Unraveling the East: Top Five destinations
There are many factors that limit the East as a tourist attraction in Nigeria but one major reason is the distance between Lagos and the East. What does Lagos have to do with this, you ask? Well, Lagos is a cosmopolitan city with the highest population in Nigeria and typically the hub where most things start from. If there are any tourists in Nigeria, most them arrive in Lagos first.
The success of tourist destinations in the South-West like Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Erin Ijesha Waterfalls in Osun, Idanre hills in Ondo and the rest are because of their proximity to Lagos. This does not limit tourist destinations in Nigeria as a whole. This is an expose into top destinations to visit in Eastern Nigeria.
Ogbunike Caves Anambra
Positioned in a valley behind Ogba hills and surrounded by streams and body of water which include the Ogba River which happens to be the largest. The caves are occupied by a large colony of bats of various sizes and tourist have to take 317 descending stairs to get to the entrance of the cave where visitors are required to take off their shoes because of traditional rites. Visitors are also required to drop some money at the entrance of the cave, which they claim is for the gods and separate from the entrance fees. It’s an ideal tourist destination for adventurous and curious people.
Ngwo Pine Forest Enugu
Located on the outskirts of Enugu state in the quiet community Ngwo is a large collection of pine trees in a beautiful formation and an amazing view of the hills. The pine forest is perfect for picnics, relaxation and even adventure. The forest also houses a cave and waterfall deep which is a 30-minute trek into the thick forest to access. There’s no standard entrance fee or procedure which needs to be addressed. However, to explore the forest, one needs to involve a local to act as a guide and should be compensated.
Awhum Waterfalls Enugu
The waterfall is located in Amaugwe village of Udi local government. The waterfall is the effect of a massive outcrop of granite rock with water cascading over the top forming a stream. The fall is 30 meters high and a section of it is always warm throughout the year. The water is also said to be curative, therefore it attracts quite many religious tourists who believe in its healing powers. It takes about 45 minutes from the parking lot to the get to the waterfall, so that is quite an adventure! To get in, one needs the permission from a Catholic monastery, which is currently guarding it. This site is good for tourism enthusiasts, hikers and geographers willing to learn more about nature.
National War Museum Abia
The National War Museum located in Umuahia was established in 1985 to preserve the memories and relics of the Nigerian civil war also known as Biafran war, which took place from 1967 to 1970. The war museum has the highest collection of weapons used during the Civil war, from both sides. The museum attracts lots of visitors and is ideal for the perseverance of the Nigerian history.
Nike Lake Resort Enugu
Situated on the banks of Nike lake in Enugu is the Nike Lake Resort with hotel rooms, swimming pools, sporting facilities, restaurants and bars. It’s much different from the outdoor vibe of the other destination as it gives you the time to relax, rejuvenate and have fun. The serene and tranquil environment is endearing as one can easily take a walk near the lake or have a picnic without any disturbance.
A major issue faced with other tourism destinations in the East is the lack of maintenance which needs to be fixed.