Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with over 200 million people. It is often said that one in every five Africans in the world is a Nigerian. It is home to more than 400 tribes and ethnic groups with about 500 different languages and dialects.
However, Nigeria is a lot more than the population as it is the dream destination for many tourists from various parts of the globe. From the hospitable people to a dazzling array of colorful cultures to some of the tastiest meals on the planet, Nigeria is a land full of many promises and wonders for you.
Best Time to Visit Nigeria
Nigeria is in the tropics so there is no winter season with unbearable cold but being tropical means that it can get hot and wet all year round. But the good thing about it is that you can visit Nigeria at pretty much any time of the year.
However, if you want to have maximum fun, then you should visit the country during festivities. These include the Muslim Eid festivals around August, Independence Day celebrations in October, Christmas in December, and the New Year celebration in January. These are considered to be peak seasons for tourists and you will do well to schedule your visit around that time.
Getting to Nigeria
Nigeria can be reached by air, road, rail, or water routes – there are international airports like the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the capital city of Abuja, Murtala Muhammad International Airport in the commercial capital of Lagos, Port Harcourt International Airport in the oil-rich state of Rivers. Most tourists arrive by air and all the major world airlines have their hubs in Nigeria so you can fly into the country from practically anywhere.
There are also international shipping routes that berth at any of Nigeria’s seaports especially in Apapa, Onne, or Port Harcourt. There are also vast road and rail networks, especially with neighboring West African nations.
Where to Visit in Nigeria
There are so many places for you to select from when on a visit to Nigeria. It is truly a dream come true for tourists. The following are some of the most famous sites of attraction in this timeless West African nation:
Sacred Olumo Rock
This historic rock is considered to be holy by the local Egba people and they worship it. The rock was used as a place of refuge and safety in the past when they were attacked by rival tribes. Tourists also climb the rock to have a majestic view of the city.
Benin City is the heart of one of the most enduring monarchies in the world as the ancient Benin Empire is over 1,000 years old. The city was established by the native Edo people and they are known for their outstanding works of art. You can also visit the place of the king of the city who is called the Oba of Benin and is one of the most respected kings in the country.
This beautiful work of nature is located in the southwestern state of Ondo. You can trek up the Idanre Hills and enjoy the most unforgettable views of the city of Idanre and beyond. There is a village on the site that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also visit the palace of the king and check out several of the holy sites many of which are centuries old.
Osun Osogbo Grove
This is located in the southwestern state of Osun in Yorubaland and it is one of the holiest places in African traditional religion. It is the sacred site of the Osun river goddess of fertility. It also hosts the annual Osun Osogbo festival which draws countless visitors from various parts of the globe to this corner of West Africa.
What to Eat and Drink in Nigeria
This country is a culinary paradise for food lovers, as there are numerous delicacies from each tribe and ethnic group. The cuisine in Nigeria is so diverse that you can have one different meal for every day of the year.
National dishes include the world-famous jollof rice, pounded yam, eba, amala and garri. As for drinks, you can enjoy a whole range of fruit juices, malt drinks, alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee, and practically any drink you want, especially in the southern parts of the country. Nigerians have a lot of celebrations and festivals so good food is never in short supply.
Where to Stay in Nigeria
You can go to Airbnb outlets or local guest houses or luxury hotels if you have the budget for it. Some of the biggest hotel brands in the world like Hilton, Shangri La, Sheraton, and Transcorp are all present in Nigeria. You will always find a place to stay within your budget.