There’s no question about it: Nigeria is huge. And just as the naysayers say size doesn’t matter, you realise that in West Africa, where just a couple of miles adds another fascinating tribal group, or that journey over the Obudu Plateau makes the difference between Guinean savannah grasses and verdant tropical rainforest, it really, really does! The point is that Nigeria is a country of many colors and creeds.
Its character morphs and shapeshifts almost as elegantly as a white-throated monkey swings between the boughs of the jungle. City wise, it’s got the colossal sprawl of Abuja – one of the fastest growing urban areas in the world. And then there’s Lagos – 17.5 million strong, but still finding time to chill on the Atlantic beaches.
Moving away from the towns and to the country, and Nigeria’s many faces continue. This time they peer like humans in the form of chimpanzees from the forest-clad gorges of the Gashaka Gumti. Or, they are plumed in pink like the black cranes of the Bade-Nguru Wetlands. It’s all very wonderful stuff.
Lets explore the best places to visit in Nigeria:
The gateway to the reserves of the Cross River (the state of which Calabar is the capital), and the further-flung rainforests of the Afi Mountains (home to gorillas, chimps, rare rockfowl and craggy peaks of stone), the town of Calabar is a well-honed tourist stop-off on the way through to Cameroon or the southern Nigerian coast.
Before making a beeline for the amazing primate sanctuaries outside of the town though, be sure to linger a little and case out the darker past of the city at the Calabar Museum – Calabar was once one of the principle slave trading ports in West Africa.
Also worth a look is the Duke Town chapel, which is considered one of the oldest Christian worshipping houses in Nigeria.