Nigeria is blessed with jaw-dropping sites and tourist attractions that give the most populous black nation in the world a strong foreign appeal. This article exposes seven natural wonders of Nigeria that can make a man do a waltz dance while listening to Awilo Longomba.
In my country everything seem to have an element of tourist attraction, it is so easy to find something that will draw any kind of crowd to itself. Simply put, there is always something to amuse us or some news to be fascinated about. However that is not what this piece is about, that was me trying to be sarcastic.
There are a couple of amazing sites in the country that can hold any one spell bound even if that person is the Wizard of Oz. It may be possible to talk about all the amazing and wondrous sites in the country in this piece but it will reduce the thrill. So let’s just be moderate and hit the nail on the head rather than go on a wild goose chase. The 7 Natural wonders of Nigeria are places you will visit with so many questions on your lips amid that ‘wow!’ feeling.
Here are the 7 Natural wonders of Nigeria in no particular order.
1. Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River State
Set on a scenic plateau more than 1,500 metres above sea level on the Oshie Ridge of the Sankwala Mountains in the south-east of Nigeria, the Obudu Mountain Resort boasts a number of exciting, rare features together with Africa’s longest cable car ride – 34 cars, each carrying eight people, climbing up through the clouds for four spectacular kilometres.
Just 70 km from the border with Cameroon, the cable car stretches from deep tropical rainforests of “bottom hill” to the summit where you’ll find world-class tourist attractions that are popular with vacationers, adventurers and event planners from all around Nigeria and Africa – and beyond.
Equally exhilarating is the drive up to the resort – especially the last ten kilometres of winding road with 22 bends, including the famous Devil’s Elbow and its dramatic, stomach-lurching views. Whichever way you arrive, you will find water parks, trekking, a gym, floodlit tennis courts, a squash court and 9-hole golf course, nature trails, canopy walkway, waterfalls, a hotel and eco-tourism huts.
2. Ogbunike Cave, Anambra State
Located in a valley blanketed by tropical rain forest the collection of caves has been in use over centuries by local people for whom it has particular spiritual significance. This spiritual significance is still apparent, as the “Ime Ogbe” celebration is undertaken every year to commemorate the discovery of the caves.
Descending into the valley where the caves are located is a lengthy walkway made up of about 317 steps said to have been constructed by the Anambra State Government in the mid 90s. Visitors must remove their shoes before entering the caves, as per tradition. And women who are having their monthly cycle cannot go in.
During the civil war, the Igbo’s hid there in order not to be caught and killed by the Federal forces. The cave saved a lot of lives after the war.
The site has sufficient boundaries (20 hectares) to protect its values from direct effects of human encroachment.
3. The Sukur Kingdom, Adamawa State
As the first Nigerian site to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1999, the breathtaking unspoilt landscape of the Sukur Kingdom has rightly earned its place among the Seven Wonders with its magnificent scenery, stunning array of rare wildlife, rich variety of birdlife, fascinating botany and majestic location atop one of the highest plains on the Mandara Mountains in north-east Nigeria, close to the border with Cameroon.
Characterized by its grand palace, terraced fields and historic villages unchanged for many centuries, the Sukur Kingdom offers a treasure trove of archaeological discoveries as one of Africa’s most resplendent cultural landscapes. Set 1,000 metres above sea level, the cherished realm of the Sukur community is a fine example of a critical stage in human settlement and its relationship with the local environment.
An anomaly among World Heritage sites in that it is virtually unknown beyond its immediate area, the Sukur Kingdom and its rich self-reliant culture looks set to be introduced to the wider world through its inclusion on Nigeria’s Seven Wonders list – a fitting tribute to a strong spiritual and cultural tradition that has endured for so long.
4. Osun Sacred Grove, Osogbo, Osun State
Inscribed as Nigeria’s second entry on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2005, Osun Grove is famous throughout Nigeria for its lush vegetation, preserved heritage and the spiritual symbolism of the sacred grove. Set on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo some 250 km west of Lagos, the Osun Grove is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria.
Regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the breathtaking natural beauty of the grove and its meandering river is steeped in legend and enshrined in the hearts and minds of Nigerians for its sanctuaries, deities, monuments, sculptures and five sacred places strung along the river banks with nine designated worship points.
Inextricably linked with the identity of all Yoruba people, Osun Grove is a fine example of the widespread ancient practice of establishing sacred groves outside settlements. A century ago there were many sacred groves in Yoruba-land and every town in Nigeria had one; today, this 400-year-old grove is one of just two known to have survived.
5. Igbo-Ora, Oyo State
The Yoruba tribe has the most astounding rate of twin births on the planet. Igbo-Ora, a little town in Oyo state, has been nicknamed Twin capital of the World on account of its abnormally high rate of twins that is put as high as 158 twins for each 1000 births. In a video on YouTube introduced by Titi (a white woman who communicates in Yoruba), and which was fixated on twin births in Igbo-Ora, one of local people gloated that each family in the town has no less than one twin! Yekpa!
6. Ikogosi Warm Spring, Ekiti State
Ekiti State, the home of Ikogosi Warm Spring, is blessed with some of the most picturesque country side views made up of huge dense forest and undulating hills. It is within tourism friendly ambience we find the Ikogosi Warm Spring . It is a unique natural phenomenon where warm water pushes out from the belly of the ground, and flows down a small hill. A little further from where the warm water springs out, there is also a spot where the cold water is gushing out. Side by side with the warm water, the water flows down foaming a small stream in the process.
According to experts, it is a geological wonder to have such occurrence out of the same rock formation and this Ekiti flagship tourist destination is said to be the only one of its kind discovered anywhere in the world. The warm and cold springs of Ikogosi originate from a close proximity, come to a meeting point and flow onward together with each spring retaining its thermal identity. It represents another uniqueness and is the first of such occurrence in the world. The warm spring has a temperature of up to 70 degree celsuis at the source and 37 degree celsius after meeting the cold spring. The meeting point of the warm and cold springs is a unique attraction to tourists.
7. Confluence of River Niger and Benue, Kogi State
Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State has both historical and eco-tourist endowments. Chief among these is the Confluence of River Niger and Benue. It is the point in which nature makes a Y-shape division of Nigeria into three natural regions and the process creating masterpiece of nature.
However, the confluence is just about the touristic value, the water serves as a major link before the North and South . It is, therefore, not a surprise the town played a major role in the history of Nigeria. From being a major milestone for adventurous colonialists to serving as both an administrative and military outpost for the colonialists. Some of these relics of past exploits that the city have witnessed are still there.