Nigeria, located in the Western part of Africa, is one of the continent’s most influential countries. It is an African political and economic power with a fast development, constantly improving itself. This beautiful country also has many wonderful things to offer. Its natural beauty as well as its rich history and culture attract tourists, making Nigeria a unique location. The country is home to a number of charming cities, three of which will be discussed below.
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Tucked into Nigeria’s southeastern corner is the capital of Cross River State, Calabar, watered by the Calabar and Great Kwa Rivers and the creeks of the Cross River. The peaceful city was originally named Atakpa from the Jukun language. Calabar has a rich history, and is undoubtedly well worth a visit.
Originally a cluster of Efik settlements, Calabar was one of Nigeria’s biggest slave ports, and later a major exporter of palm oil. Calabar is a friendly city to all travellers who stop over before heading to Cameroon. The city boasts an amazing museum as well as two excellent primate-conversation centres.
Apart from its history and culture, Calabar also has a vivid social life that would appeal to any visitor. In Calabar, some of the most beauty architectural structures in Nigeria can be admired. However, the city does have many modern facilities and is a very hospitable allure.
Lagos is the largest city in Africa. With wall-to-wall people and bumper-to-bumper cars, Lagos, named after the Portuguese word for lagoon, is one of Nigeria’s most busy and buzzing cities.
Lagos has been a Yoruba port, a British political centre, and until 1991, Nigeria’s capital. The economic and cultural powerhouse of the country, and with much thanks to an absurd influx of oil money, it has an exploding arts and music scene will keep you fascinated and entertained far past dawn. It’s almost impossible to not jump right into the madness of this city during a trip to Nigeria!
Benin is a club-shaped country of the western edge of Nigeria that was once one of the most powerful empires in Africa, namely the Dahomey kingdom. Much lost treasure awaits to be unearthed in the exciting city of Benin.
The ruins of the Dahomeyans’ palaces and temples can be seen viewed Abomey, while Ouidah is a very painful reminder of where their riches came from – the slave trade. The historical Route d’Esclaves in Ouidah was the last walk on African soil for slaves who were sent to Brazil and the Caribbean. Museums in Ouidah and Porto Novo, Benin’s lagoon-side capital, examine the results of the Afro-Brazilian society and culture.
Regardless of the Dahomeyan gains glittering in the Musée Historique d’Abomey, there are plenty of treasures on Benin’s busy, dusty streets and picturesque palm-fringed beaches. This is the birthplace of voodoo, the country’s national religion, exported by the slaves and highly distorted by Hollywood. Voodoo is an important part of everyday life and most towns bear signs of it, such as the fetish markets stocked with the heads and skins of every animal imaginable.
Elephants, lions, crocodiles and other wildlife animals can be seen in a more animated form in the northern wildlife parks, such as Pendjari, one of the biggest and most renowned in West Africa. There are also stilt villages, which are homes to thousands in the southern lagoons, and the northern fort-like mud huts built by the insular Somba people.
Candice May is a copywriter for Jobvine Nigeria, the leading job search portal in beautiful Nigeria.