Hiking in Nigeria is still not much of a culture here but we are getting there gradually. Getting out into nature, clearing your head and getting fresh air – these are the things that can keep you sane and healthy in a place like Nigeria where a lot of things frustrates you. But you want to be smart doing it, too!
From our numerous hikes in Nigeria- forest, national park, resort or on a city trail, there’s plenty of trails to enjoy but to fully enjoy your hike there are some things you should have.
What makes hiking in Nigeria different? Well, first most hike sites in Nigeria don’t have trails marked out or hiking directions, take for example Erin Ijesha, to get to the last hike spot you need to ask locals, no signpost or whatsoever indicating you’ve gotten to the very end, so to hike always have a tour guide, and they are mostly available at the hike location for a fee (no standard price most times you have to haggle around till you agree on a price), if you don’t find one get a local that will take you around.
Don’t just hop out of your bus and start hiking with no direction, this is Nigeria most forest, hills have mystical stories you need to know beforehand, that way you know the do’s and don’ts. At Idanre hills for instance, there are spots not for visitors.
Our backpacking checklist is your tried-and-true guide to packing smart for hiking trips in Nigeria. The list is intentionally comprehensive so you don’t forget anything important.
What to bring
- Closed-Toe Shoes-Light easy to move and run shoes, preferably sneakers. You don’t want a shoe that will drag you behind your hiking mates, do you? For ladies sandals, high heels are terrible ideas for hiking, no cat walk in hiking.
- Comfortable Clothing– A light t-shirt and probably trousers that you’re comfortable with, I have gone hiking once and someone wore full traditional regalia, he must have mistaken hiking for a wedding.
- Insect Repellent– Insect especially mosquitoes and soldier ants are never friendly especially when camping, if you have insect repellents apply to skin, clothing, or other surfaces to discourage insects . A soldier ant in your pants is a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
- Camera-Yeah be it phone camera, a DSLR camera, just come along with one. You need to capture those wonderful memories and of course you will also want to “pepper” your friends after the hike.
- Power bank- You surely need this! What happens when just as you are about to capture a fascinating moment your battery beeps low?
- Water bottle and Snack Pack– You will get dehydrated and hungry for sure, always go with a water bottle and a snack pack. I didn’t say a cooler of jollof rice.
And of course a Good mood- Keep your bad mood under your pillow, come hiking with smiles, spread your laughter around as it’s contagious.
Tell US…. what do you love to bring on a day hike?