In as much as there are many tourist sites in Nigeria, not all of them are natural tourist sites. There are natural tourist sites in Nigeria that you don’t even know exist. In fact most the popular tourist sites in the country have the influence of man all around it. This article highlights the top 5 states with natural tourist sites in Nigeria.
It is a known fact to all and sundry that Nigeria is a richly endowed country with natural tourist sites – a land blessed with earth’s finest. If lands and places were left exactly the way it has been since creation without input from humans I’m sure Nigeria will rank among the best naturally beautiful countries of the world.
Albeit many country’s landscape and terrain have been redefined and restructured to breathtaking scenery that turn our eyes from nature’s bests. There are a couple of beautiful states in Nigeria you won’t find on this list not because they don’t deserve to be but because their beauty has human touch to it.
In other words, their beauty is man-made. Cities like Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, Enugu, Akwa Ibom to mention a few should have been on this list but we aren’t talking about structurally beautiful cities in this article, we are looking at states with natural tourist sites in Nigeria.
Here is a list of the top 5 states with natural tourist sites in Nigeria. You will be surprised the states that got our nod as top 5 natural tourist sites.
1. ONDO STATE
Ondo state is one of the topmost states with the best natural tourist sites in the south west region of the country. Covering a landmass of 15,500 km square, Ondo state is richly blessed with a varied presence of favourable ecological biomes and landscapes with vegetation ranging from mangrove swamps to the southern coastal riverine areas through the rainforest of the mid/central lands to the mountainous derived savannah in the northern part of the state. The popular places in the state includes; Ore, Owo, Idanre; home of the popular Idanre hills, Ikare which is one of the biggest commercial nerves of the state and Akure the state capital.
Some major attractions include the Idanre hills, Ebomi lake, Igbokoda waterfront on the Atlantic coast, Igbo Olodumare rain forest, Etc.
2. BAUCHI STATE
Bauchi state has one of the best natural tourist sites in Nigeria. The state is popularly known for the Yankari Games reserve which distinguishes the state from other states in the country. Located in the North-East plexus of the country, the state is nicknamed “The pearl of Tourism”
Bauchi state spans two distinctive vegetation zones, namely, the Sudan savannah and the Sahel savannah, the vegetation gets richer and richer towards the south, especially along water sources or rivers, but generally the vegetation is less uniform and grasses are shorter than what grows even farther south, that is, in the forest zone of the middle belt.
On the other hand, the southwestern part of the state is mountainous as a result of the continuation of the Jos Plateau. Bauchi is the capital and largest city, other towns are Azare and Katagum.
Some important landmarks include the Yankari game reserve, the Wikki warm spring, Marshall Caves, The Tonlong Gorge, Shadawanka rock paintings, among many others.
Cross River state is one of the finest states in South-South Nigeria and has the best natural tourist sites in that region of the country. The state whose capital and most popular city is Calabar, borders Cameroon to the east. Cross River is a coastal state named after Cross river estuary; a river which passes through the state.
Located in the Niger Delta, Cross River State occupies 20,156 square kilometers. It shares boundaries with Benue State to the north,Ebonyi and Abia States to the west, to the east by Cameroon Republic and to the south by Akwa-Ibom and the Atlantic Ocean.
Major towns in the state include: Calabar, Ugep, Obubra, Ikom, Ogoja, & Obudu.
Cross River is home to the Cross River national park, Obudu mountain resort, Agbokim falls, Afi drill monkey sanctuary, Kwa Falls among other enchanting locations. Now you know why Cross river is a must visit.
2. PLATEAU STATE
Plateau state, which derives its name from Jos Plateau, is located more or less at the centre of the country. The state known as Nigeria’s tourist haven is said to be a miniature Nigeria primarily because nearly all the ethnic groups of the country reside there.
The Jos Plateau abounds in natural scenic vistas. The State (Plateau)is a land of beautiful sceneries, rich in cultural, historical heritage and excellent weather conditions.
The Jos Plateau is thought to be an area of younger granite which was intruded through an area of older granite rock, making up the surrounding states. These “younger” granites are thought to be about 160 million years old. This creates the unusual scenery of the Jos Plateau. There are numerous hillocks with gentle slopes emerging from the ground like mushrooms scattered with huge boulders. Also volcanic activity 50 million years ago created numerous volcanoes and vast basaltic plateaus created from lava flows. This also produces regions of mainly narrow and deep valleys and pediments (surfaces made smooth by erosion) from the middle of rounded hills with sheer rock faces. The phases of volcanic activities involved in the formation of Plateau State have made it one of the mineral rich states in the country.
Though situated in the tropical zone, a higher altitude means that Plateau State has a near temperate climate with an average temperature of between 18 and 22°C year round.
Harmattan winds cause the coldest weather between December and February, when the temperature drops even further. The numerous attractions in the state include the Wildlife Safari park, Shere hills, Assop falls, Kurra falls, Wase rock, Kerang highlands, Kurang Volcanic mountain, Pandam game reserve, among many others.
1. TARABA STATE
This is not just one of the states with the most natural tourist sites in Nigeria, it is ranked number one. Taraba state is named after the Taraba River which traverses the southern part of the state. Taraba’s capital is Jalingo.
Taraba State is bounded in the west by Nasarawa state and Benue state, northwest by Plateau state, north by Bauchi state and Gombe state, northeast by Adamawa state, south and east by Cameroon.
Taraba State lies largely within the middle of Nigeria and consists of undulating landscape dotted with a few mountainous features. This includes the scenic and prominent Mambilla Plateau. The state lies largely within the tropical zone and has a vegetation of low forest in the southern part and grassland in the northern part. The Mambilla Plateau with an altitude of 1,800 meters (6000 ft) above sea level has a temperate climate all year round.
Some of the most interesting sites in the state include, the Ngel Nyaki Forest reserve, the Gashaka Gumti National park (which is the largest in Nigeria), Chappal Hendu, Kashimbila, Chappal Waddi – the tallest mountain in Nigeria, Donga river basin forest,.. Etc
Taraba is definitely the most beautiful state in all of Nigeria. Little wonder it is called Nature’s gift to the Nation.