How To Explore Tourist Destinations In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How To Explore Tourist Destinations In Nigeria

Posted: May 4, 2016 at 4:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Oyeniran Apata, Lagos With a rising number of resorts, destinations and travel companies introducing environmentally friendly initiatives, many Nigerians are yet to explore the vast beauty and take pleasure in the works of nature the country is endowed with.
From spectacular landmark and formation of the Olmo Rock found in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital to the 6,402 km2 Gashaka-Gumti National Park (GGNP) rugged terrain characterized by very mountainous, steep slopes as well as deep valleys and gorges and is home to montane forests, vast majority of visitors to the country are yet to take a glimpse or spend a weekend at the many tourist destinations in the country.
See Nigeria’s tourists destinations and you will marvel at the works of nature and huge number of unimaginable wildlife habitat in many national parks.
From this edition, Independent will bring and showcase some outstanding tourists’ destinations in black world’s most populated country as a way of promoting domestic and foreign tourism.

Olumo Rock

Olumo rock is a spectacular landmark found in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital. The name Abeokuta means “beneath the rock”as it is situated beneath the Olumo rock. Olumo rock has two meaning to it name. On the site you can find 3 museums that showcase the beautiful artwork of these people, some of their popular ‘Adire’ materials and a restaurant and open barbecue spot.

In order to allow people of different age grade to have a feel of this beauty, the government decided to build an elevator for those who will have problem with climbing the stairs. At the top of the rock, you get a view of the city of Abeokuta and see the houses of some notable Nigerians. There you see the home of late Chief Moshood Abiola a great philanthropist in the history of Nigeria and also the residence and farm of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo the former president of Nigeria. Another remarkable site from atop the rock is the first mosque built in Abeokuta.
Inside the rock you will see footprints of the early dwellers of the place, mat they used in sleeping, their drinking water pot and also shrines where they appease their dieties annually. An important feature of the rock is it pictorial composition, made up of sculptures and coweries planted from the entrance to the summit.

The journey to Olumo Rock is about one hour, twenty minutes drive from Lagos by road through the Lagos Ibadan Expressway or through the old Abeokuta road via Sango It is important to note that the rock has never recorded any casualties since it became a tourist site.

Gashaka-Gumti National Park

Gashaka-Gumti National Park (GGNP) gazetted from two game reserves in 1991 and is Nigeria’s largest national park. It is located in the eastern provinces of Taraba and Adamawa to the border with Cameroon. The total area covers about 6,402 km2, much of the northern GGNP is savannah grassland, while the southern GGNP sector of the park has a rugged terrain characterized by very mountainous, steep slopes as well as deep valleys and gorges, and is home to montane forests.

The fauna of the national park is very diverse. 103 species of mammals have been recorded at censuses. Species include yellow-backed duiker, African golden cat (Profelis aurata), The African buffalo, the largest population in Nigeria of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) is found within the boundaries of the national park. To protect the animals and the ecosystem, the Gashaka Primate Project was launched.
Living in the national park are also the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus), the West African wild dog (Lycaon pictus manguensis), the hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), the world’s largest antelope, the giant eland (Taurotragus Derbianus), the roan antelope (Hippotragus equinus), the kob antelope (Kobus kob), the oribi (Ourebia ourebi), and the rare Adamawa mountain reedbuck (Redunca fulvorufula) in larger stocks.

The National Museum, Lagos

The National Museum is definitely worth seeing, but note – no cameras are allowed. The star attractions are the brasses from Benin City, which get their own gallery. The Nok Terracottas are also well represented. Another gallery dedicated to traditional symbols of power contains carved ivory and a royal host of crowns. A less fortunate symbol of power is the bullet-riddled car in which Murtala Mohammed was assassinated in 1976. This museum also operates a nonprofit crafts centre, which stocks a good range of batik cloth, woodcarvings and textiles at fixed prices. There’s a fine range of intricately decorated calabashes from across Nigeria.
The museum has a small crafts village with woodcarvings and other handicrafts for sale at fixed prices; you might also see a demonstration of ‘Adire’ – cloth-making from Abeokuta.

The museum is 150m southeast of Tafawa Balewa Sq, a huge arena adorned by statues of gargantuan horses. In the square is Remembrance Arcade, with memorials to Nigeria’s dead from two world wars and the Biafran conflict.

Old Oyo National Park

Old Oyo National Park, the park which was named after the Old Oyo – the political capital of the Oyo Empire between the 16th and 18th centuries, spans a remarkable 2,512 sq km (970 sq mi), most of which fall in Oyo State, some extends to Kwara State.
The park, which is made up of two previous native administrative forest reserves – the Upper Ogun (1936) and Oyo-lle (1941) Forest Reserves are unique ecosystem and historical relics converted to game reserves in 1952 and finally upgraded to the present status of a National Park.
Situated just about 51 km north of Ibadan city, and it harbours Nile crocodile, rock python and land tortoise. The top attractions of the park which are of historical and archaeological value, are situated at the northern end of the park and these include the relics of the old city walls of Oyo Ile, the great Agbaku cave which has evidence of stone age, the “Kosomonu” hill, the old Akesan Market, Alaafin’s Palaces with crucibles of pottery used some centuries ago.

The rest of the park is a wild life park covering many hectares of land and a camp site for tourists. Wild life encountered includes; elephant, buffalo, antelope and baboons. Visitors can also check out the wildlife museum at Akoto base camp or try the lake cruising on Ikere Gorge Lake, mountaineering, sport fishing etc.
The park has total land mass of 2,512km2 and is located in southwestern part of Nigeria at latitude 8° 15’ and 9° 00’N and longitude 3° 35’ and 4° 42’E. The location has inevitably placed the park at a vantage position of abundance land area as well as diverse wildlife and cultural/historical settings.
The administrative office is located in Oyo Isokun area along Oyo-lseyin road, where necessary information and booking could be made. The landscaping and organized space within the large yard has made the facility very endearing to the public.
The park has four types of vegetation which are dense woodland and forests outliers in the southeast part; mixed open savanna woodland in the central part, outcrop vegetation in the northeast and riparian grassland and fringing woodland occupying the forest plains and valleys along the Ogun River.
Outcrops of granite characterize the northeastern zone of the park especially at Oyo-lle. The central part of the park has isolated hills and ridges of numerous rock outcrops. The extreme northern part on its own has caves as well as rock shelters dominating the axis.
The drainage system is also interesting as the park is well drained by rivers Ogun, Owu, Owe and their tributaries in the central and southern parts, while river Tessi drains the northeastern part of the park.

Fauna are found more abundantly in the southern part of the park which includes lion, western kob, roan antelope, western hartebeest, Grimm’s duiker, oribi, crested porcupine, anubis baboon, patas monkey, tantalus monkey and buffalo.
Others include red river hog, gaboon viper, spotted hyena, nile crocodile, rock python, land tortoise, waterbuck, bushbuck, warthog, guinea fowl, hammer kop, African fish eagle, bush fowl, Senegal parrot, grey heron, grey hornbill, white-headed plover, yellow mantled whydah etc.
There are more than 30 bird species recorded in the park. Some of the well known ones are Guinea Fowl, Hammer Kops, White headed Plover, African fish eagle (Cucumber vociferous), Yellow mantled Whydah (Euplectes spp), Bush fowl (Francolinus bicalcaratus), Senegal Fire-finch (Lagonostica senegalus), Grey Hornbill (Tockus nasitus) Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) Bannerman’s Weaver (Ploceus bannermani) crossley’s Ground. Thrush (Zoothera crossleyi).