The landscape of Nigeria is a hiker’s paradise. The various natural sites and tropical climate of Nigeria make it a destination for all kinds of hikes. With seven national parks and so many natural places, destination Nigeria is a must-do. Are you visiting from abroad? You may have heard of the Holy Mountains of Obudu resort, but that’s not all Nigeria has to offer.
We decided to ask some avid Nigerian hikers some of the best places they’ve hiked to create this list of top best hikes in Nigeria.
Some of these hiking places range from tough terrains to intermediate to easy. Don’t forget to get necessary hiking gear before embarking on any of this hikes, at least a proper pairs of a hiking boot, a knapsack to keep your belongings, hiking poles for harsher terrains. You should also pack along food and water as you will need this.
Length: 12 km │ Level: Difficult │ Est. time: ~6 hrs │ Location: 10km east of Jos metropolis │ Best time to visit: Dry Season │ Elevation: 2,419 m
Shere Hills is the most spectacular landscape location on the Jos Plateau. A range of hills sprawling an area, with one having peak that’s 3rd highest in Nigeria. Shere Hills has several access routes, unlike Idanre or Obudu. And many areas are open to exploration for hiking, abseiling and to witness incredible rock formations with biodiversity. The location is home to unique birds like stone partridge, stonechat, among others. Shere is also habitat to tantalus monkeys.
Hike details: Adedotun Ajibade-Citizen Scientist
Length: 27 km │ Level: Difficult │ Est. time: ~10 hrs (in and out)│ Location: Jauro Hammasale │ Best time to visit: Dry Season Elevation: 2,419 m
Without a doubt, this is one of the toughest hikes in Nigeria. Chappal Waddi Mountain, otherwise known as Gangirwal Mountain, is the highest point in Nigeria and the tallest Mountains in West Africa. A typical hike to Chappal Waddi is a tough one with lots of endurance required. This hike is for the strong. The Mountain range falls between the Nigerian side of Gashaka Gumpti park (the largest park in Nigeria) and the Cameroon side. There are guides and tour package design for this hike. Although the steepness is not too sharp, it takes long enduring hours to reach the summit because of the rock wetness which is all year round almost irrespective of what season. At the peak, you’re finally at the top of everyone in West Africa, including the 200 million Nigerian population. There are numerous routes to the top, and the most feasible and used is through the Jauro Hammasale, a typical community lying at the foot of the Gangirwal.
Hike details: Moses Bethel-Tour Guide Mambilla Plateau
Dutsen Mamaki, Jigawa
Length: 20 km │ Level: Difficult │ Est. time: 7-8 hrs (in and out)│ Location: Biliri, an hour drive from Jigawa│ Best time to visit: Dry Season
A vast and unique arrangement of granites in hexagonal blocks at the peak of this hill is thought-provoking and something that leaves you with a mystery to unravel. Dutsen Mamaki is a Hausa phrase for ‘mysterious rock’. With the intense sun of Northeastern Nigeria, getting to the top of the hill requires lots of courage and endurance.
Length: 14 km │ Level: Difficult │ Est. time: 4 hrs (in and out)│ Location: Kaltungo 40 minutes from Gombe metropolis│ Best time to visit: Dry Season
There are about 24 named Mountains in Gombe, Tangale peak being the highest point. Tangale peak or Kilang as it is called in the local Tangale language is the most prominent among the hills of Kilang, a basaltic cone that protrudes out to the onlookers. Kilang hill stands out as soon as you enter the Kaltungo local government area and is 1300m above sea level and about 8 km southwest of Kaltungo, one of the principal settlements of the Tangale people, in southern Bauchi State, northeastern Nigeria.
Hike details: Shaibu Hamza Olobo-Avid Traveller
Length: 10.3 km │ Level: Intermediate│ Est. time: 4 hrs (in and out)│ Location: Erin Ijesha │ Best time to visit: Dry Season Elevation: 674m
Getting to Olumirin waterfalls in Erin Ijesha is pretty straightforward. The waterfall is about from the metropolis. The falls is in different stages, about seven stages and getting to each is a hike to go for. Most people come in to see the first and maybe the second stage and get back. A hike to see the whole stages typically takes about 4 hours in and out. The terrain is quite rocky and requires you climbing and crawling at some point. Towards the end of the hike, the terrain becomes flat and more comfortable. At the end of this hike, you would have walked from Osun to Ekiti where the water source can be located.
Hike details: Mayowa Blades-Naturalist
Length: 12km │ Level: Intermediate│ Est. time: 4 hrs (in and out)│ Location: Owa Onire, Kwara State│ Best time to visit: September-October Elevation: Rocky
The hike starts from the village of Owa Onire. As you hike, you are enchanted with lush forests in the valley where the recreational area nestles. Nature here is pure, unpolluted with fresh air that makes you feel alive. This is a unique waterfall chase, as you get closer you can see and hear the sound the waterfall from afar. The best season to see waterfalls are usually around September- October just after the raining season when the water is at is best, though this period makes the path bushy and you might require some clearing as you hike.
Come with light clothing because you would be doing quite a lot of walking to see around. Wear sneakers or hiking shoes for the light adventure. And don’t forget your camera or binoculars.
Hike details: Adebayo Kehinde-Hike Expert
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON GUARDIAN