Nigeria is not called the “Giant of Africa” for nothing. It’s a country that houses some of the best states in the world.
The states in Nigeria also have various ethnic groups with cultures and traditions that distinguish them from each other, even though they still belong to one Nigeria.
From the North, South, to the East and West, states in Nigeria have some unique tourist attractions that will keep you informed and entertained.
So if you love adventures and have been looking for the best place to visit in Nigeria, we’ve got you covered in this article as we take you through the 10 best places to visit in Kwara state.
Kwara state is one of the most underrated states in Nigeria when it comes to tourism.
However, you’ll be shocked to find out that Kwara state has some of the best tourist attractions in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
In this article, we’ll be exposing you to a brief history of Kwara state and the 10 best places to visit in Kwara state.
The information therein will give you a different perspective about Kwara state and show you why you should add it to your bucket list when you’re looking for the best places to visit in Nigeria.
A Brief History of Kwara State
In 1967, Kwara state was created after the military government divided Nigeria into 12 new states. Even though Kwara state is not as populated as some states in Nigeria, it boasts of diverse ethnic groups and cultures, including Yoruba, Bariba (Baatonu), Nupe, Busa (Bokobaru), and Fulani.
Kwara State has 16 local government areas, and its capital is Ilorin. Its population is estimated to be about 3.2 million.
Kwara state is currently part of North Central Nigeria and boasts of agriculture, tourism, and numerous educational institutions.
10 Best Places to Visit in Kwara State
Apart from the shopping malls, cinemas, and ultramodern markets you can find in Kwara state, below are the top 10 places you should visit.
If you wish to behold the magnificence of nature, then you should try to visit Owu waterfall, located in Owa Kajola in Ifelodun local government area (LGA) of Kwara State.
This waterfall has attracted tourists from every part of Nigeria and abroad, making it one of the major tourist attractions in Kwara state.
Owu waterfall is said to be among the highest waterfalls in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a height of 120 meters above sea level.
The greenery and radiant natural environment that surrounds Owu waterfall make it a great place to visit in Kwara state, especially for those who love to be surrounded by nature.
This is a significant tourist attraction in Nigeria that hasn’t been paid adequate attention.
The reason for its high significance is that Esie museum is the first museum in Nigeria.
It was built in 1945 and houses diverse ancient soapstone figures, sculptures, and artifacts.
Esie museum is situated in Esie, in Irepodun LGA.
As its name implies, Oktuta Ilorin means “stone for sharpening metal” in Yoruba.
The history of this rock makes it a significant tourist attraction and one of the best places to visit in Kwara state because it’s instrumental to how the city of Ilorin was named.
Okuta Ilorin is said to be the ancient stone that one of the founders of Ilorin, Ojo Isekuse, used to sharpen his metal tools during ancient times.
The ancient stone is located at Idi-Ape Quarters in Ilorin. It’s definitely a monument you should see.
Okuta Ilorin is not the only “rocky” attraction in Kwara state; Sobi Hill is equally a tourist site to behold.
It is one of the tallest hills in Ilorin and Kwara state as a whole. When you climb the hill, you get to see a breathtaking view of many parts of Ilorin.
Sobi Hill is absolutely one of the best places to visit for sightseeing and hill climbing.
Ilorin central mosque
Ilorin Central Mosque is not just a religious site, it’s highly significant and has become a national monument due to its spectacular architectural structure.
Ilorin central mosque was built in 1981 and has become the second-largest mosque in Nigeria, which has continued to attract both Muslim and non-Muslim visitors from across the country and beyond.
Aside from the golden domes that accentuate its beauty, Ilorin central mosque is majestically situated right beside the Emir of Ilorin’s palace. This helps to give you two national monuments to behold and explore in Ilorin at a go! How cool can that get?
Emir of Ilorin’s palace
The Emir’s Palace carries the culture and history of the ancient city of Ilorin. This makes it a major tourist attraction in Kwara State.
It’s a magnificent building that perfectly complements Ilorin central mosque, and it thoroughly exemplifies what Ilorin is all about.
If you’re looking for the best place to visit in Kwara when it comes to shopping for unique and beautiful pottery items, then you should head straight to Dada Pottery.
It is the largest and oldest traditional pottery-making industry, situated at Dada community in Okelele, Ilorin East Local Government of Kwara state.
Dada pottery is filled with different pottery products mainly made by women and sold to buyers and visitors.
Patigi beach is not just a regular beach, it’s also a great place to socialize, engage in sightseeing, fishing, among other fun activities.
There is a pavilion complex that the government has constructed to keep visitors entertained while at the beach.
The annual boat race is another spectacular event that draws tourists to Patigi, Kwara State. You’re in for a memorable experience when you visit Patigi beach.
Jebba Tourist Site
Here is another remarkable tourist attraction in Jebba Town, Kwara State.
The tourist site is meant to illustrate the history of European presence in Jebba.
The monuments and attractions you’ll find in Jebba Tourist Site include; Mungo Park’s cenotaph, the historical cemetery, Jebba colony, Juju Rock, and Ahoyaya waterfall.
Kanji Lake National Park
Just like Esie Museum, Kanji Lake National Park happens to be the first National park in Nigeria. It was established in 1978 by Decree 46.
The park is located in Kaiama Area of Kwara State, with some of its parts extending to Niger state.
It’s a recreational center and tourist attraction with three major areas. They include; the Zugurma game reserve, Borgu game reserve, and Kainji Lake, which is open to restricted fishing activities.
Kanji Lake National Park is home to diverse types of animals and wildlife, ranging from crocodiles, cheetahs, monkeys to different species of birds.
It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Kwara state when it comes to fun and recreational activities.
Kwara State doesn’t have the “State of Harmony” slogan for nothing. It’s a state that truly lives by its name because it harmonizes different cultures and tribes under one umbrella. And when it comes to tourism, Kwara state has a lot to offer to keep you entertained. The 10 best places to visit in Kwara state that we’ve discussed above will give you an unforgettable adventure to cherish if you plan to visit Kwara state anytime soon.