World Heritage Sites in Nigeria

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World Heritage Sites in Nigeria

Send money to your family back in Nigeria for an educational tour of the World Heritage Sites.

World Heritage Sites are designated by the UNESCO for having cultural, social, historical or scientific significance and to have a value to humanity. The purpose behind declaring a site a World Heritage Site is to safeguard places of high historical, cultural or natural importance. Any site that is selected as a heritage site has a unique geographical and historical identity with special cultural or physical significance. Such sites can either be ancient ruins, historical structures, deserts, forests, lakes, islands or monuments. Every country has its own list of heritage sites. Nigeria has two such heritage sites on its land. They are the Sukur Cultural Landscape and the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove.

The Sukur Cultural Landscape

Located in the Adamawa state of Nigeria along Nigeria/ Cameroon border, the Sukur Cultural Landscape is a hilltop settlement with a recorded history of flourishing trade, iron smelting technology and a rich cultural and political history.

At the site, one can find old Iron Age relics such as iron furnaces, iron ore, grindstones as well as some neolithic period relics.

Recent history can be traced back to the Dur Dynasty in the 17th century. This dynasty was a major supplier of raw materials for production of iron to north-eastern Nigeria.

In the early 20th century, the region had to bear the unfortunate invasions from chiefs of neighbouring Madagali. This led to a decline in iron smelting. The area was then colonised by the British but this did not affect the cultural style of the settlement.

The landscape constitutes of two parts, the upper and the lower. The upper part is where the palace of the chief is located inside a large enclosure. It is the home to the chief of the clan till date. There is a cemetery close to the palace.

The lower part is the settlement of common folk with simple circular huts built of clay with thatched roofs. An outstanding feature of the settlement is the naturally terraced fields used for farming.


A sacred grove lying on the banks of the Osun River on the outskirts of the Osogbo village, Osun-Osogbo is the second World Heritage Site of Nigeria.

This grove is centuries old and is one of the few surviving sacred forests that adjoined the Yoruba cities before urbanisation.

Desecration of the grove began in the 1950s with priests abandoning the grove and the shrines being neglected along with large scale felling of trees for firewood and construction along with other prohibited activities such as fishing and hunting.

An Austrian, Susanne Wenger adopted the Yoruba culture after an illness and took to reinstate the traditional protections. Today it is a World Heritage Site with protection from the UNESCO.

A visit to any World Heritage site can be an educational treat to children and adults alike. Send money to Nigeria to family back home to visit one of the heritage sites and learn about the ancient culture of the homeland.

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