Nigeria: Low level of Local Tourism

Blogspiration doesn’t come easy. Whenever I am inspired with a solid topic to blog about, I quickly fire away else the passion evaporates into thin air since I always have work to do. By the way, blogspiration is a word I have just coined to mean “blog inspiration” in reference to “being inspired [not necessarily divine] about a solid topic to blog about”. 🙂 Doesn’t seem like I coined that word afterall. I just googled it and got 1,450 results! Oops… So my name doesn’t get into history books on this matter. Sad huh? 😐

The subject of my blogspiration this dawn is the low level of local tourism in Nigeria. To the best of my knowledge, most Nigerians don’t bother with exploring their country just for the fun of it. Travel in Nigeria is risky enough, travelling for the fun of it is out for most. Also, most people are busy trying to make a living. Having made barely enough to survive, many do not have enough to spare for tourism.

Nigeria does not lack tourist destinations. Far from it. Nigeria has abundant natural, man-made tourist destinations and events – too several to be listed here but these places are hardly ever visited due to the reasons I have listed above. Places like Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ikogosi Warm Springs in Ikogosi-Ekiti, Idanre Hills in Idanre, Obudu Cattle Ranch close to Calabar, Yankari Game Reserve, Gashaka Gumti National Park in Adamawa and Taraba states etc

I am guilty too.

I always feel jealous when I see western tourists here in Accra, who are here to explore and enjoy the natural scenery of Ghana’s hinderlands, game reserves, historical monuments and the likes. Many Europeans drive to Ghana by road in a bid to experience more of Africa, first-hand. Some even come on bicycles! They painstakingly go through the bad roads just to enjoy the rich scenery and wild life Africa has to offer.

Having been in Ghana for years, I find it shameful to state that I am yet to visit Kakum National Park, Mole Park, and the likes that I have heard/read about so many times. I hope to make amends this year and in years to come. I’d however highlight explorations by a couple of fellow Nigerian bloggers:

Jeremy Weate of Naijablog who along with other tourists climbed the highest mountain in Nigeria and even ventured into parts of Cameroon on foot, blogged about “The Mountain of Death: no be small o!” I would only reproduce the concluding part:

Gashaka Gumti National Park really is a national treasure for Nigeria. Whether you want to exhaust yourself climbing the highest mountain in Nigeria as we did, or simply want to visit the base station of the Primate Project and go on an easy monkey/primate safari, you will experience a serene and tranquil side to Nigeria many will never even know about. It is something like the Eden of West Africa, untroubled by tourists, and a universe away from the bustle of Lagos and the cynicism of Abuja. You are guaranteed to have an experience of a lifetime if you go there.

Yomi Adegboye of Yomi Says was At Olumo Rock again with his family:

I am posting this from the top of Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun state, south-western Nigeria. It’s my second time here. The first was last year when my wife and I came alone. This time, we are here with the kids.

See also:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_Nigeria
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks_in_Africa#Nigeria
  • http://www.nigeriatourism.net/
  • http://www.onlinenigeria.com/travel/index.asp

Have you had any experience of exploring Nigeria for the fun of it? Share your experiences here by leaving your comments.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.

5 Comments

  1. Bros, I cannot blame Nigerians for not patronizing the tourist industry here in Nigeria. “Na person wey don chop belleful go fit they do dat kin thing” People are presently groaning under the unofficial increase in fuel prices.
    I was in Lagos last week. It was a horrible experience.
    That is not to say that one should not plan for vacation or tour. Just that such advice is hard to sell to a hungry man 😥

  2. yeah, i’ve been around a bit..but could improve
    i dont think its the cost of this trips that turn people off…i thinks its the bad roads and security…
    am different though, i plan more than 3 months in advance sef…
    climbed olumo rock, erin ijesha and idanre hill in 3 days…
    next stop…shere hills,obudu and “the mountain of death”
    contact me if you’re interested

  3. David you are not alone on this. In my own case, my busy schudule maybe i can use that as an excuse. But when you consider the fact that I live in Calabar and yet to visit the Cattle Ranch, it shows how much we have neglected our own. I think local tourism is what drives international tourism. If we are not excited about what we have, how will others be? I do go out from time to time but just can’t forgive myself that i have never been to the ranch. At the last Calabar Christmas festival i was there to even cover the event. But a trip to the ranch will crown it.

  4. I had no idea about some of the incredible tourist gems that Nigeria has to offer. It is only from talking to people and reading certain blogs that I have discovered the spectacular beauty Nigeria has to offer. I hope that tourism will continue to grow as an industry that will attract Nigerians and non-Nigerians.

  5. Local Tourism as i have discovered is much cheaper with numbers. It is our duty to be passionate about what we have. i travell around a lot, all i do is plan towards it. you no go belief sey with as low as 3k (N3000.00)you’ll tour to an exciting place, eat well, comfortable driven and practically enjoy youself.

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