My Experience Exploring Tourist Attractions in Northern Nigeria
Many believe that Northern Nigeria is riddled with violence and terrorism alone. This thought is far from the truth as the North in its entirety has a lot to offer in terms of culture, festivals, tourism, rich history and beautiful sites. From beautiful palaces, to the rich Durbar festivals, the food, hospitable people and scenic sites and destinations, the North is an adventure waiting to be explored and I really enjoyed my exploration around the northern Nigeria.
Last week I took a great ‘risk’ by visiting the northern part of Nigeria as part of my ongoing ‘touring around Nigeria’ to visit and discover some tourist attractions in the northern part of Nigeria, and I really enjoyed my time there.
I arrived Abuja and visited some tourist attractions in Nigeria’s capital city. I discovered that Tourism in Abuja is not being taken seriously because the government does not focus on tourism even though there are some tourist attractions around Abuja (for sightseeing and relaxation) that are very well maintained such as the Millennium Park. I took my time to visit some of the tourist attractions in Abuja.
I visited the Jabi Lake and the Jabi Lake mall which is one of the most beautiful malls in Abuja. I also visited the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Center which is an interesting point of attraction in Abuja as well as the Abuja Arts and Crafts Village which is a very beautiful attraction for arts and crafts lovers.
After spending two days in Abuja, I travelled to Kaduna by rail which turned out to be my best train experience ever.
After two hours of travelling by rail to Kaduna, I arrived at the Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna and went straight to one of the top tourist attraction centers in Kaduna which is the Kajuru Castle in Kajuri village.
Located about 2 hours drive from Kaduna town, Kajuru Castle is a luxury Medieval German style villa, built over 3 decades ago.
The Kajuru Castle was built in 1978 by a German expatriate who lived in Kaduna, with metre thick granite stone to reflect the medieval Bavarian theme. It took five years to complete its turrets, armory and dungeon. Kajuru Castle is an awesome place to be. As a Nigerian and a Tourist, I am intensely proud that we have a place like this in Nigeria and some people do not know about this place, it is such an attractive place and I will always recommend it for friends to visit.
I also visited the Kaduna museum and learnt much about the archaeological and ethnographic artefacts such as terracotta statuettes and the Benin bronzes and much more. I definitely enjoyed this ever changing craft exhibition that left me inspired and even gave me a fresh zeal for creativity. I also visited the Lord Lugard footbridge which is a pedestrian bridge which was built by Lord Lugard in 1904, it was named after him.
The bridge served as a link between his residence and other quarters of colonial Zungeru over river Kaduna. Unfortunately, the Kaduna State government is doing nothing to sustain the bridge. This is a monumental icon which is not suppose to just waste away.
After my stay in Kaduna, I proceed to Kano which is about five hours drive from Kaduna. My first point of call was the Gidan Makama Museum where I learnt much about the history of Kano and the city wall gate, and about the first Emir of Kano. The Gidan Makama Museum is such a nice place with beautiful arts.
From the museum, I visited the palace of the Emir of Kano which is one of the most beautiful palaces in Nigeria.
I asked for the permission to take some pictures of the palace, which was granted to me. At that point, the Emir was coming from somewhere; I stood still and waved at him. I was then allowed to snap him some pictures and he smiled at me as he saw me taking pictures of him.
The people at the Emir’s Palace were so nice and kind, they understood the purpose of my journey to Kano and to the Emir’s Palace and happily granted me the permission to take some pictures around the palace.
With the visit to Kano, I concluded the part 1 of my tour of the northern Nigeria. What inspired me to travel around northern part of Nigeria is easy. I have always wanted to show off Nigeria’s tourism potentials and it has really been fulfilling. I went so far just to make known some of the tourist attractions in the north and pave way for others to visit the northern part of Nigeria for Tourism purpose and for national development.
During the course of my travels around North, I discovered more about the people’s culture and lifestyle as I met very good and honest northerners and shared ideas and made friends.
The northern part of Nigeria is not as people perceive it to be, it has many tourist attractions. I think Nigeria can generate great income through tourism if the Federal government can re-brand, package and market some of these tourist attractions including those in the northern part of Nigeria. Tourism is Life. Watch out for Part 2.
Bolaji Seun is a Nigerian tourist and travel blogger who is passionate about explorative tourism. He has visited many tourist attractions and destinations both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria including Ghana, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Bolaji is a guest blogger at www.afritraveller.com. You can follow him on Social media: Facebook:@TR Bo, Twitter: @BJTours, WhatsApp:+2348063513525.