Tourism is an essential part of the internal revenue generated by any country. With the rich historical culture Nigeria has, you’d expect it to sour the highest in that regard, but sadly it does not. In 2017 the World Economic Forum reported that Nigeria ranked 129th out of the 135 African countries in tourism and travel, which does not improve the country’s general outlook.
Despite the disturbing images portrayed in movies and on the news, Nigeria is a beautiful country filled with sights that will make your vacation alone or with the family a memorable one. From beautiful waterfalls, parks, restaurants, and resorts to rich historical tours of places that made Nigeria what it is today.
Here to help you plan your next vacation is a list of the Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria.
Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria.
1. Lekki Conservation Center
Located in the Lekki part of Lagos, Nigeria, and features the longest canopy walk in the whole of Africa. The Lekki Conservation Center is where human ingenuity and the biodiverse animal ecosystem coexist. Established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation.
The centre gives its visitors an elevated view of the tropical marshlands and the animals that inhabit all around them ranging from snakes, monkies to crocodiles and exotic birds. A wooden treehouse sits at 50 feet high gives a panoramic viewing experience.
Move through the harrowing 1,315 feet canopy walk as you experience monkeys swinging from tree to tree. The canopy is the length of more than 3 and a half football field which is just insane to think about. You’ll be able to feed the monkeys The natural ambience of the centre also educates on the preservation of nature and wildlife.
A floor games family park, picnic ground, museum, auditorium, and parking area are available. There are also rangers that ensure the safety of the animals and visitors. The Lekki Conservation serves as a home for endangered species of birds and other animals.
I strongly recommend this because it’s the closest you’d get to a wildlife experience in Lagos considering what Lagos is known for. In as much as it’s no Disneyland, it serves its educative purpose for kids and adults alike.
At number two on the top 10 tourist destinations in Nigeria we have the Yankari National Park.
Previously called the Yankari game Reserve and was created in 1956 and its hills served as campgrounds for animal poachers. In the year 1991, it was upgraded to a National Park. Maintenance and management of the National park was moved from the National Parks Service and was handed back to Bauchi State Government in 2006.
The park spans over 2,244 square kilometres in the south-central part of Bauchi State, in the North-eastern part of Nigeria. It has served as a centre for tourism for the state and in the long run the country.
With the largest herd of elephants in West Africa the whole 866 sq miles of the Yankari National Park is home to some of Africa’s endangered wildlife which includes; African bush elephants, Olive baboons, Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Camels, Tantalus monkeys, Roan Antelopes, Lions, Western hartebeest and, Spotted hyenas. There are also over 350 species of birds in the park.
In the past, the park had more animals like Cheetahs, wild dogs, and leopards but with the lacklustre attitude of the Nigerien government and poachers, these animals have vanished over the park’s existence.
Another of the Yankari National Park’s natural features is its warm springs. You can take a dive in either of the park’s four warm springs namely; Dimmil spring, Gwan spring, Nawulgo spring, the largest of all warm springs the Wikki Spring, and the only cool water spring Tungan Maliki spring.
The hills will leave you bewildered. At the top of the hill, you can get a total view of the park and if you are lucky you’ll get to see some animals. Just put on your hiking boots, grab your binoculars, and have a filled day with the park rangers of course.
The downside of the Yankari National Park is a shadow of it’s former self due to lack of proper maintenance and management an area that was once filled with various animals has been reduced to an area where you might not even see some animal through out you period there
3. Rayfield Resort.
The third on the list of top 10 tourist destinations in Nigeria is the Rayfield Resort located in Jos, Plateau state, The Land of Peace and Tourism.
Although the state has had a bad reputation for its violence in the past, The state still suffers from this stigma. This has stunted the growth of the Rayfield Resort and in a wider view the progress of tourism in the state.
Driving into the resort, it is hard not to spot the deep blue lake that stretches around the resort. Boat tours are available to the guests and they cost a dollar or two depending on how far you are willing to go. The deep blue colour of the lake is different from the colours of other lakes found across Nigeria. This is as a result of the mining the happens around the resort.
The environment around the resort is conducive for family vacations and the cool breeze is like nothing felt anywhere else in the country. The people are happy and peaceful and it is a good spot for weekend getaways for the family and friends.
Asides from the resort the state has some eye-catching hills and the most fertile soils in Africa. Which as a result when you look around you’ll see a lot of nature and vast green-lands.
One downside to this resort is like most tourist attractions in Nigeria it lacks proper managements and investors to take it from where it has always been to where it need to be.
Just as the say goes ‘Water is life” it was only right that a beach is featured on the list of the top 10 tourist destinations in Nigeria.
La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort is situated in the Ibeju-Lekki area in Lekki, Lagos state. It gives you that the Caribbean feel with high palm trees and as the name implies you’d get that tropical feeling as well.
You get to splash around in the different pools that cut across different parts of the chalets. To explain more about the chalets at Campagne Tropicana are available to suit any style ranging from single rooms with the Nigerian cultural finishes to a luxury room that will have you enchanted with its design and attention to detail.
The clean beach environment serves as the icing at the top of the La Campagne Tropicana cake as you and your family can watch as the waves cascade unto the shore under the beautiful lights around.
La Campagne Tropicana takes full advantage of the water surrounding it and offers you a variety of water-themed activities ranging from Canoe cruise, Jet ski rides, tubing, surfing, kayaking and, many more. Couples also have the option to Dine on water (talk about a romantic getaway) God when o!
So what are you waiting for when you can be floating around on the Lagos lagoon while sipping fresh coconut water straight out of a coconut. While being surrounded by beautiful birds, trees and people.
Downside to the La Campagne Tropicana is it is so hard to get in during festive hours and some of the water activities are a bit expensive.
When going on a vacation, one thing to put into consideration is amusement. What better way is there to get that than going to an amusement planet! Next on the list of the top 10 tourist destinations in Nigeria is Hi-Impact Planet amusement park.
With 15 amusement rides which includes a 40-meters high Ferris wheel that allows you a view the whole park. There are also apartments just in case, you want to extend your stay and fully soak in the experience.
Hi-Impact is like a paradise to any kid. I can remember when I went to an amusement park when I was much younger and in as much as I can’t remember that much from my childhood, but that day is easily my favourite childhood memory
With that said put a smile on the faces of your children by taking them to Hi-Impact Planet and show them a side of you they never knew existed. If you don’t have a family that’s also not a bad thing as the rides don’t care about your marital status.
So if it’s racing down the go-kart track to blasting some aliens in the indoor games section of the park you’ll be having fun regardless. That makes it the perfect location for amusement in Nigeria and that’s why it’s on the top 10 tourist destinations in Nigeria.
The con of this Amusement park is that there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll get stuck in traffic on your way there or on your way back from there.
This is my favourite on this list of the Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria.
As a lover of art myself , The Nike Art Gallery is a most visit when you are in Nigeria. As for Nigerians who haven’t been make it one of the places you must visit this year (cus its one of mine)
This art museum is owned by Nike Okundaye a renowned adire and batik textile designer. It is located at the Elegushi area of Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. The Art Gallery is a four-story building which is home to thousands of art pieces which cuts across different cultures in Nigeria.
The centre is recommended by TripAdvisor as the no.1 place to visit in Lagos. The white interior of the gallery serves as a canvas that brings out the different artworks in the building and can amaze the minds of the not-so artistically inclined
Its a showcase for the artistic qualities present in Nigeria and the stories and culture these artists are trying to portray in their art. If you are lucky enough you’ll get to meet the legend herself on your time there and get an autograph while you are there.
7. Shiro Lagos
It wouldn’t be right if one restaurant didn’t make it to the Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria list. At least something for the food enthusiasts like myself.
Shiro Lagos is for the ultimate bespoke dining experience. You get to enjoy Asian contemporary meals in an environment that sets the scene while the meal takes you on a taste but pricey ride of a lifetime.
8. Nigerian National Museum
On the list of Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria, we have the Nigerian National Museum. This museum was one of those places secondary schools took excursions to and I’m still sure they still do.
This museum holds historical pieces of Nigeria and vessels used in the old Benin era. Nok Terracottas are displayed in the galleries. Phones are prohibited in the museum so take as many metal pictures as you can. You can also buy so gifts at the gift shop.
It also home to a significant piece of history as the museum holds the car the late General Murtala Muhammed was assassinated in. Located at the Onikan part of Lagos State.
9. The 10 Commandment
Located in Jos, Plateau State is the 10 commandments and which happen to be a replica of the one in Israel. It is one of the sights in Jos, Plateau. It is surrounded by beautiful rocks and outstretches of green-land
Although the setting is not complete, the tablets stand at 25ft tall and have all the commandment written on them.
It makes it to the Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria.
10. National Arts Theatre
The National Theatre makes it to the Top 10 Tourist destinations in Nigeria. Located at the Iganmu part of Surulere in Lagos state. The theatre is shaped like military hat I think that’s worth noting
It was built in the the military regime of General Yakubu Gowon for the purpose of performance and art. I guess the architectural direction of the arts theatre makes much sense.
This piece of Nigerian history has Main Hall with the capacity of of 5,000 seats with a collapsible stage. There are also 2 cinemas in the theatre. The Theatre is like the Nigerian broadway. So many of the Nigerian actors and actresses gracing our screens at a point in time performed at the National Theatre.