Nigeria is an unearthed gem just waiting to be discovered
After all, there are few places in the world where one can find 850km of uninterrupted coastline, just teeming with sandy unspoilt beaches.
Going inland, travellers are confronted with a veritable feast of landscapes. Forests, mountains, savannahs and desert — all can be found within Nigeria’s borders.
Quite simply, there is something for everybody: national parks, UNESCO world heritage sites, ancient villages, incredible waterfalls, and even game reserves featuring rare, enchanting wildlife. All this in a country that enjoys year-round sunshine.
Yet, despite all these natural gifts, the country’s greatest asset must be its people. 150 million in number, Nigeria’s population is amazingly diverse. Muslims, Christians and a host of other religious groups can be found, while an incredible 250 languages are spoken nationwide. There are also hundreds of ethnic groups, with the Hausa in the north, the Yoruba in the south-west and the Igbo in the south-east comprising the dominant three groups.
Nigerians are warm and friendly to outsiders. Most are not used to seeing tourists and travellers who have explored beyond the bustling city of Lagos have been touched by the level of hospitality that they have received.
Until relatively recently, the country’s history of corruption and poverty had dissuaded many travellers from discovering Nigeria’s many treasures. However, with the introduction of democracy in 1999 and the country’s remarkable achievement of becoming the first African nation to pay off its foreign debt, there has never been a better time for the country to expand its tourist sector or for tourists to visit this largely unexplored land.
Ripe for Development
Nigeria’s economy has long been dominated by crude oil since it was discovered in the 1950s. However, recent global instability has encouraged the Nigerian government to diversify and it has recently begun to explore its huge potential for tourism.