Travel has its own definition for each individual and that is precisely the vibe these two lesser explored African countries Nigeria and Ghana understand and provide. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or someone who prefers the calm, they have something for everyone, to suit everyone’s needs.
Both Nigeria and Ghana are located alongside the Gulf of Guinea and are known for their wildlife, natural parks, and beautiful beaches. While English is the common language there, Nigeria has a diverse set of official languages including Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fula, alongside English. Hence communication with the locals or tourist guides is never an ordeal.
These destinations can easily be reached through flights to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria and Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana. Local travel through hired cabs is the most convenient option. Although the two countries are located only 1600 km apart (which in this aspect isn’t a lot at all!), they have such uniqueness is what each country has to offer. The following thread will help the readers gauge a better idea about what to do in Nigeria and Ghana and how to go about it.
Well suited for a family vacation, one of Africa’s most beautiful coast countries, Nigeria is one of the most diverse tourist hotspots as it offers attractions ranging from traditional tribal art and a glimpse into their lifestyles to luxurious resorts, museums, and big city malls. It lets the tourists indulge in various waterside sports like surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, parasailing.
Lagos is the biggest city on the African continent. It is a big and busy city. Nigeria’s largest city offers a National Museum with beautiful artifacts and a whole stretch of beaches, namely Praia Dona Ana and Pinhao Beach. One should even visit the Lekki Conservation Centre and Victoria Island. Lagos is one of the few cities in the country which offer a unique blend of tradition and nature.
A culturally rich and port city, Calabar offers a view into the history of the country with its National Museum and old slave trading ports. It is also home to the luscious rainforests of the Afi Mountains and the Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary. Duke Chapel, one of Nigeria’s oldest ones, is worth a visit too. This is indeed the place for riding a dirt bike. Also, if you want to travel by car and to carry all the bags, roof rack is the way to go. They keep your things secured and you can have all the space inside the car you want.
- Yankari National Park:
Yankari National Park is located in Bauchi state and is known for its African elephants. It is considered to be the most popular tourist destination in the country. Apart from the elephants, it is home to the West African lions, Patas monkey, Tantalus monkey, Roan antelope, African buffalo along with 350 species of birds and flora and fauna.
- Kainji Lake National Park:
Yet another feather in Nigeria’s hat, Kainji Lake National Park spans over two states namely, Niger and Kwara. An interesting fact is that the Kainji Lake isn’t actually an actual lake but a reservoir built in 1968!
Apart from the two mentioned here though Nigeria boasts of quite a few National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries like Gashaka Gumti National Park, Old Oyo National Park, Okuma National Park and such. A wildlife enthusiast and nature lover are definitely advised to explore them all.
Erin Ijesha is a normal small town in Nigeria but what sets it apart and brings it on the list is the Erin-Ijesha Waterfall which draws a lot of tourists to the town. Also known as the Olumirin Waterfall, it is a seven-step waterfall and is actually spread across two different states. It indeed is a mesmerizing sight to behold.
Uyo is a town that presents us with a completely different side of Nigeria. It is a small urban town which has clean, developed roads and an efficient system. One can make a stop there on their way to different cities. The town is filled with high-end boutiques, lavish resorts, golf resort.
One of the safest, most politically stable, financially well off countries of Africa, Ghana was once known as the Gold Coast. But for us common folks, Ghana is associated with chocolate boxes and cocoa beans and there’s no lie there. It is in true sense an indeed modern country and is on the path of rapid development. Due to this stability, it is even a great destination for solo travelers with a knack for exploration or even just solitude.
Ghana’s capital city Accra is a classic modern-day beachside city with 7-star resorts, attractive beaches like the Labadi Beach and the Kokrobite Beach, a National Museum, night clubs, and various shopping complexes. It is the biggest city in Ghana. Yet it is not overcrowded. It’s Jamestown neighborhood is the perfect mix of big city and small town lives and is architecturally rich due to being colonized by both British and Portuguese. The city radiates fun and harmony amongst its entire community.
- Cape Coast:
Cape Coast is located in the southern region of Ghana. It is mostly a fishing port and is adorned with beautiful beaches and exciting beachside activities. It also has the Cape Coast Castle. It is the former capital city of the colonizers and hence it is home to a lot of European style houses and buildings.
- Kakum National Park:
At some distance from Cape Coast, lies the Kakum National park which is home to around 40 mammal species, 60 butterfly species, and about 300 bird species. It is a picturesque park with adventurous bridges and platforms to walk on and explore wildlife.
- Elmina Castle:
The castle is in Elmina city of Ghana. The Portuguese built this Elmina Castle which was known as São Jorge da Mina Castle. The white wonder is the oldest European structure in the country. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. It tells about the hardships faced by Nigeria’s own people at the hands of the colonizers. It stands tall as a symbol of their perseverance and freedom.
Yet another attractive beach town, Awkwidaa boasts of quite a few white sand beaches and more importantly, cocoa plantations selling cocoa beans and chocolate boxes in their souvenir shops. which are a must visit on a trip to Ghana. It a small town but offers a lot to do. There are a variety of other cities, towns, and plantations to visit nearby the town and it can be a comfortable resting stop on the way.
Ghana is definitely a global phenomenon for cocoa where you can surprise your loved ones with amazing experiences.
You now know all the beautiful places around these two vacation destinations, it is still advisable to refer to the internet or a travel book for more, happy traveling.
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. Holding on to her passion for fashion and travel, she believes that traveling helps her see the world and fashion too.”