Nigeria’s various panorama and intensive river methods create numerous scenic alternatives for mountaineering, and there are many kindred spirits to share the expertise with.
The cities of Abuja and Jos have dozens of mountaineering teams that arrange journeys nearly each weekend. Locations like Makurdi and Ososo are additionally now starting to emerge nearly as good locations to hike. Enugu, Ilorin, Ekiti and Bauchi even have energetic mountaineering communities, although outings are much less frequent.
Nigerian mountaineering trails typically result in hilltops, however an excellent quantity stretch by means of farmland and forests or cross lakes and streams. Some result in caves and rock shelters the place locals fled throughout the slave raiding and wars of the 18th and Nineteenth centuries.
At Olumo Rock, Oke Ado Awaye and Idanre, locals have constructed a whole lot of steps on the foot of the hills to ease the ascent.
Many of the hikes beneficial listed here are straightforward to reasonable and don’t require any gear apart from a mountaineering stick, boots, and water. Whichever hike you select, you possibly can relaxation assured you’re in for a sweaty however unforgettable expertise. Listed below are the perfect hikes in Nigeria.
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Mountain climbing in Nigeria means some great views © i_am_zews / Shutterstock
1. Oke Ado Awaye
Greatest hike for views
4 miles (6.4km) spherical journey, 3 hours, reasonable
Oke Ado Awaye is legendary for its suspended lake, Iyake. Guides say it by no means dries up and stays on the identical degree all 12 months spherical. Throughout this 4-mile trek, hikers come to listen to the myths surrounding the lake and the opposite landmarks on the hill.
It’s stated that consuming water from the lake can help fertility and prayers stated at Ishage Rock are normally answered. Massive depressions within the rock, which is wrapped round in white material, are believed to be footprints of the gods who as soon as protected the folks.
These landmarks function pure relaxation stops alongside the reasonable path, which affords astonishing views of farmland and the encompassing hills. Most vacationers flip again on the steep incline linking the 2 interconnected hills (about an hour into the trek), however to do this is to overlook maybe a very powerful landmark of all: the spot the place the previous palace as soon as stood, and the center of a Nineteenth-century hilltop settlement, now marked with a circle of stones.
Planning tip: Oke Ado Awaye is roughly two hours by highway from the southwestern cities of Ibadan and Abeokuta. Plan your hike with TVP Adventures.
2. IITA Forest Path
Greatest instructional hike
1.2 miles (2km) spherical journey, 15 mins-5 hours, moderate-strenuous
You might go for a brisk 2- to 6km stroll by means of the serene grounds of the Worldwide Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Oyo state. Or you could possibly join a hike by means of its 350-hectare forest reserve, which affords a 12-point path graded into three ranges: the brief loop, for youths (15 minutes); the medium loop, for adults (roughly an hour); and the lengthy loop, for expert hikers (5 hours).
For those who set out early sufficient you’ll probably spot duikers, civets, antelopes, squirrels and monitor lizards foraging for breakfast. Even if you happen to don’t, your time within the woods will probably be properly spent studying concerning the many medicinal timber alongside the path, and the way they’re used domestically. On the finish of your hike, you could cease to observe flocks of spur-winged lapwings or Senegal thick-knee birds fly over the adjoining lake.
Planning tip: IITA is a 20-minute drive from the brand new Obafemi Awolowo prepare station at Moniya. Hikes are led by workers and should be pre-booked a minimum of every week upfront.
Hikers stroll alongside Africa’s longest cover walkway at Lekki Conservation Heart © Dumbra / Shutterstock
3. Ekki Forest Journey
Greatest hike for birdwatching
2.4 miles (4km) spherical journey, 1.5 hours, straightforward
A cover of coconut, neem and peach timber are the primary belongings you’ll discover while you stroll into the Lekki City Forest Animal Sanctuary Initiative (LUFASI) park, a 20-hectare farm-forest and recreation middle. Promoted as a ‘pure wellness middle’, the park is huge on habitat preservation and re-generation and hikers stroll alongside its sandy and leaf-strewn trails, previous butterfly and fern gardens, anthills and duck ponds.
In your approach, guides will inform you concerning the varied ongoing conservation efforts throughout the park, together with for pangolins and hooded vultures. A Shirin Yoku (forest bathing) platform surrounded by some prized Ekki (Purple Ironwood) timber, which give the path its identify, is the place walkers are inclined to pause and take all of it it. Boardwalks throughout the park’s two synthetic lakes are good spots to look out for a number of the birds discovered right here, together with the blue-breasted kingfisher, African harrier hawk, and little bee-eater.
Planning tip: LUFASI has a youngsters’s play space and eating places serving palm wine, pepper-soup and jollof-rice, all native treats. The park is a 40-minute drive from Lekki Conservation Heart, and an hour from the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Trendy Artwork at Pan-Atlantic College. They’re all on the Lekki-Epe Freeway, so doable on a day’s tour.
4. Ikogosi Springs Hike
Greatest for nature walks
1.2 miles (2km) spherical journey, 1.5 hours, straightforward
Ikogosi-Ekiti is buried in an enormous span of unspoiled lowland forest. The hour-long drive from Ado-Ekiti, the capital metropolis of Ekiti state, weaves by means of dense vegetation and hills on either side. Though the winding highway is paved, there are potholes and patches right here and there. However arriving on the charming environment of the Ikogosi Heat Springs Resort greater than makes up for the inconvenience.
The hike begins behind the resort’s amphitheater, a brief distance from the west gate. As you make your approach alongside the slim path, stepping over fallen trunks and sticks, the in-house information narrates the historical past of the city, its earliest settlers, and the way a sequence of legendary occasions resulted in one in every of Nigeria’s uncommon geological wonders – the confluence of heat and chilly springs.
For those who’re recreation for an extended hike, head out by means of the south gate to the Ipole-Erijiyan Highway, the place you possibly can trek for 11km alongside a paved, quiet highway to the refreshing rush of the Arinta waterfalls. Excursions to Ikogosi, and different mountaineering places – like Esa and Abanijorin Hills – may be organized upfront with Uncover Ekiti.
Planning tip: The resort administration will give you mountaineering poles, a small bottle of water, insect repellant and a waist pouch filled with dry snacks.
As with lots of the finest hikes in Nigeria, Olumo Rock has loads of steps to beat © Abidemi Ajibodu / Shutterstock
5. Olumo Rock
Greatest hike for households
2.4 miles (4km) spherical journey, 2 hours, easy-moderate
Olumo Rock in Abeokuta has fascinated guests for hundreds of years and is one in every of Nigeria’s hottest mountaineering locations, drawing a whole lot of individuals day by day. Hikers start by climbing 121 steps to the Lisabi Backyard, the place, beneath the duvet of neem and flamboyant timber, guides share a short historical past of the city since inhabitants first settled across the rock within the 1830s.
The hike continues previous caves, rock shelters, large baobab and iroko timber, and shrines, the place locals nonetheless pray. Clergymen additionally supply annual sacrifices to the Olumo shrine. On the prime of the 137m-high hill, you’ll be rewarded with views of a few of Abeokuta’s most cherished landmarks, together with Central Mosque, St Peter Anglican Cathedral, and the Ogun River.
Only a 20-minute drive from the Olumo complicated, on the opposite aspect of the Abeokuta-Aro Highway, is the lesser-known however equally charming Emere Hills. Drive alongside Imala Highway, previous the Oke-Efon and Imala Elega communities, then take the thick bush path that leads as much as the hilltop and a big reservoir, the place you possibly can arrange a picnic and benefit from the view.
6. Sobi Hill
Greatest hike for pilgrims
1.2 miles (2 km) spherical journey, 1:15 minutes, straightforward
You’ll simply discover that Sobi Hill is not any atypical place. It serves each hikers and pilgrims, who come for a few hours or keep for multi-day retreats. There’s a normal air of quiet on the hill – prayers are normally stated in silence – however it’s not unusual to fulfill a gaggle of fun-seekers arriving with Bluetooth audio system blaring afro beats.
There isn’t a path, however a white painted line close to the foot of the hill is all of the information you could get to the highest, the place you’ll have a 360-degree view of town of Ilorin. In your approach up the light slope, you’ll discover numerous open-air church buildings and mosques demarcated with stones, in addition to altars, crosses, and Arabic inscriptions.
No matter time you go to, there’s each chance you’ll hike previous clerics seated about, welcoming you with prayers. They’ll respect any token you supply.
Expertise Kwara and Omotosho Travels arrange common excursions to the hill and different sights in Kwara state.
A part of the Badagry ‘Slavery Route’ hike requires trekkers to cross the lagoon on the Gberefu peninsula in a dugout canoe © Alucardion / Shutterstock
7. Badagry ‘Slavery Route’
Greatest straightforward hike
3.1 miles (5km) spherical journey, 1 hour, straightforward
The head of all sightseeing excursions to Badagry is a stroll on the sands of the Gberefu peninsula. Dubbed ‘the slavery route’, the trail takes guests throughout the lagoon in dugout canoes (or pace boats) to retrace the steps of hundreds of thousands of enslaved individuals who had been marched, chained and gagged, to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, earlier than passing by means of ‘the purpose of no return’ and being shipped to the Americas or Caribbean.
Halfway, guides cease on the infamous Attenuation Nicely to explain how water was blended with juju (magic) potions to maintain the enslaved folks from rebelling. In your approach, you’ll meet locals commuting to and from markets, farms, and church buildings, and catch glimpses of cattle grazing, unmoved by the human site visitors. Anago Adventures organizes mountaineering and normal excursions of Badagry.
8. Shere Hills
Greatest hike for outside adventures
4 miles (6.4km) spherical journey, 3-4 hours, moderate-strenuous
Plateau State’s rugged panorama lends itself to a variety of mountaineering and journey alternatives. However the Shere Hills, some 6000ft (1829m) above sea degree at their highest level, have been the go-to mountaineering vacation spot for many years. Over this time hikers have crushed greater than a dozen completely different trails by means of the hills, that are reached from the Lamingo space. Relying on which you are taking, the surroundings would possibly embrace a disused dam (which turns into a swimming pool throughout the dry season, when the water is low), a jumble of rocky outcrops, or locals, younger and previous, fetching firewood.
The growing curiosity in mountaineering has resulted in residents forming completely different teams and golf equipment, and there’s hardly a weekend and not using a mountaineering journey. The Wayfarers of Jos arrange journeys a minimum of as soon as a month.
9. Finima Nature Park
Greatest hike for conservation
2.4 miles (4 km) spherical journey, 2 hours, reasonable
Finima Nature Park is likely one of the conservation success tales of the heavily-polluted Niger Delta area. Established by Nigeria Liquefied Pure Gasoline Restricted (NLNG) in 2009, it’s a nature reserve of 1000 hectares (with a 300-hectare buffer zone) in Bonny Island. Whereas its hippo inhabitants is now believed to be extinct, the park nonetheless has a wholesome variety of different animals, together with mona monkeys, civets, antelopes, and bushbucks.
First, you’ll discover the curlews – the image of Bonny Island – as you’re led to a ready room, the place workers will give a short overview of the park and its host group. The primary cease on the hike is a shed displaying the near-complete skeleton of a sperm whale, recovered from the close by Atlantic Ocean shore.
After the stroll, rangers encourage guests to take a ship journey over the freshwater lake, the place a unique degree of calm (and birdsong) abounds. And, both earlier than or after the hike, you may also go to the tire playground, one of many park’s predominant sights, which is normally filled with adults and children on weekends and public holidays.
Planning tip: Bonny Atlas is the native encyclopedia of all issues Bonny.