This article is about the top 10 best historical tourist sites in Nigeria; this includes the ancient and historic sites which
have remained great sites of tourist attraction in Nigeria for centuries.
There are tens of historical and tourist sites in Nigeria which are getting a lot of attention and attraction locally and internationally, some of these are must-see places in Nigeria that every tourist or sight-seer should visit.
Table of Contents
10 Best Historical Tourist Sites in Nigeria
- Idanre Hill
- Olumo Rock
- Obudu Mountain Resort
- Ngwo Pine Forest
- Yankari Game Reserve
- Ogbunike Caves
- Ikogosi Warm Springs
- Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls
- Gurara Waterfalls
- Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfall.
The Idanre hill or Oke Idanre is one of the historical tourist sites in Nigeria, it is located in the ancient town of Idanre, Ondo State.
Idanre hill is one of the most beautiful known natural landscapes in Nigeria, there are so many cultural sites found within it, it also has great spiritual recognition among the people, as there are so many shrines and other spiritual places of worship within its territory.
Idanre Hills is supposedly located on a Precambrian igneous batholith that is about 500 million years old and is cut by several large fractures that form deep valleys within the rocks.
Olumo rock is one of the popular and best historical tourist sites in Nigeria, this site receives thousands of visitors and has tens of thousands of searches on the internet every year, it is an ancient rock with many cultural and social attributes.
Olumo rock is located in the city Abeokuta in Ogun, according to the folktales of the people of Egba, Olumo rock was discovered by a hunter who bears the name Adagba; the founding ancestor of the Egba people.
For the Egba people, the Olumo rock is very important to the people of Egba; it stands as a monument of unity, faith, source of strength and unfailing protection and symbol of refuge; it served as a fortress for them, giving a secure and good vantage point to them and helped them win intertribal wars which occurred during the 19th century.
Visiting Olumo rock costs between 700 Naira and 2,400 Naira; initial transport cost excluded. There are levels or arrangements of stairs that take tourists to the top of Olumo rock, tourists also can make use of the elevators(s) to go up and down the mountain.
Olumo rock has a height of 450 feet (147 meters), it is an igneous rock that belongs to a group of rocks known as granite rocks, according to tests, Olumo rock is about 1 billion years old and ranks among the most famous historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Obudu Mountain Resort
Obudu mountain resort is arguably the most popular and the most beautiful among all historical tourist sites in Nigeria, it is formerly known as Obudu cattle ranch and resort, Obudu cattle ranch is located on Obudu plateau in the town of Obudu, in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River state.
Tourists pay a fee of 200 Naira to gain entrance into Obudu mountain resort and 300 Naira to take a walk on the canopy walkway, there is also an option for cable cars, but these cable cars have not been functioning for some years.
Obudu mountain resort is a large and beautiful place, it has temperate weather and it is the only place in Nigeria where snow falls regularly; this is one of the reasons why most tourists visit it.
Obudu mountain resort has a height of 5,250 feet (1,600 meters), this paradise was developed in 1951 by M. McCaughey; a Scottish who first explored the mountain in 1949; camping on the Oshie ridge for a month, left for home, and then returned to with a fellow rancher named Hugh Jones, the two of them turned this location to one of the biggest historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Ngwo Pine Forest
Ngwo pine forest is a popularly known forest in Enugu state filled with pine trees, it is one of the best historical tourist sites in Nigeria, the forest has a cave and waterfall in it thereby making it give a near-paradise experience to the tourists who visit it.
The Ngwo pine forest is located in the heart of Enugu, it has a limestone cave and a pool at the bed of the cave with its source being the waterfall, this makes the Ngwa pine forest a perfect environment for picnics.
These pine trees were planted about 50 years ago to combat erosion in the area, there was no plan whatever from the onset to turn this place into a tourist site but it has evolved to become one of the most beautiful of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Ngwo pine forest is a vast area that surely contains dangerous animals, it is advisable to tour the Ngwo pine forest in groups and the presence of local guides, these guides do not just protect you; they also help you locate the major places of interest easier.
Yankari Game Reserve
Yankari game reserve is a wildlife park and a national game reserve located in the South-central part of Bauchi State, Nigeria, it is the most popular of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
There are four warm springs in the Yankari game reserve, they are the Wikki, Gwan, Dimmil, and Nawulgo springs. There is only one cool spring in Yankari; it is named Tungan Maliki.
The Yankari is an ideal location for people who desire to watch wild animals in their natural habitat, it was created in 1956 as a game reserve, later in 1991 it was turned into a national park
The Yankari national park harbors varieties of flora and fauna, it also has a vast variety of features, including swamps in river floodplains, grasslands, thick bushes, and savanna vegetation.
Yankari game reserve contains vast varieties of animals including, elephants, hippopotamus, giraffes, baboons, crocodiles, leopards, lions, hyenas and various species of antelopes including roan, waterbuck, bushbuck, and hartebeest; these feature of biodiversity makes it the best of all the historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Yankari game reserve (national park) has an average elevation of about 1600 feet (500 meters), the highest point in the Yankari game reserve is the Kariyo hill with a height of 2,100 feet (640 meters), the Yankari game reserve has an area of 2,250-kilometer square (867 square miles).
The annual rainfall in Yankari is between 900 millimeters and 1,000 millimeters, during the rainy season which occurs between May to September, there is a temperature range between 18 and 35 degrees Centigrade ( 64 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit), during the dry season there is a temperature range between 12 and 40 degrees Centigrade (53 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Ogbunike caves are a group of ancient historic caves in the Eastern part of Nigeria (Biafra) this site has been a source of tourist attraction for the areas for some decades, it is one of the serene of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
The Ogbunike caves are located in Ogbunike, Anambra State, Southeastern Nigeria. It is located in a tropical rainforest of a valley, these caves have spiritual significance to the people of Ogbunike as they celebrate annually on a fixed date in remembrance of the day the caves were discovered.
There is a long staircase consisting of about 317 steps that leads down to the caves; this staircase was constructed by the Anambra state government in the 1990s according to reports from the natives. Visitors remove their shoes before entering the caves and women having their monthly cycles are not allowed in as a result of age-old tradition and spiritual significance.
The biggest and major cave of attraction at Ogbunike caves is a very gigantic structure, it has a large and magnificent entrance; about 5 meters high, 10 meters wide, and 30 meters long (deep), this makes it a favorite tourist center for rock exploration lovers, it remains one of the notable historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
There are 10 tunnels at the main chamber leading to different directions, there are also many different channels of varying lengths in the cave, some of which are joined or interconnected, the caves are occupied by large colonies of bats of different species and sizes.
There are waterbodies of warm water at various places in the caves, a stream also flows out from if tunnel into the fast-flowing Nkissa river; these and many other attributes of Ogbunike caves are the reasons why it finds a place on the list of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Ikogosi Warm Springs
Ikogosi warm springs are a group of springs located in the town of Ikogosi, in Ekiti State, Nigeria, it is one of the best among all historical tourist sites in Nigeria, especially for those who like swimming.
There is a confluence at the Ikogosi warm springs; this is where a warm spring met a cold spring, the mixture of the waters from this too springs gives a perfect feeling to the body as the water is just lukewarm as they 70 degrees centigrade temperature of the warm spring gets the temperature at the confluence to 37 degrees centigrade.
Ikogosi warm springs are located in a cool and serene valley, with hills all around it, having thick forest vegetation, these features are undeniably the reasons why this location is listed among the most important historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
A legendary story says that the warm and cold spring symbolizes the wives of a great hunter named Awopereige, the warm spring is the hot-tempered and quarrelsome wife while cold spring is the kind and peace-loving wife.
Another legendary story says that a powerful hunter who went on a hunting expedition in the thick forest discovered the warm spring, he went into the town and informed the townspeople, the people then found out that the spring has curative powers so they started to worship it.
Erin-Ijesha waterfalls also known as Olumirin waterfalls are a group of waterfalls located in Erin-Ijesha, Abake village which is found in Osun State, it is one of the most beautiful and popular of all the historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
The source of Erin-Ijesha waterfalls is located on the seventh floor of the hill in the Ancient Abake village, Oriade Local Government Area of Osun State.
The name ‘Erin-Ijesha’ simply means ‘elephant of Ijesha’, this implies that the waterfall is important to the people as it is of great symbolism and value just like comparable to an elephant in the animal kingdom.
The waterfalls are said to have been discovered by one of the daughters of Oduduwa in 1140 AD, another history says that it was discovered by hunters in the year 1140 AD, yet another source has it that the waterfalls were discovered by a woman called Akinla who subsequently became the founder of Ejin-Ijesha.
Being one of the notable among all historical tourist sites in Nigeria, Erin-Ijesha waterfalls is mostly visited by school around the vicinity and very rarely visited by foreign tourists because of poor maintenance.
The natives regard the waterfall as a sacred place and a place for purifying their souls, religious festivals were celebrated at this site with lots of sacrifices inclusive.
The whole scenery at Olumirin waterfalls is cooling and amazing, with temperature ranges between 30 degrees centigrade and 34 degrees centigrade, the air is always super fresh as there is thick vegetation surrounding it; all these features combine to make it one of the historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
Gurara waterfall is one of the major historical tourist sites in Nigeria, it is located in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State, it has an elevation of 30 meters.
According to history by the locals, Gurara waterfalls were first discovered by a Gwari hunter called Buba in 1745, after 180 the waterfalls got discovered by some Europeans who subsequently used them as a recreational center.
The Gurara waterfalls were worshipped by the people living around it, it is named after two great deities who bear names ‘Gura’ and ‘Rara’, so the same Gurara is simply a combination of these two names.
The fall is always at its peak in April and November and is at its lowest from January to March, the waterfall measure 300 meters across and 50 meters below, it is safest to swim in the waters during this period as the water level lowers and the water also becomes clear.
Regarding the magnificent beauty of the Gurara waterfalls, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria, near Abuja.
Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfall
Ogbaukwu caves and waterfalls remain the most magnificent of all historical tourist sites in Nigeria, especially the Southeastern part of Nigeria, it is located in the Owerre Ezukala community, which stands at the borders of Abia, Imo, and the Enugu States.
It is the largest known cave in West Africa, there are complex and deep rock formations in the cave, some of which are large enough to contain an entire village.
In one of the compartments, there is an old elephant’s foot standing there, the elephant must have been long dead and the foot is dead and dry.
In another compartment you can find a gun of stone, as old as the cave, which means the object was naturally formed and not man-made, these features surely account for it being on the list of the best historical tourist sites in Nigeria.
In the cave is a very large area which is believed by the locals to be the living room of the god of Owerre Ezukala, there are many locations one can follow moving in and out of the cave, but one of them is more popular because of its size.
This wonder of nature has been taken over by the government and also abandoned without any management or effort to turn it into a popular tourist center, but it remains one of the most magnificent historical tourist sites in Nigeria and Africa at large.
This wonder of nature is safely tucked away from the highways and is only to be seen by those who quest to see it, the Ogbaukwu caves and waterfalls have the capacity to be an intercontinental known popular site for tourism.
There is also a large waterfall in the cave, it is a major attraction to the locals as they always desire to visit the waterfall to swim or to relax their bodies, which makes it a place among the historical tourist sites in Nigeria and West Africa undeniable and unquestionable.
There are several tens of historic sites in Nigeria, most of which are natural while some are man-made, there are also tens of tourist sites in Nigeria because the country is situated in a location naturally rich in such resources, you can also go and research about other historical tourist sites in Nigeria as the ones listed here are the top 10 only.
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