Border Gembu – Banyo
The gembu – banyo border crossing between Nigeria and Cameroon is a long way from anywhere. It’s located on the Mambilla Plateau, which rises to about 2000 meters above sea level. The road is a potholed dirt track that passes through several villages en route (picture). Cows pasture on the plateau’s otherwise barren soft rolling hills, which make up the plateau (pic). Up here it’s nicely chilly because of the high altitude.
Nigeria is well-known for the numerous checkpoints along its roads. Some parts have more than others, but the A4, parallel to Cameroon’s border, is a league of its own. You can see from one checkpoint to the next here. Various law enforcement or military agencies guard some checkpoints, while others appear to be controlled by clandestine armed private security forces seeking “opportunities.” On a long day, you may encounter more than 100 check points! Be patient and resolute, and you’ll be able to pass every single one of them without paying a bribe.
Kingdom of Benin
The ancient kingdom of Benin has nothing to do with the modern nation of Benin. It was a state in southwestern Nigeria today. It was founded about the year 1200, although it was subsequently taken over by the British Empire in 1897, when they razed and destroyed Benin City. Until then, Benin City was known for its city walls, which were constructed out of ditches and banks.The city is divided into east and west sides, with a bridge intended to link them. It’s one of the world’s biggest pre-mechanical construction projects, with a length of 15 kilometers within the city and 16,000 kilometers on the outside (yes, it sounds like there’s a zero in there). Unfortunately, despite their ditches no longer existing, UNESCO has recognized their traces on the Tentative List (not the official list). A “world heritage site” sign has already been installed over Igun Street. (se
Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city with a population of more than 20 million people, is also Africa’s largest metropolis (though exact numbers aren’t available). Though it is the economic core of Nigeria, Abuja is the national capital. It’s obviously enormous and sprawling. It does not have a typical city centre; rather, it is divided into neighborhoods.The islands (Victoria Island and Lagos Island) are the refined sector of Lagos, where Ikoyi is the wealthiest neighborhood with a slew of embassies. Ikeja, near the airport, is a well-ordered commercial center with some activity in the markets. Of course, there are slums and insane congested districts, although they have little appeal for most tourists, perhaps excluding Makoko stilt village, which may be seen from the expressway at the 3rd Mainland Bridge.
The city of Abeocuta, on the island of Elele in Ogun State, has Lumo Rock, which is more like a small hill within the city. It was utilized by the Egba people as a natural fortress during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century. The elevator has been out of commission for ages, but the pathways are simple; else there is no more daring route between the rocks (be cautious because the boulders are smooth).Abeokuta from the top offers stunning panoramic views of the historic city. The First Church of Nigeria, the Central Mosque, and the River Ogu should all be visible. With crumbling Brazilian and Cuban mansions constructed by former slaves, the area surrounding the rock is rather lovely.
Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove
In the south of Nigeria, one of the last remnants of primeval forest in the country can be found near Oshogbo. The River Goddess Oshuno is a fascinating Yoruba sanctuary with magnificent views of the primary jungle located on the bank of the river. Suzanne Wenger, an Austrian artist who was present in Nigeria in the 1950s, created sculptures along this route. In search of bananas, curious monkeys patrol the path nearby. The sacred grove comprises 75 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Palace of Ooni of Ife
The Palace of Ooni of Ife, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, was erected in the 18th century and is the heart of Yoruba history and culture. The actual palace of Ooni is off limits, but the king’s assistants (who usually hang around the entrance) will show you the shrines if “you give me something” (about N500 each).
Pandrillus Drill Ranch
Pandrillus has a drill ranch in the Afi Mountains about 300 kilometers south of Calabar, where monkeys are trained (drills and other monkey species). You may go to their headquarters in Calabar if you don’t have the chance to do so far. There, you’ll find cages with various uncommon primate species, such as drills. In Calabar, there are numerous ranches, but only one is owned by Pandrillus.
By the way, Calabar is one of Nigeria’s most beautiful cities.
The countryside around Zaki Biam is dotted with villages made up of circular mudhuts with thatched roofs, similar to the rest of rural eastern Nigeria. The village itself has a vibrant market full of activity. Although they seem curious and reserved, the locals may be hesitant because they don’t encounter foreign tourists very often.