During my compulsory national youth service corps NYSC in 2017, I discovered interesting facts about Nigeria. Might I point out that I never wanted to go at first? I was so stubborn and insistent that I was going to waste a year of my life. But thank goodness my mom exercised her veto power and I found myself in Cross River state Nigeria for eleven months.

I was so bored in the first two months that I intentionally set out to discover my surroundings’. To my surprise there were lots of interesting places to visit.

I discovered Cross River state shared a border with Cameroon and under the shadow of my military friend I crossed over to Cameroon! Of course my mom didn’t know about this. Unfortunately my French game is weak thus we couldn’t spend more time in Cameroon. That trip opened my mind to the beauty around me. The next weekend I took a road trip to Obudu mountain resort. It was such an amazing experience. I also visited ‘Agbokim’ waterfalls in Ikom local government area of the state. It has such a beautiful scenery plus intriguing history of princes and princesses of the sea.

I explored so many places during my short stay (my stay became short lol) and I felt so fulfilled. The good news was I didn’t need 30 billion in my account to visit these places. They were quite budget friendly.

Ever since, I see my country in a new light.

There’s so much to discover. Here are my top five tourist destinations in Nigeria for adventurers with an affordable budget;

  1. The  (Lagos State);is one of the best nature reserves in Nigeria. The conservation center offers a breath of fresh air and an escape from the forever buzzing city of Lagos. Generally regarded as an icon of nature conservation,  Lekki Conservation Center represents the flagship project of Nigeria Conservation Foundation for the preservation of unique biodiversity, scenic, natural and scientific recreational values of the coastal environs of western Nigeria. The unique feature of the center is the 401-meter long canopy walkway. It is reputed to be the longest canopy walkway in Africa. This is definitely a place to visit!

2. Kajuru Castle (Kaduna State); is a luxury Medieval-German style villa, built over 3 decades ago located in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The villa is designed with bedrooms modelled after dungeons and several towers with crenelated walls. It has a portcullis (the vertically closing gate) with a crocodile pit. The castle includes a guest tower with  4 rooms and the main building with a knights’  hall and a master suite ( also known as the “landlord’s residence”). From the outdoor pool area and most of the castle windows, you will enjoy a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains and inselbergs. The Castle also has its own Sauna!

  1. Obudu Mountain Resort (Cross River State); formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch, is one of the most beautiful and pleasant tourist centre destinations in Nigeria. Located on the Obudu Plateau, close to the Cameroon border, in the North-eastern part of Cross Rivers State. This is a personal favourite, I completely enjoyed my time there. This resort centre has grown to become a major destination choice for tourists. It has an attractive landscape and calming ambience, with clouds smiling down on its peaks and valleys. The rooms in Obudu Mountain Resort are made up of chalets, standard room, executive room, huts to presidential suites. Although this resort is open to visitors throughout the year, the period between October and February is the best time to visit, as it is the time when the sky is very bright and the air is frosty.

4. Osun-Osogbo sacred grove (Osun State); Classified as one of the UNESCO world heritage sites, this sacred forest attracts a large number of tourists as it is definitely worth visiting. Majorly populated by the Yorubas who are indigenes of the state. Yoruba people believe that Osun sacred grove, which spans about 75 hectares of land, is home to Osun– the goddess of fertility. A festival that celebrates this fertility goddess takes place every year in Oshogbo. You will find scattered about the forest, shrines, and effigies of different deities. In addition to that, the forest contains about 400 different species of plants that are used for medicinal purposes.

  1. Nike’s Art Gallery (Lagos State); Nike’s Art Gallery tells its story from the outside. The fence of the compound is adorned with rare marbles. Its walls are covered in different artistic inscriptions and drawings. You immediately feel a deep sense of awe once you walk through its colorfully tattooed black gates. This historical abode ranks high in the list of bedazzling Lagos destinations. From the inner courtyard of the gallery where you’ll find the stone sculptures, tie-dye workshop, and hanging craft-works, to the wide variety of art displayed inside the magnificent structure, you can rest assured that your love for Nigerian art will go through the roof.

Have you visited any of these locations? What was your experience like? Please share!

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