Visitors to Nigeria might be surprised to discover the breadth of amazing places to visit in the country. Everything can be found here from buzzing markets to museums of distinction and from diverse wildlife to modern shopping malls. There really are sites and attractions in Nigeria to cater for the taste of every visitor. The piece below takes a look at 5 of the most amazing places to visit in Nigeria.
Don’t let the name mislead you. No, the Nike Art Gallery is not a shrine to sneakers but rather Nigeria’s foremost art gallery run by its larger than life owner, Nike Davies-Okundaye. Nike has led a revival in Nigerian art in recent years by focussing on traditional methods of weaving and dying fabrics. The large space at the Nike Art Gallery holds first class examples of Nike’s work product along with other paintings, embroidery, beadwork and clothwork.
Jankara Market at the northern tip of Lagos Island is a must-see for every visitor to Nigeria. This buzzing market is Lagos’s very own answer to Delhi’s Chandi Chowk market. Street hawkers sell everything here from antique mobile phones, bandanas and pirate CDs to woodwork and TVs. Go, breath in the atmosphere, but do be aware – unscrupulous picket pockets are known to frequent the market so keep your wits about you at all times.
Near the southwestern Nigerian city of Osogbo lies the Osun Sacred Forest. The forest is a large area of unspoilt rainforest which is dedicated to the Yoruba goddess of fertility, Osun. Visitors to the forest can also check out various sculptures by Suzanne Wenger who was an Austrian sculptor who moved to Nigeria in the 1950s and dedicated herself to the preservation of Yoruba art and culture.
In downtown Lagos near Tafawa Balewa Square you will find the Nigerian National Museum. A trip to the museum provides a whistestop tour of Nigerian history from 9th century Igbo-Ukwu bronze figurines and household items to the car in which Murtala Mohammed was killed in Lagos in 1976. Admittedly, the design and layout of the musuem is not on a par with other national museums around the globe but it does allow for some quiet respite from the relentless pace of Lagos life and that’s certainly not to be taken for granted!
Did you know? One highlight on the Nigerian tourism calendar is the Argungu Fishing Festival. This four day festival takes places in the Nigerian state of Kebbi and at its climax thousands of people compete to catch the biggest fish possible.