An Adventure Traveller's Guide to Nigeria

Biking in Lagos |© Osisiye Tafa
Biking in Lagos |© Osisiye Tafa
Photo of Ayodele Olofintuade
15 September 2017

For adrenaline junkies, Nigeria is not short on several adventure travels that can be had within the borders of the country. From backpacking through uncharted terrains, to hiking, mountain climbing, and other high energy activities that keeps the blood pumping, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore.

Go rock climbing

For those who enjoy the mental and physical intensity of rock climbing, there are several challenging rock formations across Nigeria that has been climbed by people from across the world.

Idanre Hills – made a UNESCO World Heritage site, the hills not only provides a challenging climb (it rises 3000ft above sea level), it also gives the climber a magnificent view of the surrounding landscape which is home to a unique eco-system.

Chappal Waddi – the highest mountain in Nigeria is also the most challenging climb, and it stands at 2,419 metres above its surroundings. It is also known as the ‘mountain of death’ by the locals.

The Zuma Rock– rising 725 metres (2,379 ft) is this monolith composed of gabbro and grandonolite which is located north of Abuja. The rock has several myths surrounding it, but the climb is worth every drop of sweat.

Other recommended climbs include Obudu Mountain, Olumo Rock, Aso Rock and the Ikogosi hills – known as the easiest climb and therefore ideal for newbies.

The Idanre Hills | © Osisiye Tafa, 2017

Go car racing

One of the sports that can get your blood pumping is car racing, and one of the most famous racing events is the Eleko Motor Race in Lagos. There is also the RoadX Racing (a BMW E30 dirt track racing competition), the Drift League, Abuja Street Race and many more motor sports events.

Horse racing in northern Nigeria

As part of the annual Durbar held in most cities of northern Nigeria, horse racing is one of the main events. Definitely an exciting way of getting some blood pumping action, there are several outfits that offer horse-riding lessons and you can also hire horses.

Horse Riders at the Kano Durbar | © Osisiye Tafa

Go kayaking or snorkelling

With the many beaches around Nigeria, it is no surprise that there are many kayaking and snorkelling adventures to enjoy, particularly in the city of Lagos. One of the clubs that provide such services is Kayak Lagos.

Learn how to jetski and surf in Lagos

There are several companies that offer jet-skiing and surfing tours in Lagos; one of them is the Optimel Water Sports, which offers training services, mapped routes, tour guides and equipment to rent.

Superbike road racing

Bike racing is another high-octane activity that you might want to check out. In Abeokuta, the Rock City Motorcycle Club organises bike races for charity. There is also the Nigerian Superbike Road Race, an annual motorcycling sports event held in Edo State. The Rimz and Beatz Car and Bike Show holds annually in Abuja – a speed and music combination that will leave your adrenaline pumping.

A biking club in Lagos | © Osisiye Tafa, 2017

Test your mettle with Mountain Racing

Join a marathon race; there are several that take place annually in Nigeria. One of the most challenging is the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race, an 11.25km winding run up the Obudu Mountains that offer the largest mountain race prize. There’s also the Lagos Marathon, another endurance test that takes place in Lagos. The Okpeke Road Race in Edo is another marathon that the adventure-seeker might want to join.

Have a hiking adventure

Several organisations offer small group hiking tours and camping trips around the country. The Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Field Society (the oldest exploration society in Nigeria) offer hiking and camping trips around Nigeria. Undiscovered Destinations also offer tailor-made hiking and camping options. Naijatreks is ideal for young people who can cope with challenging hiking trips. The IITA Forest Project is situated in Ibadan which is also one of the most explored in the country – try their ‘walks on the wild side’ tour package.

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