Create Lasting Memories in Abuja
Named as the fastest growing city in the world, Abuja attracts a lot of tourists, year in and year out. Abuja is strategically located in the center of the country and is referred to as the Federal Capital Territory. Here are my tips for places to explore and activities to indulge in while visiting Abuja.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Usuma Dam in Bwari Area Council is a perfect spot to picnic and soak in sunlight and serenity of the rocky landscape and water. Locals can sometimes be spotted fishing or set their traps. It is also a good location for hiking.
Jabi Lake and Boat Club
Jabi Lake is an aquatic haven for Abuja residents. The lake offers an outdoor experience for fun seekers. Enjoy a cool breeze after a hard day’s work. Jabi Boat Club provides an escape from the hustle and bustle. It is stylishly decorated with an ethnic flair, making it one of the hottest spots in town and a beloved destination for fairs and creative events.
Arts & Crafts market
For arts and craft lovers, there are a lot of local markets where you can find souvenirs and crafts from across Nigeria.
A few of my favorite arts and crafts markets are:
- Handicraft Village at the Hilton Hotel
- Abuja Arts & Crafts Village in Central Area
- Thought Pyramid Arts Center.
Walk around each market and mingle with local vendors to find great souvenirs to take home.
Picturesque landscape and architecture
Abuja has a picturesque landscape and simply driving around is a delight. The architecture around Abuja will wow anybody. My favorite buildings include the Christian Centre, National Mosque, National Assembly and the minaret which is under construction.
Sarius Palmetum and Botanical Garden
Sarius Palmetum and Botanical Garden is a great place for you to sit and relax under the hot sun while sipping on wine and enjoying finger foods. The Botanical Garden has a nursery where you can buy different types of plants, especially palms.
Nike Art Gallery
Located on the Airport Road on the outskirts of the city center in a community called Piwoyi is the Nike Art Gallery. The gallery features permanent exhibitions of art by the masters as well as upcoming artists. It is a great destination to learn about adire fabrics and the unique styles of Nike Davis, Nigeria’s adire matriarch.
IBB Golf course
Golf lovers have a place in Abuja at the IBB International Golf & Country Club on Aso Drive. The IBB Golf Course is near the Nigerian National Assembly and the Presidential Villa. Although the golf course is in a heavily developed part of Abuja you can still see animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, and pythons in their natural habitat. These animals share the course with golfers and their visitors. Whether you are an amateur or a professional golfer, the 18-hole course is a great place for you to enjoy Abuja’s glorious weather. It has an impressive driving range, a short game area with a great terrace with the best view in Abuja.
Parks, Parks, and More Parks
Maitama Amusement Park – If you are looking for a fun amusement park that your kids will enjoy I suggest visiting Maitama Amusement Park. This park includes a selection of restaurants, merry go rounds, swings, bumper boats, and even slides. Everyone will have fun exploring this attraction.
National Children’s Park and zoo situated in the Asokoro District, behind the Presidential Villa, the National Children’s Park and Zoo is a haven for animal lovers. There is plenty of wildlife to admire here, such as giraffes, crocodiles, elephants, camels, monkeys, tortoises, ostriches, zebras and more. Playgrounds and other exciting activities make this place the perfect hangout spot in Abuja for kids
Gurara Falls – For those wishing to go an extra mile outside the metropolis, Gurara Falls next door in Suleja is a picturesque landscape with a variety of outdoor activities. The water is cool and the ponds beneath the fall are perfect for a good swimming spot.
Zuma Rock – Popularly referred to as the “Gateway to Abuja”, Zuma Rock is a must-see in Abuja. Located in Niger State, within the outskirts of Abuja, Zuma Rock is a large monolith that bestrides the skies of Abuja. It rises immediately north of Nigeria’s capital Abuja, along the side of the expressway connecting Kaduna to Abuja.
After you explore the parks around Abuja you’ll probably have a big appetite. Head on over to Life Camp where you can taste some delicious barbeque. There are also several small bars reputable for their food and fun environments where you can enjoy roasted meat, fish, and cold beer. My favorite is the Caramelo Lounge & Bar on Augustus Aikhomu Way in Utako District. With a capacity to sit about 50 guests, the Bar offers live band, club DJs and dancers every evening. It also serves assorted beverages and culinary favorites like pepper soup, roasted fish and fries, grilled meat called ‘Suya’ in local parlance.
Start planning your vacation today, we can’t wait to welcome you to Abuja, this city is a metroplex of amazing experiences, great outdoor activities, and beautiful sights to see.