Located in North-Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Niger State was formed in 1976, and divided into twenty-five local government areas. Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and one of the largest states in the country.
The state is rich in culture and tourism; it got its name from one of the major rivers in Nigeria, River Niger. The state’s capital is at Minna and other major cities are Bida, Kontagora and Suleja.
Apart from River Niger, the state also boasts of having the biggest hydroelectric dam in Nigeria, the Kainji Dam.
Tapping into the prestige and elegance of Abuja, Niger state is a perfect corridor to survive the steep expenses of Nigeria’s capital city in addition to having an abundance of tourist attractions. This readily makes it a choice destination for tourist, business executives and foreigners.
Here are some tourist sites you should consider visiting in Niger State:
- Gurara Waterfalls
The Gurara Waterfalls, which is one of the largest and most fascinating in Nigeria is geographically located in Niger State on the road between Suleja and Minna. The waterfalls span 200 meters across with a sheer drop of 30 meters. The best time to visit the waterfall is during January when the falls are a trickle and visitors can swim in clear pools at its bottom, while between April and October, the volume of water is very high. At Gurara waterfalls, small streams divert from the main Gurara River running softly around rocks on top of the cliff, in the narrow rugged pass and dashing out from the cliff with great force.
The water from this waterfall shines under the sun and it is as beautiful as fireworks falling into a pond some 20 meters below before returning to tranquility.
There are two main streams of waterfalls, but in the rainy season, the whole cliff would be covered with a curtain of waterfalls. That means tourist would have to make a daring walk to get a closer view of the waterfall.
Currently, the waterfall is now much more renovated with a mini-bar and a pavilion placed at the venue for the use of tourists. The Gurara waterfall is a prime tourist destination ideal for picnics, bird watching and appreciating nature and has become one of the biggest natural tourist attractions in Nigeria.
The grandeur of this waterfall is inundating as it treats tourists with an atmosphere of ecstasy and tranquil.
- Brass/Glasswork, Bida
Another significant tourist site in Niger state is the Brass and Glasswork in Bida, which is famous for its handcrafts and colourful market. This location is well known for its glass beads, clothes, silver and brass work, carved eight-legged stools made from a single piece of wood and decorative pottery. Bida brass works was established by Etsu Usman, Zaki in 18th century in Bida town, Niger state and it is notable as the home of beautiful brass works.
Bida, which is home to beautiful brass works, tells the story of its people via artistic expressions of copper and zinc
- Mayanka Falls
Next on the list of significant tourist sites in Niger State is the famous Mayanka fall, which is one of the nature’s gift surrounded with lush vegetation and appreciative landscape.
However, the falls has been in existence for over 200 years, yet people exude fear when they hear of the name Mayanka Falls because of what it was before it became a tourist centre as the Mayanka Falls was formerly a place to dish out punishment to criminals.
The Falls has the potential to be a place where electricity can be generated at a mini hydropower level.
- Zuma Rock
The Zuma Rock is a gigantic and imposing natural phenomenon that needs no description for anyone who enters the city; it is a large, beautiful rounded natural rock formation that raises high into the sky, taking a large swath of land and presenting a fascinating background.
This beautiful, giant rock was used as a shield of defense by the Gwari natives against invading neighboring tribes during inters tribal wars. The rock is believed to possess certain powers, which rendered enemies powerless and provided the natives with a good hiding place. As the tourists gets closer, a human-like face becomes visible with engravings representing the sockets, the nose and the mouth on the side of the rock that faces Abuja road.
Zuma rock represents a beautiful and unique natural work of rock formation and offers a good environment for picnics and relaxation. Tourists can visit the rocky site for picnics and relaxation during festive periods.
- Bina Footprints
The footprints also called (Dauda Woyaba) footprints in the local language are visible footprints seen on a rock at a hilltop in Bina village, close to Muye just some kilometers off east of Lapai. Over the years, fables had it that these footprints were that of one Dabo, who moved from Bina to Gulu, where he observed his ablution rites for prayer and then built a mosque before moving out again to Kano.
These footprints are still visible on the rock at Bina hilltop and have become an attraction site or tourists who desire to see this amazing work or art and nature.
- Kainji Lake National Park
The Kainji Lake National Park was established in 1979 by the merger of Borgu and Zugurma game reserves, which covers an area of 5,340sq km. This is one of the largest parks in Nigeria and West Africa and is closely linked with the famous Kainji Lake hydroelectric complex.
Kainji National Park has beautiful environment and it is one of Nigeria’s inland jewels and contains a wide variety of Nigeria’s flora resources with all kinds of animals around the forest.
Indeed, it is a fabulously magnificent hub for sightseeing and an A-list choice for tourists to visit.
Kainji Lake Park boasts of abundant wildlife such as antelopes, lions, hippopotamus, buffalo, roan antelopes, baboons, monkeys, duikers, crocodiles, elephants etc.
It is a conservation center aimed at promoting the biodiversity of Nigerian wildlife.