Most interesting landmarks of Nigeria

Although Nigeria does not belong to popular tourist destinations these days, this large multicultural and geographically diverse country has many surprising and little known landmarks.
The country is unique not only due to its uninterrupted cultural traditions tracing back to ancient times but also due to another feature: its geographical diversity. The country has rainforests, mountains, deserts, beaches, mangrove forests, and enormous rivers. In numerous locations, people have managed to reach a certain harmony with the environment and most landmarks of Nigeria have both natural and cultural values. Nigerians attribute spiritual characteristics to many of their beautiful natural and cultural monuments and there are many unusual stories told about them.

Natural landmarks

Zuma rock, Nigeria
Zuma rock / Andy Waite. CC-BY-SA-1.0

The diverse nature of Nigeria provides many kinds of interesting monuments. This includes one of the most impressive monoliths of the world – Zuma rock which rises like an enormous boulder, 725 meters high. There are many impressive waterfalls such as Owu Falls, Gurara Falls, Qua Falls (Kwa Falls) and others.

The country is also rich with warm springs.

Man made landmarks of Nigeria

Outstanding Nigerian monuments include the ancient Ife city, Old City of Kano with its city walls, the Osun-Osogbo sacred forest which grows alongside the Oshun River and the ancient fortification systems that are amongst the largest in world – Sungbo’s Eredo. The Olumo cave shelters, sacred Ogbunike Caves, ruins of Hidi’s palace in Sukur, Old Oyo city, Birnin Kudu rock art, outstanding traditional architecture of Jos and numerous other unique monuments with unbelievable histories, could provide countless scenarios for movies and books.

There are also numerous mysterious monuments like the giant Ukhuse Oke footprints in granite.

Described landmarks of Nigeria

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Featured: Sungbo’s Eredo

The wall of Sungbo's Eredo ditch, Nigeria
The wall of Sungbo’s Eredo ditch / With a kind permission of author Jeremy Weate, / CC BY 2.0

Western Africa’s rainforest (or – rather – remnants of it) hides numerous archaeological wonders that are waiting for curious researchers. Local people and their culture still represent a living link to many of these monuments, often surrounded with mysterious traditions and beliefs.

Sungbo’s Eredo is just one of them – the largest one. This is an enormous fortification line that included such "secret weapons" as demons of the swamps (presumably living in the ditches of fortifications). This is the largest known ancient man-made structure south of the Sahara.

Recommended books

A History of Nigeria

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the world’s eighth largest oil producer, but its success has been undermined in recent decades by ethnic and religious conflict, political instability, rampant official corruption and an ailing economy. Toyin Falola, a leading historian intimately acquainted with the region, and Matthew Heaton, who has worked extensively on African science and culture, combine their expertise to explain the context to Nigeria’s recent troubles through an exploration of its pre-colonial and colonial past, and its journey from independence to statehood.

Nigeria – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with an internal market of 150 million people and an economy growing at around 8 percent a year, is potentially Africa’s next powerhouse. It is nearly one and a half times the size of Texas, with a landmass varying from sandy beaches and tropical jungles, to plains, mountains, and desert. This important West African nation is made up of 250 culturally distinct ethno-linguistic groups.

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