Due to the country’s natural beauty and relaxing environment enveloped by lush plains, mountains, waterfalls, lakes, cultural activities, traditional music, and animals, Nigeria tours are becoming increasingly popular for tourism. Visits to national parks and rain forests, as well as cultural events, are included in Nigeria tourism packages.
You can do your research online and plan your trip ahead of time. This can assist you in getting the most out of your vacation. The Nigeria tourism guide can assist you with the country’s dos and don’ts. Nigeria may be one of the world’s most underappreciated countries, but its rich culture, diverse landscape, and unusual wildlife make it a must-see country.
Since the second millennium BC, Nigeria has been home to various indigenous pre-colonial nations and kingdoms, with the Nok civilization in the 15th century BC being the country’s first internal union. The contemporary state arose from British colonialization in the nineteenth century, and Lord Lugard’s merger of the Southern and Northern Nigeria Protectorates in 1914 gave it its current territorial configuration.
In the Nigerian region, the British established administrative and legal institutions while exercising indirect rule through traditional chiefdoms. On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became a formally independent federation. It went through a civil war from 1967 to 1970, then a series of democratically elected civilian governments and military dictatorships until achieving a stable democracy in the presidential election of 1999; the 2015 election was the first time an incumbent president lost re-election.
Nigeria is a multicultural country with over 250 ethnic groups speaking 500 different languages and identifying with a diverse range of cultures. The Hausa in the north, Yoruba in the west, and Igbo in the east are the three largest ethnic groupings, accounting for about 60% of the total population.
The official language is English, which was chosen to promote linguistic harmony across the country. Nigeria’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, and the country is home to some of the world’s largest Muslim and Christian populations. Muslims, who live largely in the north, and Christians, who live mostly in the south, make up nearly half of Nigeria’s population; indigenous religions, such as those of the Igbo and Yoruba native groups, are in the minority.
Nigeria is a growing global power, a regional force in Africa, and a middling power in international affairs. Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa, the 25th largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the 25th largest in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP). Nigeria is known as the “Giant of Africa” due to its massive population and economy, and the World Bank classifies it as an emerging market.
However, the country has a poor Human Development Index and is still one of the world’s most corrupt countries. Nigeria is a founding member of the African Union, as well as the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, NAM, the Economic Community of West African States, and OPEC. It is also one of the Next Eleven economies and a member of the informal MINT group of countries.
Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to engage in significant, direct trade with the peoples of southern Nigeria in the 16th century, at the ports of Lagos (previously Eko) and Calabar on the Slave Coast. Europeans traded commodities with natives living along the coast, which also marked the start of the Atlantic slave trade.
During the transatlantic slave trade, the port of Calabar on the historical Bight of Biafra (now known as the Bight of Bonny) became one of the largest slave-trading sites in West Africa. Other important slaving ports in Nigeria were Badagry, Lagos on the Benin Bight, and Bonny Island on the Biafra Bight. Raids and conflicts seized the majority of individuals enslaved and transported to these ports.
The prisoners were usually returned to the conquerors’ land as forced labor, and they were sometimes acculturated and assimilated into the conquerors’ civilization over time. Slave routes were created all over Nigeria, connecting the interior with the major coastal ports.
The Edo’s Benin Empire in the south, the Oyo Empire in the southwest, and the Aro Confederacy in the southeast were among the more prominent slave-trading kingdoms that participated in the transatlantic slave trade. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Benin was a powerful nation. Oyo’s power stretched from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo at its territorial apex in the late 17th and early 18th century.
The Fulani people gained a foothold in the region due to continual fighting among Hausa city-states and the demise of the Bornu Empire in the north. Until now, the Fulani, a nomadic ethnic group, roamed the semi-desert Sahelian region north of Sudan with cattle, avoiding trade and intermingling with Sudanic peoples.
Usman dan Fodio conducted a victorious war against the Hausa Kingdoms at the turn of the nineteenth century, establishing the centralised Sokoto Caliphate. Under his and his descendants’ leadership, the empire with Arabic as its official language flourished fast, sending invading troops in every direction.
The large landlocked empire connected the east with the western Sudan region and expanded south, seizing parts of the Oyo Empire (modern-day Kwara) and Ibadan, the Yoruba heartland, to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria was under the power of the empire.
The sultan dispatched emirs to establish suzerainty over conquered lands and foster Islamic civilisation; the emirs, in turn, grew richer and more powerful as a result of trade and slavery. The world’s largest slave population, estimated at two million people, was concentrated in the Sokoto Caliphate’s lands by the 1890s.
Slave labor was widely used, particularly in agriculture. The Sokoto Caliphate was one of the largest pre-colonial African states by the time it was disbanded in 1903 into numerous European possessions.
Most European powers supported the widespread cultivation of agricultural products, such as the palm, for use in European industry, due to changing legal imperatives (the transatlantic slave trade was outlawed by Britain in 1807) and economic imperatives (a desire for political and social stability).
European firms participated in the Atlantic slave trade until it was outlawed in 1807. After that, illicit smugglers bought slaves from native slavers along the coast. The West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy attempted to intercept the smugglers at sea. The rescued slaves were sent to Freetown, a West African colony founded by Lieutenant John Clarkson in the aftermath of the American Revolutionary War for the resettlement of slaves released by Britain in North America.
Britain engaged in the Lagos monarch power struggle by shelling Lagos in 1851, deposing the slave-trade-friendly Oba Kosoko, assisting in the installation of the amenable Oba Akitoye, and signing the Treaty of Lagos on January 1, 1852. The Lagos Treaty of Cession annexed Lagos as a royal colony in August 1861. Missionaries from the United Kingdom extended their missions and traveled further interior. Samuel Ajayi Crowther became the Anglican Church’s first African bishop in 1864.
Nigeria is the world’s 32nd-largest country, with a total area of 923,768 km2 (356,669 sq mi) and is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. Its borders stretch for 4,047 kilometers (2,515 miles), and it shares them with Benin (773 kilometers or 480 miles), Niger (1,497 kilometers or 930 miles), Chad (87 kilometers or 54 miles), and Cameroon (1,690 kilometers or 1,050 miles). It has a coastline of at least 853 kilometers (530 mi).
Nigeria is located between 4° and 14° north latitude and 2° and 15° east longitude. Chappal Waddi, at 2,419 meters, is Nigeria’s highest point (7,936 ft). The Niger and Benue rivers, which confluence and empty into the Niger Delta, are the principal rivers. This is one of the world’s largest river deltas, and a significant area of Central African mangroves may be found here.
The valleys of the Niger and Benue rivers are Nigeria’s most widespread topographical region (which merge and form a Y-shape). A “rugged” upland is to the southwest of the Niger. Hills and mountains form the Mambilla Plateau, Nigeria’s highest plateau, to the southeast of Benue. This plateau stretches all the way to Cameroon’s Bamenda Highlands, where the montane land is part of the Bamenda Highlands. Nigeria’s landscape is diverse.
The tropical rainforest climate of the extreme south is typified by annual rainfall of 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (60 to 80 in) per year. The Obudu Plateau is located in the southeast. Coastal plains can be found in the southwest and southeast of the United States. Along the coast, mangrove wetlands can be found.
The rainforest near the Cameroonian border, close to the coast, is part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests ecoregion, an important biodiversity area. It is home to the drill primate, which can only be found in the wild in this area and over the border in Cameroon.
The world’s largest diversity of butterflies is thought to be found in the areas surrounding Calabar, Cross River State, and in this forest. Because of development and increased population, the southern Nigerian area between the Niger and the Cross Rivers has lost most of its forest, which has been replaced by grassland.
Savannah covers the area between the far south and the far north (insignificant tree cover, with grasses and flowers located between trees). The annual rainfall is restricted to 500 to 1,500 millimetres (20 to 60 in). Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, Sudan savannah, and Sahel savannah are the three types of savannah.
Plains of long grass are broken up by trees in Guinea’s forest-savanna mosaic. The Sudanese savannah is comparable to the African savannah, but with shorter grasses and trees. The Sahel savannah, which may be found in the northeast, is made up of areas of grass and sand.
The Sahel receives fewer than 500 millimetres (20 inches) of rain every year, and the Sahara Desert is closing in. Lake Chad, which Nigeria shares with Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, is located in the country’s parched northeast portion.
Nigeria is home to a diverse range of tree species, the majority of which are native to the country and only a few of which are exotic. Exotic species comprise a large percentage of the country’s man-made woodlands. This resulted from the idea that exotic trees grow quickly. However, studies have looked into the growth of native trees in comparison to foreign species.
Overexploitation has limited Nigeria’s natural ecosystems and primary forests to protected areas, which include one biosphere reserve, seven national parks, one World Heritage site, 12 Strict Nature Reserves (SNRs), 32 game reserves/wildlife sanctuaries, and hundreds of forest reserves.
These are in addition to other ex-situ conservation areas operated by various academic and research organizations, such as arboreta, botanical gardens, zoological gardens, and gene banks.
Invasive Alien Species have impacted many African countries (IAS). The IUCN–World Conservation Union found 81 IAS in South Africa in 2004, 49 in Mauritius, 37 in Algeria and Madagascar, 35 in Kenya, 28 in Egypt, 26 in Ghana and Zimbabwe, and 22 in Ethiopia, according to the IUCN–World Conservation Union.
In Nigeria, however, little is known about IAS, with most technical papers and literature listing less than ten invasive plants. Rattus rattus and Avian influenza virus were also considered IAS in Nigeria, in addition to plant invaders. The colonial rulers introduced IAS into Nigeria mostly through exotic plant introductions for forest tree plantations or decorative purposes.
Increased economic activity, the start of commercial oil discoveries, the introduction of exotic plants via ships, and the introduction of ornamental plants by commercial floriculturists all aided the entry of exotic plants into Nigeria during the post-independence era.
Numerous herbaceous dicots, particularly from the genera Crotalaria, Alysicarpus, Cassia, and Ipomea, are reported to be widely employed in cattle production in the semi-arid and dry sub-humid savannas of West Africa, including Nigeria. They are frequently plucked or sliced and fed as fresh or stored fodders. It is opportunistic to use these and many more plants that grow organically in the farm area.
Many other Nigerian species, such as soybeans and their variants, are key sources of oil and protein in the region. There are also several medicinal plants that are utilized to aid in the treatment of various organs. Euphorbiaceae, for example, is a family of plants that helps with malaria, gastrointestinal ailments, and a variety of other illnesses.
Droughts, limited soil nutrients, and pest susceptibility have all contributed to maize plantations becoming an important part of agriculture in this region. As urbanization has progressed, trees in the forest have become more vulnerable to air pollution, and studies have revealed that in some places of Nigeria, trees have exhibited tolerance and have increased in areas with high species of air pollution.
Nigeria’s mixed economy is the largest in Africa, ranking 26th in nominal GDP and 25th in terms of purchasing power parity. With its enormous natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, and transportation sectors, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it is a lower-middle-income country.
Years of military control, corruption, and mismanagement have hampered economic development. Nigeria has been effectively placed back on track to achieving its full economic potential with the restoration of democracy and subsequent economic reforms. Remittances sent home by Nigerians living abroad are the second-largest source of foreign exchange revenue for the country after petroleum.
Nigeria accrued a huge foreign debt to finance big infrastructural developments during the 1970s oil boom. Nigeria struggled to keep up with loan payments as oil prices fell during the 1980s oil glut, and eventually defaulted on principal debt installments, limiting repayment to the interest part of the loans.
Arrears and penalty interest increased up on the unpaid principal, increasing the debt’s size. Nigeria and its Paris Club creditors negotiated an arrangement in October 2005, under which Nigeria repurchased its debt at a discount of around 60%, following negotiations by the Nigerian authorities.
Nigeria used a part of its oil income to pay the remaining 40%, freeing up at least $1.15 billion per year for poverty alleviation programs. Nigeria made history in April 2006 when it became the first African country to totally pay off its debt to the Paris Club (estimated at $30 billion).
How To Reach
Cities such as Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, and Enugu all have international airports. People traveling from India can reach to Nigeria from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore.
Kenya Airways, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, and Egyptair are some of the major airlines that fly between India and Nigeria. From the airport, buses and taxis are available to take you to other parts of the country.
Best Time To Visit
The climate in Nigeria varies from area to area and is typically arid and damp. Spring and winter are regarded the finest seasons for travel because the temperature is mild and one may visit places without feeling uncomfortable due to the hot heat.
However, because it is also the busy season, hotel hotels are significantly higher. If you’re looking for a low-cost vacation, go during the fall season, from September through November, when hotels are less expensive.
Nigeria’s Best Tourist Attractions (Lagos)
Lagos, which combines a vibrant personality with a long-standing seafaring culture, is one of southern Portugal’s most popular vacation spots. This lovely resort town in the western Algarve, about 90 kilometers from the regional capital Faro, is known for its gorgeous coastline of beautiful beaches and stunning natural rock formations.
The town offers a youthful, upbeat attitude with a multitude of historic sights and enjoyable activities, including a modern marina, a nearby zoo, and even a children’s science center. Visitors can also enjoy the hospitality of some outstanding cafés and eateries while wandering Lagos’ old town.
Alternatively, stroll along the waterfront promenade or take a sightseeing boat to see the incredible sea caves and grottoes that have put Lagos firmly on the tourism map of the Algarve. Visit out our list of the top attractions in Lagos for more places on where to go.
The Lagos area is home to several of the Algarve’s most famous beaches, two of which are easily accessible by foot. Praia do Camilo is a postcard favorite located two kilometers southwest of the town center.
This sheltering sliver of sand is brightened in spring by a mantle of brilliant flowers that cling to the cliff edge above, and is framed by outcrops of fascinating rock formations. Arrive early in the summer to secure a position, and keep in mind that the beach will be in shade by late afternoon as the sun begins to set behind the promontory.
The expansive Meia Praia begins behind the marina and extends four kilometers east. Its English name translates to “Half Beach,” which is an odd appellation given that it is the region’s longest beach. For sunbathers, though, this means more sand, and there’s plenty of room to rest and tan.
However, it is an exposed beach that is popular among water sports aficionados. The dunes are lined with eateries, and a regular bus service runs the length of them from Avenida dos Descobrimentos. Porto de Mós is located outside the town. A fantastic coastal footpath leads from the Ponta da Piedade lighthouse to this wonderful beach, although the journey will take around one hour.
2. Ponta da Piedade
The mournfully titled “Point of Pity” is a picturesque promontory that juts out into the sea on the western side of Lagos Bay and is one of Portugal’s most well-known natural sights. Because of the brilliant brilliance of their burnt ochre tint, the towering sandstone cliffs appear burnished with gold.
Huge rock formations rise out of the translucent waters below, some arched and distorted as if melted by the sun. A succession of caves and grottoes buried beneath the rock face, their bellies cut away by restless Atlantic swells, are hidden from view.
These subterranean tunnels can be discovered by boat on a fun-filled Ponta da Piedade grotto sightseeing cruise from Lagos, or by kayak.
Back on solid ground, visitors can follow footpaths around the headland to a number of vistas with dizzying views over the twisted stacks and jagged pillars – a peculiar and stunning seascape. Wait for the sun to set over the western Algarve coast and assemble at the lighthouse that caps the promontory for a beautiful end-of-day finish.
3. Kayak Tours along the Coast
The shoreline west of Lagos looks like something out of a pirate adventure novel. At Ponte da Piedade, the picturesque honeycombed cliffs, strange chimneystack rock formations, and thousands of secret sea caves and old grottos make for thrilling exploration and are tourist attractions in and of themselves.
Joining a guided kayak and snorkel tour expedition is one of the most thrilling ways to chart a course across this spectacular seascape. Fisheye views of this incredibly evocative environment can be had by paddling out over warm turquoise shallows.
Later, dive into the enticing waters of the Atlantic and wonder at the oceanic world that lives beneath your feet. Between expeditions, kayakers can relax on a lonely beach and take up the sun.
4. Igreja de Santo António/Museu Municipal
Lagos’ chapel of St. Anthony and the town’s municipal museum are one of the Algarve’s most inspiring cultural pairings. They form one of the region’s most satisfying sightseeing experiences when combined.
Visitors visit the museum first, which is an anthropological jumble of anomalies, rarities, and curiosities. A lovely cork small altarpiece and a collection of priest’s garments, one originating from 1578, are among the permanent exhibits. In its centuries-old detail, a gorgeous near-complete Roman mosaic is breathtaking.
Visitors can spend an hour or more taking in this interesting display, walking back and forth through each gallery before entering the nearby 18th-century church to see one of the most beautiful interiors of any religious institution in the Algarve. The Baroque symphony of exquisite gilded wood carvings and ornamental tiles is impressive, and a fitting way to close the tour.
5. Parque Aventura Lagos
The Lagos Adventure Park is a radical recreational attraction for the whole family that involves following high ropes courses set at varying heights and degrees of difficulty through a canopy of swinging, tall trees.
Daredevil visitors must overcome a number of hurdles along the route, including walking bridges, maneuvering rope nets, and riding enormous ziplines, all of which will test their nerves and physical ability. The ropes courses are set into three difficulty levels: Curious, Adventurous, and Fearless.
There is no need to limber up; all that is required is the determination to overcome any hurdle. Under the constant eye of highly skilled experts, the safety of fun seekers is ensured, allowing you to complete each circuit on your own time. The sensation of success that follows will be palpable.
6. Parque Zoológico de Lagos
At Lagos Zoo, visitors can see rubber-limbed gibbons, marble-eyed lemurs, and fur ball marmosets, to name a few. Other occupants in this semitropical park, located about eight kilometers north of Lagos, include the sleek bobcat and rare animals like the Indian muntjac deer. A team of mischievous meerkats is in charge of the show.
The colorful and exotic flocks of channel-billed toucans, rainbow lorikeets, and the charmingly named chattering lory are among the impressive birds. There are also owls and many ducks can be seen.
Furthermore, the zoo’s rural location is great for showcasing its farm animals, such as sheep, goats, and horses. A picnic area near the “monkey lake” allows visitors to view the primates’ antics while eating an alfresco lunch. On-site dining is also available in a rustic setting. At this cheery and engaging facility, a toddler playground ensures that the entire family is entertained.
7. Forte Ponta da Bandeira
This square-shaped, pocket-sized fortification, built in the 17th century to defend the entrances to Lagos harbor, is in astonishingly good condition for its age.
Four turrets fashioned like spinning tops set at each corner help characterize the fort’s squat design, which is built over a wedge of sand facing a tiny inlet. The castle is formidable due to a shallow moat, and sightseers must cross a drawbridge to reach the inner courtyard.
The tourist experience is limited to a small 18th-century chapel with beautiful azulejos tiles, as well as an exhibition room dedicated to Portugal’s discovery age. Visitors can, however, enjoy unbroken views across the sea and back across the avenue to the castle walls and defenses that preserve the area’s medieval character.
8. Mercado dos Escravos
The Slave Market in Lagos depicts a less savory aspect of the town’s history and a darker side to Portugal’s otherwise glorious Age of Discovery. In 1444, Europe’s first slave market started on this site, selling captured and transported African slaves. The arched structure that can be seen now was built in 1691 and operated as a customs office.
The little gallery, which had been abandoned for many years, now houses a permanent exhibition about Portugal’s horrific human cargo traffic and the role Lagos played in its spread.
Concealed personal belongings and a skeleton of one of the unfortunate persons, unearthed nearby, are among the exhibits. The display is limited in breadth, but it is nonetheless sobering and emotional, and the structure has been designated as a Monument of Public Interest by the government.