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Wonders of Nigeria

Idanre Town
Idanre Town. / Dotun55, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Although Nigeria does not belong to popular tourist destinations these days, this large multicultural and geographically diverse country has many surprising and little-known wonders.

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.

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Nigeria

Geological wonders

Zuma Rock


Very impressive, 725 m high monolith that rises like an enormous boulder. One of the most impressive monoliths in the world.

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

Cross River

A beautiful waterfall on the tributary of Cross River. This vertical plunge is some 40 m tall and with small islands is divided into several, reportedly, seven streams.

Agbokim Waterfalls, Nigeria
Agbokim Waterfalls, Nigeria. / Ei’eke, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Farin Ruwa Falls


Very impressive waterfall – a powerful stream that slides down a steep rock. The total height of the falls is around 150 m.

Farin Ruwa Falls
Farin Ruwa Falls. / Jeremy Weate, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Matsirga Waterfalls


Some 25 – 30 m tall waterfall – one of the most impressive ones in Nigeria.

Matsirga Waterfalls
Matsirga Waterfalls. / Wallat Dennis, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Riyom Rock


Natural stack of rocks that resembles a giant modernist sculpture.

Riyom Rock
Riyom Rock. / Kabiru123, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Gurara Falls


Some 30 m tall and 200 m wide waterfall.

Gurara Falls, Niger
Gurara Falls / Shiraz Chakera, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA-2.0
Agbele Rock


Rock spire – amazing balancing stone. It resembles a woman that is carrying an oversized basket in her back. Local legends tell that this is an enchanted woman – a thief.

Agbele Rock
Agbele Rock. / Rilwanola1, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Iyi Nzu waterfall


Some 50 meters tall waterfall that falls into a narrow ravine.

Owu Falls


100 m tall waterfall.

Owu Falls
Owu Falls. / Foreboiz, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Qua Falls (Kwa Falls)

Cross River

Picturesque waterfall in a narrow gorge.

Kwa Falls
Kwa Falls. / Shiraz Chakera, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Wikki Warm Springs


Wonderful warm springs with a basin of lucid, blue water. This basin is up to 1.9 m deep and the temperature of the water is 31 degrees C.

Wikki Warm Springs
Wikki Warm Springs. / Aminudahiru, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Ikogosi Warm Spring and falls


Two springs – a hot (70 degrees C) and a cold spring. Streams of both springs meet, forming a pleasantly warm stream. Thermal waters form several larger and smaller waterfalls here.

Ikogosi Warm Spring
Ikogosi Warm Spring. / Hadassah Photostorie group, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Archaeological wonders

Sungbo’s Eredo


160 km long ring wall enclosing the ancient land of Sungbo. Built sometimes around 1000 AD by local culture.

Inside the Sungbo's Eredo ditch, Nigeria
Inside the Sungbo’s Eredo ditch / With a kind permission of author Jeremy Weate, / CC BY 2.0
Tunga Dutse Rock Paintings


Beautiful rock paintings and engravings, as well as undeciphered writings on a sandstone outcrop.

Ruins of Hidi’s palace, Sukur


The ancient capital or administrative center of the Sukur people, inhabited since the Iron age and earlier. Palace is a megalithic structure.

Ruins of Hidi’s palace, Sukur
Ruins of Hidi’s palace, Sukur. / StefanCramer, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Marshall Caves


Artificial caves – former dwellings. In total into the sandstone wall are carved 59 such dwellings, some containing rock paintings, and engravings. Discovered in 1980.

One of Marshall Caves
One of Marshall Caves. / Aminudahiru, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Birnin Kudu rock art


Ancient rock art sites and also megaliths. Paintings show cattle and diverse symbols.

Architecture and culture wonders

Ogbunike Caves


Sacred site – impressive caves in a tropical forest. This location is sacred up to this day.

In Ogbunike Caves
In Ogbunike Caves. / Kayou Nathan, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Old City of Kano


Some 1000 years old city with city walls.

Kano wall at Sabuwar Kofa
Kano wall at Sabuwar Kofa. / Cepit, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Ife City


Sacred Yoruba city where valuable sculptures from the 13th-15th centuries have been found.

Sculptures from Ife
Sculptures from Ife. / FundacionArellanoAlonso, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Ikom monoliths

Akwa Ibom

Some 300 standing stones, often adorned with faces and ornaments. These monoliths are up to 1.8 m tall and are placed in some 30 circles. Most likely, created in the 16th – 20th centuries AD.

Ikom monolith
Ikom monolith. / Dotun55, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Osun-Osogbo sacred forest


Sacred forest alongside the Oshun River.

The main gate into the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
The main gate into the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove. / Vitus Emmanuel Nnaemeka, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Olumo cave shelters


Natural fortress – caves that were used as a hiding place during the 19th-century warfare between local people.

Olumo Rock cave shelters
Olumo Rock cave shelters. / AdeolaStudio, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Old Oyo city (Oyo-Ile)


The capital city of the Oyo Empire around the 12th – 16th centuries.

Dukkey Wells


Unusual water storage system: a group of 139 wells that are interconnected. Wells were made in the 19th century by captured people – slaves.

Dukkey Wells
Dukkey Wells. / Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldYellow 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 ethnolinguistic groups.

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