Is relatively a budding enterprise in Nigeria but owing to Nigeria’s potentials, it has undergone a gradual but progressive evolution in the past three decades.
Nigeria is a country greatly endowed. It is blessed with warm, sundry climate, over 800 kilometers of fascinating beaches and evergreen vegetation in the South, while in the North, alluring landforms overshadows savannah grasslands.
Added to these are the interesting natural features in form of water falls, springs, hills, some mountainous areas with temperate like climate and a range of special and common species of tropical wildlife.
These, coupled with wide market opportunities, diverse socio-cultural heritage that gives the nation its uniqueness and the hospitality of the about 120 million people earn Nigeria the sobriquet, GIANT OF AFRICA.
It is almost impossible to deny Nigeria its prime of place amongst the richly endowed potential tourist destinations in the world.
Places of Interest (Tourist Attractions in Nigeria)
Tourist attractions in Nigeria can be classified as follows:
1. Natural Attractions: There are abundant physical attractions, which include hills, caves, springs, lakes and mountains across the entire country. These fascinating features and alluring scenes are good sites for leisure, adventure and other tourism-related endeavours.
Example of these physical attractions are old Oyo National Park, Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi; Obudu (Protea) Cattle Ranch, in cross River State and the Jos Wildlife Park in Plateau State.
2. Man-made Attractions: These are man made sites created for the purpose of relaxation. These include the Rayfield Holiday Resorts in Jos, the Bower’s Tower in Ibadan and various amusement parks that dots the length and breadth of Nigeria’s major towns and cities.
3. National Parks: National Parks are special natural ecosystems with unique attributes. They play unquantifiable roles vital to national/regional well-being as well as act as a catalyst for the development of eco-tourism.
They also enhance ecological processes and life support systems such as soil regeneration, protection of nutrient cycles, cleansing and purifying hydrological cycles. There are eight such parks in Nigeria. They are:
i. Yankari National Park: This is situated within Duguri, Pali and Gwana District of Alkeri local Government Area of Bauchi State. It could be reached by road from Jos Airport through Bauchi State route and from Kano through Jos-Bauchi route.
The park has 110 visitors chalets categorised along student/low income hotel, a standard restaurant, conference hall, in-door and out-door sport facilities such as table tennis, squash racket, badminton etc. There are species of large mammals like elephants, harte beasts, hippopotami, lions and about 153 known species of birds, fish, reptiles, and monkeys.
It is also rich in ethno-historical and archaeological attractions.
ii. Kainji Lake National Park: This is closely linked with the famous Kainji lake oil hydroelectric complex. It lies between Borgu and Zugurma sectors of Kwara State. It can be reached through Lokoja, from Lagos through Ibadan, Ilorin and Jebba.
The park is full of diverse wildlife, a variety of ethno-historical and cultural sites amongst which are Kobs, antelopes, hippopotami, lions etc.
Tourist Facilities: Available in the park are chalets restaurants, conference hall and a waterbus for lake cruising.