Abuja, also known as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is said to be the 8th (eighth) most populous state in Nigeria and the country’s capital, located in the central geographic region of the country. For a nation as rich in natural landmarks and archaeological troves as Nigeria, you will not be wrong in expecting that its capital is not lacking in that regard. Due to the Federal Capital Territory’s terrain, there are hundreds of sites in Abuja to explore and admire. Now, let us delve in to see some of the sites and attractions that you can visit as a tourist in Abuja.
This 300 metre (980ft) high monolith made up of igneous rock stands tall at the entrance of the federal capital territory, as you exit Kaduna State. Popularly dubbed; “The gateway to Abuja”, it is indeed a sight to see. It holds a rich history as well as tales and myths. Zuma rock was once a place for strategic retreat in the olden times of war. Today, there are many legends and myths surrounding the monolith. Depending on your angle of perception you might be able to spot the famous ‘face’ of Zuma rock. Hiking and rock climbing activities are somewhat prohibited around the monolith due to the presence of snakes and the steepness of the Rock itself.
#2 MILLENNIUM PARK
Fancy taking a walk down the pathways of a serene and beautiful environment? If you do, then the Abuja Millennium Park is the place to be. The millennium park covers an area of a little over 80 acres of Nigerian soil. It is said to be the largest public park in all of Abuja. It can be considered, to a certain extent, a theme park, in that various zones in the park, are dedicated to certain aspects of life; from its eco-friendly themed parts that showcase nature and forest preservation, to its other side that showcases its appreciation of the human knowledge and understanding of science and the ecosystem. Tourists from Italy would like its layout thanks to Manfredi Nicoletti; the Italian architect responsible for designing this masterpiece. The millennium park can be found at Maitama.
For those of us with a more religious flare, searching for a place of wonder and awe, as well as tranquillity and something divine, then search no more, The Abuja National Mosque is a place that provides all these and more. From its marvellous work of architecture to its stunning aesthetics, it is no wonder why this place attracts so many tourists of all religions from various parts of the world. The thirty-seven (37) year old structure, with a built-in library, is accessible to Muslims and non-Muslims alike at all times, save for during congregational prayers. Note that the Abuja National Mosque is located at independence avenue in Abuja City.
#4 ASO ROCK
Just like Zuma rock, Aso rock is another massive natural landmark that defines Abuja. It would be remiss to visit the city of Abuja without taking a trip to Aso rock. There are so many things that make this place worth visiting, but the most popular and perhaps the most important one is that Aso Rock is home to the Presidential Villa; the place where the president lives. The word “Aso”, was gotten from the Asoroko people and it means “Victory” or “Victorious” depending on the context in which it is used. Also found around its environs are the National assembly as well as the National (Nigerian) Supreme Court.
#5 IBB INTERNATIONAL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB
This country and golf club is widely acclaimed worldwide as one of the best of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. It offers a variety of activities from tennis to cycling and of course, golfing. There is also a lot to admire as regards the landscape and scenery. You can also find some wild animals residing in their natural habitat. One striking thing is the fact these creatures form a seemingly symbiotic relationship with the golfers in the area. It can be found in around Aso Rock, close to the presidential villa and the National assembly.
#6 HILLTOP LIFE CAMP
For those of you searching for a romantic retreat, then the Hilltop Life Camp is just the place for you. With dreamy landscapes and beautiful sceneries, you and your partner are sure to be teleported to nirvana. It can be located deep at Jabi, the heart of the city of Abuja, where lots of tourists can troop in.
#7 JABI LAKE
Jabi Lake is known to be a hot spot for tourists in Abuja. For those lovers of water-related fun activities, Jabi Lake is the right spot for you. Considering the fact that Abuja is a land-locked city, it comes as no surprise that residents and tourists consider Jabi Lake a haven. Beach volleyball, boat rides, and underwater exploration are only a few of the activities this paradise has to offer.
#8 ARTS AND CRAFT VILLAGE
Also known as Abuja Arts and craft village is the ultimate hub for arts and crafts in the city of Abuja. Is can be found sitting behind the silver bird galleria in the CBD or central business district. Housing a variety of artworks and cultural and traditional historic artefacts; art lovers can happily call this a utopia.
#9 SARIUS PALMETUM AND BOTANICAL GARDEN
For all plant enthusiasts and botanists, the Sarius Palmetum and Botanical Garden is truly a place to be. Even for those who are not particularly plant lovers, you would find that the environment exudes a rather relaxing aura. You can purchase any variety of plants, including palms, as well as relax and snack in the serene environment.
#10 MAGIC LAND AMUSEMENT PARK
What is a tour of a city like Abuja if you don’t visit an amusement park? Formerly referred to as Wonderland Amusement park, this amusement park has it all, from rollercoasters to Ferris wheels and so many other fun rides. It welcomes both kids and adults to have as much fun as they can within its borders.
To sum it all up, Abuja has it all. It does not matter your preference, as long as you are in this city, you would see something that catches your fancy. Enjoy your stay in the Federal Capital Territory and have the best of times.