This Is Not Lagos

Nigeria is a beautiful country with a lot of diversity, cultural experiences, beautiful landscape, waterfalls, and so much more. We have put together a curated guide on how to experience 14 destinations in Nigeria.  Enjoy the journey!

Osun State

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Erin-Ijesha Waterfalls, Osun State by Hakeem Salaam

Also known as The State of the Living Spring. Home to the famous cities of Ile-Ife, Osogbo, Ede, and Erin-Ijesha.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Abuja to Ibadan (approx. 1 hour) or any major airport to Lagos (travel time depends on originating city); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road: Rent a car or luxury van for comfort and drive from Lagos to Osogbo/Ile-Ife via Ibadan (approx. 4 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Cameron Hotel and KrisCourt Hospitality, two standard hotels in Ile-Ife, near the town centre. Hotel rates start at NGN 12,000 a night.

What To Do

In Ife, enjoy the historical city and walls of Ile-Ife. Some must-sees include: the Moremi statue at the Obafemi Awolowo University, the Ooni of Ife’s Palace, the staff of the great Òrànmíyàn, the Ife Bronze, the Adire market, the Ife Museum, the Yeyemolu shrines and Oduduwa grove, Genesis Art Gallery, Nike Arts Gallery, and the Jalumi War Site.

Must sees in Osogbo include: the Sacred Osun Grove by the Osun river, the Adunni Susan Wengers Center. You can take a one-hour ride to Ayikunugba Water in Oke-Ila town.

Looking for activity and adventure? Participate in the culture-rich Osun-Osogbo festival in Osogbo, and visit the famous Erin-Ijesha (Olumirin) waterfall.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Plan your travel to Osun around the two-week Osun-Osogbo Festival, which happens annually in August.

Optimal route by road for scenic views: Lagos to Ibadan to Oyo to Osogbo to Ile-Ife.

 

Ondo State

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View from Idanre Hills, Ondo State by Adeola Olagunju

A place of sunshine and pride. Ondo borders Ekiti State, home to famous Ikogosi Warm Springs.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Abuja to Akure (approx. 1 hour) or any major airport to Lagos (travel time depends on originating city); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Lagos to Akure via Ibadan (approx. 5 hours.)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Sunview Hotel, Bliss World Hotel, and Emperor Hotel and Suites, in Akure. Hotel rates start at NGN 9,000 a night.

What To Do

In Ondo, visit the beautiful rivers such as Ala, Oni, Oluwa, Owena, Ogbese and many others. In Idanre, get a view of the astounding Idanre town at the foot of the hill. In Akure, visit the Deji of Akure Palace. In Owo, visit the Owo Museum of Antiques, the Olowo’s Palace and Ebomi Lake in Ipesi (lake crosses Ondo and Edo). In Okitipupa, visit Igbokoda Waterfront in Ilaje.

Making the Most of Your Trip

During your visit to hilly Ondo, enjoy a scenic drive to Ikogosi Warm Springs in Ekiti from Akure, a 1-hour 30-min drive. To get to Idanre, drive to Akure from Ibadan and head towards Idanre, about a 30-min drive. Interact with the locals of Idanre town and hear about the tales surrounding the hills and the community.

 

Oyo State

Oyo is home to famous cities of Ibadan, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Igbeti, Oyo town, among others.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Abuja to Ibadan (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Lagos to Ibadan (approx. 2 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Premier Hotel, Owu Crown Hotel, Grand Serene, La Maison Hotel, and Kakanfo Inn & Conference, in Ibadan. Hotel rates start at NGN 10,000 a night.

What To Do

In Ibadan, visit the Zoological Garden of the first university in Nigeria, University of Ibadan, the city’s Cultural Center, Irefin Palace, Old Oyo National Park and IITA Forest.

In Ogbomoso, visit the old town and the central mosque. In Igbeti, visit the Igbeti-Agbale Rock. In Iseyin, check out the Aso-Oke market and the Ikere Gorge Dam. Watch the sunset or sunrise and enjoy the view of Oyo State from the hilly top of Igbo Ora town.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Drive from Lagos to Abeokuta to Igbo Ora to Iseyin to Igboho to Igbeti to Ogbomoso to Oyo to Ibadan to Lagos.

Enjoy some affordable food and drink during your trip – Ibadan is known for the best amala and cheap beer (for beer drinkers).

 

Kwara State

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University of Ilorin Reservoir, Kwara State by Zemaye Okediji

A place of Northern hospitality, Kwara is popularly known as the State of Harmony.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos/Abuja airports to Ilorin (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Ibadan to Ilorin (approx. 3 hours) or Minna to Ilorin (approx. 6 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Royalton Palace Hotel, Princess Luxury Hotels, in Ilorin. Hotel rates start at NGN 8,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Drive through the scenic state to Richard Lander and Mungo Park Monument. While there, visit Pategi Beach right by River Niger. Be sure to stop by Owu Falls for the best waterfall views. Drive to Kainji Lake National Park which also borders Niger State. Spend a day relaxing by the water at University of Ilorin or learning history at the Esie museum.  For an off-the-beaten-path experience, check out Ero-Omola Waterfall and the Imoleboja Rock shelter.

Anambra State

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Ogbunike Cave, Anambra State by Hakeem Salaam

This rich state is home to the largest market in West Africa.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Asaba (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Asaba to Anambra (approx. 2 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: De Geogold Hotel and Suites, Cosmila Suites and Hotels in Awka.  Hotel rates start at NGN 8,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Drive to Awka via Onitsha and enjoy the scenic view of the River Niger from the Niger Bridge that connects Delta and Anambra.

Visit during the New Yam Festival, which takes place between August to October. Check out the famous caves in Anambra such as Ogbunike Cave (entry fee of N5000), Ogba Cave and waterfall in Owerre Ezukalu, drive to Rojenny Tourist Village,  visit Otuocha Sand Beach, Ikenga Virgin Forest,  Butu Lake in Omogho, Okpu Ana Natural Spring in Ukpor. Best to travel with a local so you can get the best deals when negotiating.

Enugu State

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Awhum Cave, Enugu State by Enefaa Thomas

The word “Enugu” means “the top of the hill”.  Enugu is an hour drive from Onitsha, one of the biggest commercial cities in Africa and two hours drive from Aba, another very large commercial city, both located in the Eastern part of Nigeria.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Enugu (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Awka to Enugu (approx. 1 hour)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Nike Lake Resort, Utopia Suites and Apartments, Roban Hotel, and Gold Value Hotels Limited, in Enugu.  Hotel rates start at NGN 8,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Visit the beautiful lakes of Enugu State such as Ogelube Lake, Ani Ozalla – Crocodile Lake, Iheneke Lake, and take a road trip to the town of Nsukka.

Also check out Awhum Waterfall and Cave, Silicon Hill in Nkalagu, Akwuke-Atakwu beach, Ezeagu Tourist Complex, Ngwo Cave and waterfall, and enjoy the scenic view of the state from Ugweume & Udi Hills.

In Nsukka, visit the University of Nigeria, the first indigenous university, and enjoy the Omabe Masquerade Festival.

 

Cross River State

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Obudu, Cross River by Enefaa Thomas

Bordered by Cameroon to the east, Cross River was derived by the name of the “cross river” a.k.a. Oyono which passes through the state.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Calabar (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any major airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Enugu to Calabar (approx. 1 hour)

To get to Obudu, fly to Calabar and drive or take a shuttle; drive from Enugu via Abakaliki to Obudu; drive from Katsina Ala in Benue to Obudu.

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Transcorp Hotels, Axari Hotel & Suites, in Calabar and Obudu Ranch Resort in Obudu. Hotel rates start at NGN 17,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Visit Calabar in December during the festival to experience the city with all its charm and amazing food. Drive from Calabar to Ikom (via Abokim) to Obudu, exploring Cross River National Park and Kwa Falls. Though Obudu is good to visit all year round, to get the best views from the mountain in Obudu, the best time to visit is September.

 

Akwa Ibom State

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Ibeno Creek, Akwa Ibom by Hakeem Salaam

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Uyo (approx.1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Awka or Enugu to Uyo (approx. 4 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Eemjim Hotel and Suites, in Uyo.  Hotel rates start at NGN 8,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Got a few days? Visit the town of Eket, Ikot-Abasi by road. Enjoy the scenic and breathtaking landscape of Uyo. Enjoy the Le Meridien golf course and scenery – the locals boast that it is the best hotel in Nigeria.  Drive to the Oron Museum. Spend a day at Ibeno Beach, the white sand beach, and walk or drive on the beach for miles while interacting with the locals.  The white sand stretches all the way to Rivers State but it is separated by Imo River from Akwa Ibom.

Rivers State

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Bakana Masquerade Display, Rivers State by Enefaa Thomas

Home to two major ports, an airport and two refineries, Rivers State is the 6th most populous state in Nigeria.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Port Harcourt (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Owerri to Port Harcourt (approx. 2 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Novotel Hotel, Labake Cottage, and Hotel Presidential, in Port Harcourt. Hotel rates start at NGN 20,000 a night.

What To Do

In Port Harcourt, visit Port Harcourt beach, the Isaac Boro Garden park, Rivers State Museum, the cultural center, Zoological Garden, and the Port Harcourt Golf Club.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Explore the famous islands in the state such as Opobo Island and Beach, Finima Beach and Nature Park in Bonny Island. Visit the Upper Orashi Forest Reserve and the Biseni Forest. Visit the Okrika Acquatic Stadium and the Water Glass Boatyard. Travel to Rivers in December to experience the lovely beach carnivals of Bonny. Take a photo with the King of Jaja of Opobo statue.

 

Abuja (FCT)

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Millennium Park, Abuja by Aisha Augie-Kuta

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from any major airport to Abuja (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Lagos to Abuja; Drive from Kaduna to Abuja

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Transcorp Hilton, Protea Hotel, Check Inn Hotel, Hotel Quo Vadis, Sheer Luxury Apartment, in Abuja. Hotel rates start at NGN 20,000 a night.

What To Do

In Abuja, visit the Arts and Crafts Village, the Children’s National Park and Zoo, Pedam Lake, Abuja mosque, Aso rock, Usuma Dam, Dutsen-Alhaji market, Thoughts Pyramid Art Gallery, Millenium Park, Harrow Park Golf Club, Ushafa pottery Village, and Jabi Lake.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Spend a few days in Abuja exploring the city, drive towards Bwari to visit Usuma Dam. Plan a road trip to the neighboring states of Niger to see Gurara Waterfalls and Zuma Rock, and Nasarawa to see Farin Ruwa Waterfall. You have to take an okada to Farin Ruwa Falls. Alternatively, you can drive from Jos to Farin Ruwa.

 

Kaduna State

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Horse Durbar Zaria, Kaduna by Aisha Augie-Kuta

The city of Kaduna is home to many crocodiles, hence the city’s symbol is the crocodile.

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Kaduna (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Abuja to Kaduna (approx. 2.5hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Hotel Seventeen, Epitome Hotel, and Asaa Pyramid Hotel, in Kaduna. Hotel rates start at NGN 15,000 a night.

What To Do

In Kaduna, visit Kamuku National Park, the famous Kajuru Castle, Kaduna Golf Club, Emir’s Palace, Trappco Ranch and Resort, Gamji Park, and Lord Luggard Hall. Tour the ancient town of Zaria and see the City of Zaria Walls, Emir of Zazzau’s Palace, Queen Amina of Zaria’s Kingdom, and the largest university in Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello University.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Drive to Kafachan via Kagoro Hills to see the Nigerian Railway Corporation. Drive to Kajuru Castle via Kachia town, for a relaxing time.

Visit Kaduna during the Durbar Festival right after Ramadaan in July.  Drive from Zaria, Kaduna to Gusau, Zamfara.

Spend a night in Gusau and head out early to Danglubi Hippo Lake. Also visit Kwatarkwashi waterfall and Kanoma Hills.

Enjoy the scenic drive up north from Kaduna to Sokoto to Birnin Kebbi; you can spend a night in Sokoto before heading to Kebbi for the Zuru Uhola Festival or the Argungu Fisherman Festival, the festival of peace.

Drive from Kaduna to metropolitan city of Kano. In Kano, visit the Emir’s Palace, traditional reservoir in Kura, and the rice farms.

 

Plateau State

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Explore Jos, Plateau State by Aisha Augie-Kuta

How To Get There

By Air: Fly from Lagos or Abuja to Jos (approx. 1 hour); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Abuja or Kaduna to Jos (approx. 4 hours)

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Silk Suites, Elim Top Suites, in Jos. Hotel rates start at NGN 8,000 a night.

What To Do

Enjoy the drive through the scenic plateau. Visit the Wild Safari Park, Zoological Garden, the National Museum, Jos Zoo, Riyom Rock, Wase Rock, Kahwang Rock, and hike the Shere Hills for amazing views. Also check out Pandam Game Reserve, Kurang Volcanic mountain, Miango Rest House, Kura Falls, and Naraguta Leather Works.

Making the Most of Your Trip

The best way to experience Jos is with a local guide. Enjoy the drive from Abuja or Kaduna to Jos. Spend a few days and road trip to Kura Falls or Assop falls, see the natural springs from Kurang highlands. Spend some time exploring the plateau to see Riyom or Wase or Kahwang, for some amazing rock formations.

 

Taraba State

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Gembu, Taraba State by Hakeem Salaam

How To Get There

By Air: Fly to Jalingo or Yola (approx. 1.5 hours); charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria.

By Road (car or luxury van):  Drive from Enugu via Abakaliki to Benue to Taraba.

To Mambilla Plateau – Drive from Jalingo or Yola to Gembu town. From Gembu to Serti Barwa to Mayo Selbe toward the top of the plateau.

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Rohi Grand Suites in Jalingo. Hotel rates start at NGN 6,000 a night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Visit Bitako Hills, Donga River Basin Forest in Buru, and Ngel-Nyaki Forest Reserve.

Drive to the Mambilla Plateau. The best way to enjoy this trip is to drive from Enugu via Abakaliki to Benue to Taraba.  From Jalingo to Gembu via Serti Barwa to Mayo Selbe, then climb to the top of the Plateau.

Best time to visit Mambilla is November after the rainy season. Stay at the Transit Camp Guest House in Gashaka. Visit the Gashaka Gumti National Park and Barup Timga Waterfall. Visit during the Nwonyo Fishing Festival in April to experience rich culture.

 

Bauchi State

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Yankari National Park & Game Reserve, Bauchi State by Hakeem Salaam

How To Get There

By Air: Fly to Kaduna or Jos then drive to Bauchi; charter flights depart from any airport in Nigeria

By Road (car or luxury van): Drive from Kaduna to Jos then to Bauchi

Where To Stay

CM Recommends: Yankari Game Reserve Resort and Zaranda Hotel. Hotel rate starts at NGN 9,000 per night.

Making the Most of Your Trip

Best to drive from Kaduna to Jos, then to Bauchi. The drive is amazing and the route is scenic.  Visit the Emir’s Palace, Unity Park, Shehu Azare Park, Tafewa Balewa Tomb. Get fit at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium. Drive to Azare Mosque in Azare town for some magnificent architecture. Spend a day in Yankari National Park & Game Reserve. Be sure to relax at Wikki Warm Springs at the reserve. Drive through the scenic route to Daas and stop to get a shot of River Benue passing through Bauchi. During the dry season, you can walk through the river.  Explore Kalban Hill, Kariyo Hill, and Paliyaram Hill for great views of the reserve. You can also visit Bauchi during the Festival of Arts and Culture.

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