I wrote this article for Guardian Nigeria last month, here is my original copy with pictures included.
On your mark, backpack ready and Adventure here you go! We’ve personally been to all these places and vetted them SO FEAR NOT!
The only way to make adventure activities even more memorable is to experience them in one of the most breathtaking places in Nigeria. Nigeria has a lot of picturesque and dramatic sceneries that are beautiful. Our high places were made for bungee jumping, our waterfalls and beautiful hills are for hiking, large water bodies for canoeing, rafting and kayaking. Let’s go on Adventure in the green white green style.
1-Hiking in Nigeria
In this busy everyday Nigeria, everybody needs a touch of adventure in their lives. And for those who are interested in getting up close with the Mother Nature, hiking in Nigeria should be top on your Bucket list. With the plenty hills and Mountains in Nigeria one can choose an ideal hiking adventure out of many places in the country. Whether it’s Dawaki hills in Abuja, Mt. Patti in Lokoja, Holy Mountain in Calabar, or chasing waterfalls in Ekiti or Kwara State , I can assure you that the journey will quench your thirst for walking adventure. Apart from Lagos (which is below sea level) every other part of Nigeria has one hill or the other making Nigeria a ‘Hikers Paradise’. On The Nigerian hike bucket list is the Tea valley of Gembu in Adamawa. If you are a Tea lover, you definitely must have drank the Tea from this place (two of Nigerians largest tea makers get that leaves from here). You should also visit hike the Holy Mountain in Obudu. And do you know Strawberries grow in Obudu? Magical right?
Picture –Adedotun Ajibade
2-Backpack and join the train from Lagos-Kano.
How about seeing Nigeria from the coach of a train? 40 hours journey that begins from Ebutte Meta in Lagos and terminates at Kano for about N2000-N4,990 (depending on the coach class). On this trip you get to see cities like Ilorin, Minna, Ibadan, Oshogbo , Abeokuta etc. You even party inside the coach to kill boredom.
3-Kayaking, Rafting and anything water
When the phrase “water bodies” come to my mind the first thing I think of is Lagos, Abuja is to hills as Lagos is to water. Having lived in Europe for 7 years, the first time I kayak was in Lagos Nigeria. Amazing right? Yes, you can kayak in about 4 kayak places in Lagos- and guess what it’s very affordable. Between 3000-4000Naira you can paddle an hour through water watching the beautiful scenery of the city. ABUJA is not left out in this- the lakes at the national stadium and the beautiful Jabi lake are also places with sturdy kayaks at similar price. Think about the busy Lagos marina, now bring your mind back to Calabar. The Calabar marina was once a busy wharf on the waterfront, what we have left now is a quiet place with towering abandoned ships anchored at the edge of the banks. With this tranquility Calabar now offers whitewater rafting from Class I (beginner) to V (expert). Why not enjoy the waters with your lover on a beautiful valentine day?
4-Backpack and go Camping at Chappal Waddi
Backpacking in Nigeria? Yes you heard that correctly. The mountains are calling, strap on a pair of boots and head for it. Moving at a walking pace through the wild forest gives you the time to appreciate its beauty, forget about Nigeria’s problem and maximizes your chances to reflect with yourself. Chappal Waddi is the perfect place for you to go camping with your adrenaline folks, at elevation point of 2419 meters / 7936 ft is highest point in Nigeria it is Located in Gashaka Gumti National Park, Taraba.
5-A Nightlife at the lighthouse beach in Tarkwa Bay
Get your tent, get your friends go to the beach and spend a night there quietly at the beach side. Everyone loves a day at the beach, but that’s exactly the problem: everyone loves a day at the beach, and there’s nothing like being jammed in to a heaving crowd to ruin a perfectly good day trip. So if you would love an evening or night by the sea without the crowds like you have at the main Tarkwa Bay and the tackiness, lighthouse beach is your best bet. Lighthouse beach is just a walk from Tarkwa bay. The waves and sound of water ripples, the distant horn from a passerby ship-an evening life at beach house is a perfect moment
6-Swimming at Wikki Warm spring in Bauchi
The first time I saw a picture of Wikki warm spring in Bauchi- here were mythoughts-Wow Arizona, U.S.A. Light sand at the bottom and the blue water-this is Heaven for swimmers! How beautiful to chase after elephants at Yankari park and end the sweaty day in this beautiful spring. Life is Good!
7-Catch some waves at Tarkwa Bay
“Waves are not measured in feet and inches,” Buzzy Trent is credited with proclaiming, “they are measured in increment of fear.”
Gbenga Onalaja a friend during his first time surfing said- “Jesus walked on water, I am cruising it. If that’s not transcendent, I don’t know what is,” you might find yourself thinking same as a first timer.. Surfing and Smiling is the new Nigerian cool. You never surfed or swim before? That shouldn’t discourage you. At tarkwa bay a surf lesson teacher once featured on CNN will guide you through a beginner surf lessons with ease.
Picture –Gbenga Ajala
8-Scuba Diving in the heart of Lagos
Can you scuba dive in Nigeria? Yes, and where? Lagos! Whether YOU ARE AN experienced diver or just trying for the first time, there is scuba school in Lagos for both categories. They have all you need, just bring yourself and keep your fear at home. Dive into an underwater treasure chest of vibrant marine life and sunken wrecks, see the underlife of lagos.
9-Trampoline in Lagos
Learning to backflip or climb walls without fear of breaking your bones and sustaining severe injuries, trampoline are the havens. In lagos, yes Lagos again everything is in Lagos, you can now have trampoline adventures. West Africa’s first trampoline park sits in Lekki phase 1.
Paintballing is a good way to learn how to be strategic, plan properly and understand team building. Shoot your enemy till they dye! Whether you’re in Port Harcourt, Lagos or Abuja-there are good number of places you can paintballing in a group.
Skydiving and Bungee should be on this list we know-but we are not yet there yet. A skydiving company is coming soon so anticipate that first.
Adebayo Mayowa Blades is an Adrenaline Junkie., Story Teller, loves to travel, crack dry jokes which people find funny and think he is a chef. He is also the CEO/Founder-Naidrenalin Adventure Group- a Nigerian Adventure Community with over 1000+ members in different cities across Nigeria/