Nigeria Tourist Attractions
The Ikom Monoliths, known as Akwanshi or Atal by the local people, are found scattered in some 30 communities in the Cross National Park. In each community, the stones are found in circles, facing each other standing erect, except where they have been affected by the elements or tampered with by man.
The Ikom monoliths were constructed between 2500 BC and 1 AD and are between 1 to 1.8 metres (3 to 6 feet) high. The monoliths are carved from basaltic rock, sandstone or shelly limestone, and are decorated with geometric carvings and human features (including eyes, mouth, beard, naval, hands and other facial marks). Each stone is unique.
The meanings of the symbols have been lost over time, but the geometric shapes suggest an understanding of mathematics and a writing system.
Find out more: www.crossrivertourism.com
Osun Sacred Grove, on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, is one of the last remnants of tropical high forest in southern Nigeria. Regarded as the abode of the goddess of fertility Osun, one of the pantheon of Yoruba gods, the site is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other deities.
The sacred grove is probably the last example of Yoruba culture. It testifies to the once widespread practice of establishing sacred groves outside all settlements.
Find out more about Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove and other attractions in the area: www.cometonigeria.com
The Benin Empire was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in Africa. The old city featured one of the first examples of street lighting. It was regarded by the Portugeuse as one of the best planned cities – carefully designed according to rules of symmetry and proportionality. Unfortunately, due to conflicts over the centuries, little of this remains. Still, Benin City is still an important centre for traditional arts and there are a few places to see remnants of the old city.
Note: Benin City is not to be confused with the Republic of Benin.
Benin City Wall
The city was enclosed by massive walls with moats, which according to estimates was 4 times longer than The Great Wall of China. Most of these were destroyed by the British in 1898, however portion of the remaining old city wall can be found along Murtala Muhammed Way.
Benin Brass Work
Benin is known as the home of the best bronze casters in West Africa. Bronze casters can be found around the city.
The Oba is a traditional term for the ruler of Benin City. The Oba’s Palace has stood in the same place for over 700 years, however it had to be rebuilt in 1914 after being destroyed by the British in 1897. If you are planning to visit the palace, you need to obtain permission in Lagos. You should also take note of the following.
Plaque from the original Oba Temple
More things to do in Benin City: www.cometonigeria.com