very own 5-story tall building located in Lagos which is home to about 8,000 art pieces from Nigerian artists. The art gallery is free to view and features informative tour guides that enthusiastically walk you through each of the floors and explain the context behind each work of art. The lower floors offer the main art exhibits while the higher level floors have smaller rooms with older pieces. Most of the art work here is for sale so come prepared if you are looking to furnish your home with authentic Nigerian craftsmanship.

New Africa Shrine

Photo courtesy of satanoid on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The New Africa Shrine is in commemoration of the Old Africa Shrine created in 1970 by Fela Kuti. He is famous for being a social activist and speaking against the Nigerian government through the genre of Afrobeat that he created. His son’s, Femi Kuti and Seun Kuti have dedicated their lives to expanding the Fela Kuti’s legacy by creating the Felabration Music Festival to commemorate their father and performing weekly events at the New Africa Shrine. There is no fee to enter unless there are special events or if you want to sit in the section upstairs. The Shrine is in a large building and quickly gets filled with people as the evening progresses. Make sure to stop by and grab food and drinks to enjoy the energy of these talented musicians and dancers!

Kainji National Park

Photo courtesy of Jeremy Weate on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Kainji National Park is located between the Niger state and Kwara state of Nigeria. It was established in 1978 and spans a distance of 3,318 miles in total. There are three distinct areas worth exploring that include Kainji Lake, the Borgu Game Reserve located west of the lake, and Zugurma Game Reserve located in the southeast of the lake. Here you may pay tour guides to help you spot some of the most dangerous animals such as lions, hippopotamus, monkeys, and elephants. There are a total of eight lakes present in this park but if you want to see the hippos up and close, we recommend you stop by the Kainji Lake where animals occasionally stop to drink water. Make sure to avoid wearing the color black because the weather can be uncomfortably warm. Also wear light boots to help you get through the terrain.

We walked you through some of the most amazing works of art that can be found in Nigeria. Whether you are looking to have a relaxing stay in Nigeria, or you are looking to be an adventurer in a foreign city, Nigeria has the right attractions that will give you the best of both worlds! Are you most excited about taking a canopy walk amongst animals through the Lekki Conservation Centre or about visiting the gigantic Zumo Rock?