Monuments

Nigeria to lots of people might not be a popular tourist destination but, this country has many surprising and little unknown attractions.

 

Nigeria is unique not only due to its uninterrupted cultural traditions tracing back to the ancient times but also due to another feature: its geographical diversity. Nigeria has lots of rainforests, mountains, deserts, beaches, mangrove forests and enormous rivers. In numerous locations people have managed to reach a certain harmony with the environment and most Nigerian attractions have both natural and cultural values. Nigerians attribute spiritual characteristics to many of their beautiful natural and cultural monuments and there are many unusual stories told about them.

 

Outstanding Nigerian monuments include the ancientIfe cityOld City of Kano with its city walls, theOsun-Osogbo sacred forest which grows alongside the Oshun River and the ancient fortification systems that are amongst the largest in world - Sungbo's Eredo. The Olumo cave shelters, sacred Ogbunike Caves, ruins of Hidi's palace in Sukur, Old Oyo city, Birnin Kudu rock art, outstanding traditional architecture of Josand numerous other unique monuments with unbelievable histories, could provide countless scenarios for movies and books.

 

There are also numerous mysterious monuments like the giant Ukhuse Oke footprints in granite.

 

The diverse nature of Nigeria provides many kinds of interesting monuments. This includes one of the most impressive monoliths of the world - Zuma rock which rises like an enormous boulder, 725 meters high. There are many impressive waterfalls such as Owu FallsGurara FallsQua Falls (Kwa Falls) and others.

 

Nigeria is also rich with warm springs.

 

Lagos Island contains some of the country's most obvious and eye-catching landmarks, such as both Taiwo Olowo's Monument and Tafawa Balewa Square, while close to Abuja is the majestic backdrop provided by Aso Rock. In Benin City, the Benin Moat is of epic proportions and more than worthy of a photograph or two.

 

Taiwo Olowo's Monument

 

Address: Broad Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria, NG, Africa

This prominent Lagos monument, located on Broad Street, houses the tomb of Chief Daniel Conrad Taiwo. History records that Taiwo arrived in Lagos in 1848, starting out as an apprentice and ending up a notable political figure. It is widely believed that this famous bust of Taiwo was manufactured by melting down many thousands of individual copper pennies.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free

 

Tafawa Balewa Square

 

Address: Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria, NG, Africa

This busy central square in Lagos is used for all sorts of celebrations and official functions, and is where visitors will find many of the city's memorials and statues. Nearby is the National Assembly building and the multi-purpose Onikan Stadium, as well as the National Museum of Lagos. Tafawa Balewa Square was named after Nigeria's first prime minister.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free

 

Aso Rock and Caves

 

Address: Near Abuja, Nigeria, NG, Africa

Rising some 936 metres / 3,070 feet above sea level, Aso Rock is the largest of the rocky outcrops that can be found near the capital city of Abuja. Within the rock are a series of caves which are accessible to the public, but only with prior permission. Various important buildings are located around this giant 400-metre / 1,312-foot monolith, such as the Nigerian National Assembly, the Presidential Complex and also the Supreme Court.

Open hours: daily - interior of caves with permission

Admission: free

 

Gurara Falls

 

Address: Gurara, Nigeria, NG, Africa

During the rainy season (from July to September), the Gurara Falls are at their most dramatic, measuring roughly 30 metres / 98 feet at their widest point. Even in the dry season (between December and March), it is still well worth a visit, since the multitude of natural flora is then exposed, and with calmer water, swimming often becomes possible. The falls are situated on the road that runs from Suleja and Minna in Niger State, with plenty of adjacent opportunities for hiking and picnicking.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free

 

Benin Moat

 

Address: Benin City, Nigeria, NG, Africa

Known traditionally as 'Iya', the Benin Moat is the largest man-made earthwork anywhere in the world. Constructed in the 13th century, at a time when there were no labour saving devices, it really is an astonishing achievement. The Benin Moat forms part of an ancient wall built to protect the royal city and was extended during the 15th century, meaning that it now stretches for a staggering 3,200 km / 1,988 feet in length.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free

 

Owu Falls

 

Address: Owa-Kajola, Nigeria, NG, Africa

Reputed to be the steepest natural waterfall in West Africa, the Owu Falls is a relatively gentle cascade and is always popular with tourists, offering great photo opportunities. Situated in Kwara Sate and surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, the best time to visit is during the rainy season, when the Owu Falls are at their most dramatic.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free

 

Zuma Rock

 

Address: Near Abuja, Nigeria, NG, Africa

Standing close to Abuja and directly to the north of this capital city, Zuma Rock has to be one of the country's most recognisable and iconic natural landmarks. Located off the main Abuja to Kaduna road, this huge monolith is easily accessible to most visitors and is quite impossible to miss, often being known as the 'Gateway to Abuja' and towering more than 700 metres / 2,300 feet above the surrounding landscape.

Open hours: daily

Admission: free