Niger is a state in North Central Nigeria and is the largest state in the country. The state’s capital is at Minna. The state was created in 1976 when the then North-Western State was separated into Niger State and Sokoto State. Niger State is nicknamed the “Power State” because of the three hydro-electric power stations located within the state; Shiroro, Kainji power, and Jebba power station.
Niger State Has So Many Interesting Places to Visit And This Article Will Tell You the 12 Interesting Places to Visit in Niger State
1. Gurara Waterfalls
Gurara Waterfalls is located in Gurara, a local government area of Niger State. The waterfall is approximately 30 meters in height and it lies on the Gurara River along the Suleja-Minna Road.
According to oral history, Gurara Waterfalls was discovered by a Gwari hunter called Buba in 1745 before some Europeans later re-discovered it in 1925. Before the re-discovery by the Europeans, Gurara Waterfalls was worshipped by people living in communities around it. It was even said that both Gurara Waterfalls and the Gurara River were named after two deities worshiped by the people in the area called Gura and Rara.
Despite the above history, Gurara Waterfalls remains one of the major tourist sites in Niger, and Nigeria at large.
2. Kainji National Park
Kainji Lake National Park was established in 1979 through the merger of Borgu and Zugurma Game reserves. With an impressive area of 5,340sq km, the park is one of the largest in Nigeria—and West Africa. The park is located near the renowned Kainji Lake Hydroelectric Complex, which generates electricity for some of the largest cities in the country.
The park consists of numerous wildlife species including baboons, monkeys, crocodiles, hippopotamus, antelopes, lions and many others.
3. Bino Footprint
According to myth, the footprint is that of a man called Dabo. Dabo was reported to have left Bina village for Gulu. He later left for Kano, but not before he built a mosque at Gulu where he stopped to perform ablution for prayers.
The footprint is still present in Lapai at the top of the rock. Bino footprint is one of the many interesting places to visit in Niger.
4. Baro Empire Hill or Sir Lugard Empire Hill
Baro Empire Hill also known as Lugard Empire Hill is another place to visit in Niger. The hill is a 150ft ground level hill and is the location of Nigeria’s first high-frequency radio station built in 1902 by Lord Fredrick Lugard while he was High Commissioner of Northern Nigerian Protectorate. The hill is located in Baro, under Agaie a Local Government Area of Niger State.
According to sources, the radio station was built for sending and receiving messages from the Queen of England on the administration of the colonial territory and not for public broadcasts. The River Niger can be viewed from Baro Hill. The Hill is also located some 12km away from Baro Port —an important port in the colonial days then.
5. Zungeru Dam
Zungeru Dam is a hydroelectrical power located in Zungeru Local Government in Niger. The 700 megawatts project which started in 2013 is among the largest dams in Nigeria. The project once completed, is expected to generate 2.64 billion kWh of electricity a year— around 10% of Nigeria’s total domestic energy needs. The project will also provide employment to thousands.
This magnificent structure located upstream of the Shiroro Reservoir is truly a sight to behold, and a must-see tourist sight in Niger State.
6. Jebba Power Station
Jebba Power Station is a Hydroelectric power station located in New Bussa, somewhere between Niger and Kwara States. The dam is situated 103 Kilometers from the Kainji Dam and a mere 15km from Mokwa.
The power station has a generating capacity of about 578 Megawatts. Visitors into the State are strongly advised to visit this important site.
7. Zungeru Military Cemetery
Zungeru is an important town in Niger state. The town holds the Zungeru Dam, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Centre, and the Niger State polytechnic. The town also has the Zungeru Military Cemetery, where some of Lord Lugard’s aides— including Dr. A. A. Smith who founded the Scouts Club and the West African Frontier Forces—were buried. The cemetery contains about 100 graves of early white settlers.
Zungeru was the first capital of as the capital of the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria from 1902 until 1916. It was also the home of notable Nigerian figures like Nnamdi Azikwe, Nigeria’s first President, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, leader of Biafra, and Former Nigeria’s Senate President David Mark.
8. First Railway Locomotive Engine
The first steam engine train to work in Northern Nigeria can be found at the Minna railway station. The train was a 0-6-07½ x 12” two-cylinder 2.6” gauge locomotive built by Hunslet Engine Company, England; and it ran on the Wushishi-Zungeru-Barijuko Tramway back then in 1901.
The steam engine facilitated construction works on the railway road that linked Zungeru to Wushishi.
9. Zuma Rock
This impressive rock is located in Madalla North of Abuja. Some part of the breathtaking rock falls in Abuja, through the Kaduna Abuja Expressway. According to traditions, the rock used to serve as a fortress for the Gbagyi people during intertribal wars.
The rock can be visited for outings, picnics, hiking, and relaxations for free. Zuma rock is truly one of the places to visit in Niger. Visitors should however be wary, as the rock is reported to be a hiding place for spirits, masquerades, and spirits of the dead.
An impressive picture of the rock can be found on the 100 Naira note.
10. Mayanka Falls
Mayanka Falls is located on the outskirts of Suleja town. The word Mayanka means ‘slaughter house’ in Hausa.
According to historic sources, The Falls serves as an execution ground for Jihadist spies from Sokoto. The Emir of Zazzau will summarily order the execution of anyone found wandering in the area, thus the name Mayanka. Now, the falls have transformed into an important tourist site where travelers, fun and adventure seekers, hikers, and explorers from all over the country visit.
11. Nagwamatse Well or Rijiyar Nagwamatse
Umaru Nagwamtase was a son of Sultan of Sokoto, and the founder of Kontagora emirate in Niger, also known as the Sarkin Sudan.
Legend has it that Nagwamtase was resting under a tree when he struck the soil with his sword in order to get water for ablution, a spiritual cleansing done prior to prayer in Islam. The water that gushed as a result of this strike became known as ‘Rijiyar Nagwamatse meaning; Nagwamtse’s well. The water spot that resulted from that action still exists as a well in Tadali village, some few kilometers away from Kontagora, and is one of the places to visit in Niger state.
12. Dr Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre
Dr. Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre was Established in 1951 by the late Mr. Micheal Cardew, a renowned British potter. Ladi Kwali was an influential potter from Northern Nigeria and appears on the 20 Naira note.
The center trains local traditional potters in the art of modern pottery making to preserve and protect Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage through the art of pottery making. This is truly one of the interesting places to visit in Niger, which serves as a tourist center for the purchase of souvenirs.