Nigerias Magnificent Views

By: Douglas Scott

Nigerias greatest asset its wealth of native races and religions, its vibrant population, the largest of any country in Africa have also proven its downfall on countless explosive occasions. It is a shame that Nigeria is not currently able to entice visitors other than those seeking a slice of the oil dollar. After all, this country is blessed with hundreds of miles of coastline, national parks and fascinating ancient sites.

The climate varies from area to area. The southern coast is hot and humid with a rainy season from March to November. During the dry season, the wind blows from the Sahara. The norths rainy season is from July to September. Nights can be cold in December and January.

In the predominantly Muslim north, the most important festival is Sallah, celebrated three months after the feast, particularly in the towns of Kano, Katsina, Maiduguri and Zaria. Every family is required to slaughter a ram and festivities last for several days, with horseback processions, musicians and dancers. Featured also in northern communities are Durbars, long lines of horsemen led by a band, the horses in quilted armour with the riders wearing quilted coats and wielding ceremonial swords.

Watch out for Nigerias wonderful selection of homemade crafts.

Walk where the capital of the Yoruba Empire once was, and admire Oyos Old Portuguese style houses.

Marvel at some of Nigerias magnificent views.

Journey through the Cross River National Park. The best base from which to do so is the town of Ikom, on the road to Cameroon, which has curious carved monoliths set in circles, believed to be ancient monuments assembled in reverence to ancestors.

The Cross River National Park piques a curiosity in nature, rather than humanity. In the Rainforest Conservation area, this is a place of majestic mountains and rolling hills, with wildlife including leopards, buffalos, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons and elephants.

Elsewhere, the Yankari National Park in the eastern half of the country is particularly good for bird watching. Animals which can be viewed here include elephants, crocodiles and monkeys. The park has accommodation, restaurants and a swimming pool. The title of Nigerias most scenic national park might also go to the Gashaka Game Reserve near Yola, which provides opportunities to view birds and animals and is home to some highly endangered species.

Circumnavigate the walled old town of Kano, formerly the largest of the ancient Hausa cities, and soak up its lingering medieval atmosphere. Despite this atmosphere, reinforced by the wall, Kano was founded at least 1,000 years ago, being of strategic importance on the trans-Saharan trade routes. The Emiras Palace remains an outstanding example of Hausa architecture.

Picnic without breaking a sweat in Jos, a favourite holiday centre on account of its location and consequent pleasantly cool climate. The nearby Assob Falls and many streams and dams make this an extremely pretty area.

Travel and Leisure
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Travel and Leisure