Weekend jaunts are always a good idea. Even more so when you get to make them with amazing people. As I mentioned in this post, I got a chance to explore Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja with Travelstart Nigeria and my friends, Fola of Folaswaka, Lola of Unravelling Nigeria and Mofe of Naija Nomads.
We had 24 hours to see as much as we could in the city, so we channelled our inner James Williams – you know, the host of CNN’s ‘In 24 hours’ – and hit the ground running as soon as we dropped our bags. Our first stop was Magicland Abuja – an amusement park located within the city. We arrived early and were practically the first ones in. We had the park to ourselves giving us a perfect opportunity to let our goofy sides out!
After our stop at the park, we headed to the Nigerian National Mosque and the National Church of Nigeria. The simple, yet the elegant architecture of these buildings were a pleasant surprise. I was equally impressed with the reception and tours we were given. For the mosque, a security guard took us around the building. Even though he didn’t quite say anything about it, we were glad to have a tour none the less.
The reverse was the case at the National Church as our guide was so enthusiastic to tell us every single detail about it! It was generally a good tour and by the time we were done, we were all famished. So we hit a local fast food restaurant for a quick lunch before we continued our tour through the city.
After lunch, we attempted to get to the National Assembly. I say ‘attempted’ because we were prevented from getting anywhere close to it. Apparently, you need to write to the senate and wait a period of 2 weeks to get an authorization to visit.
As we didn’t have any letter, we packed our load and headed to the National Children Park and Zoo, Abuja. The zoo was a bit empty, save for a few animals. So don’t go expecting to see any of the big 5. Actually, scratch that, they had a huge buffalo.
After the National Children Park and Zoo, we visited the Millennium Park, spent some time there before heading to the Arts and Crafts Market, our last destination for the day.
By the end of the day, we were spent and all everyone could think of was dinner and a nice bed. But we had such a fun day, it was all worth it!
Have you visited Abuja before, or do you currently live there? What would be your itinerary if you had only 24 hours to see the city?