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10 tourist attractions in Nigeria that you never knew existed

Nigeria is a country that has many beautiful sights and breathtaking scenery, even though not all of these places are fully taken advantage of as they ought to.

Gashaka-Gumti National Park

Here are some tourist attractions in Nigeria that you never knew existed.

1) Ancient Nok Settlement, Jaba Kaduna

The ancient settlement is located in Jaba Local government area in southern Kaduna State. This was where the famous terracotta figurines of the Nok people, one of Africa’s oldest civilizations, were found.

It was a British archaeologist, Bernard Fagg, employed by the Nigerian government in the 1940s that first made the discovery. Faggs house at the sight now serves as a tourist attraction, and there is also a government established museum where the unearthed unique terracotta carvings and antiques are kept.

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2) Ogbunike Caves, Anambra State

The caves are within the rainforest belt and are in the valley behind the Ogba hills. The cave has many tunnels and chambers most of which are interconnected, with streams and still water in certain areas of the cave.

It is also home to different colonies of bats. Tourists are expected to take off their footwear and go into the cave barefooted for religious reasons as the site continues to retain its historical and spiritual significance.

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3) Idanre Hills, Ondo State

This wonder which stands 3000 ft (914.4meters) above sea level, is located in Idanre town in Ondo State. The hill is surrounded by cultural sites which include shrines, burial grounds, the ‘Owa's Palace', The Old Court, Belfry, Agbooogun footprint and thunder water (Omi Apaara).

This attraction got the attention of UNESCO as it was shortlisted in 2007 to become a World Heritage Site.

4) Awhum Waterfall, Enugu

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This cave-like structured water fall is situated in Amaugwe village, in a town called Awhum in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State. The waterfall was discovered due to the extreme fall out of granite rock with water pouring over the top to form a stream.

The water is believed to have healing powers and many tourists go there for religious reasons.

5) Kajaru castle, Kaduna

The castle, which was built in 1989, is a beautiful holiday spot that gives off a medieval feeling. It is located at the top of a mountain in Kajuru Village. Visitors are allowed to rent and have the whole castle to themselves during the visit and enjoy the royal treatment the place has to offer.

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6) Gurara Waterfalls, Niger State

This waterfall is one of the tributaries of the River Niger and is just about three hours away from the capital of Abuja. It is perfect for picnics, swimming adventures and hikes.

The beautiful waterfall drops approximately 30 meters into the Gurara river and is in a complete rush during the rainy seasons. But in other dry times of the year, like in January, the falls are slowed down, and visitors can swim in clear pools at the bottom.

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7) Ibeno Beach, Akwa Ibom

There are many beaches in Nigeria, and one that is worth visiting is the Ibeno Beach in Akwa Ibom. It is the longest sand beach in West Africa, occupying a vast coastal area of over 1,200 sq. km.

Along with its beautiful coastline, the beach also provides other tourist activities, which includes water sporting, beach soccer and general boating.

8) Ikogosi Warm Springs, Ekiti State

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This tourist attraction located at Ikogosi, a town in Ekiti State, gathers visitors from all over Nigeria to witness the confluence of these cold and warm water springs, which flow side by side but maintain their temperatures.

There are hotels and lodges where visitors can stay the night for a long-term experience of the area.

9) Lekki Conservative Center, Lagos

In the busy city of Lagos filled with so much noise, the hustle and bustle, the Lekki conservative center is an excellent location to settle down away from the chaos. It is home to different species of plants and animals and is also home to the longest canopy walk in Africa.

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10) Gashaka-Gumti National Park

The park, which is Nigeria’s largest national park and covers an area of about 6,402km, is located in the eastern province of Taraba and Adamawa up until the Cameroonian border.

Much of the park is characterized by savannah grassland, while the southern part has a rugged terrain characterized by very mountainous, steep slopes, valleys and gorges.

Within the area are also many bodies of water, and is in fact, an important water catchment area for the River Benue. This park is also the highest mountain in Nigeria, Chabbal Waade.

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The potential of most of these tourist attractions has not yet been fully tapped into as many of them are not well managed or even managed at all. But they certainly have what it takes to command the attraction of tourists worldwide.

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