South-South Nigeria’s Ten Must-Visit Historical Sites

Shefiu Muib
By Muib Shefiu 5 Min Read

South-South Nigeria, a region known for its vibrant culture, natural beauty, and historical significance, offers a treasure trove of historical sites that tell the story of its diverse peoples and their rich heritage. From ancient kingdoms to colonial relics, here are ten must-visit historical sites in South-South Nigeria.

1. Benin City Walls and Moat, Edo State

Image source: school of Africa

The ancient Benin City Walls and Moat are among the most impressive architectural feats in pre-colonial Africa. Built during the height of the Benin Empire, these structures were designed to protect the city from invasions. Today, they stand as a testament to the ingenuity and engineering prowess of the Benin people.

2. Oba’s Palace, Benin City, Edo State

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The Oba’s Palace in Benin City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and serves as the residence of the Oba of Benin. The palace complex, with its intricate carvings and historical artifacts, offers a deep dive into the history and culture of the Benin Kingdom.

3. Mary Slessor House, Calabar, Cross River State 

Mary Slessor, a Scottish missionary, is celebrated for her humanitarian work in Nigeria, including stopping the killing of twins in Calabar. Her house, now a museum, showcases her life and contributions to the region, providing visitors with a glimpse into the colonial era and missionary activities.

4. Old Residency Museum, Calabar, Cross River State

The Old Residency Museum, also known as the Government House, is a colonial building that once served as the seat of the British colonial administration in Nigeria. It now houses a museum that exhibits artifacts from Nigeria’s colonial past and the rich cultural heritage of Cross River State.

5. Kwa Falls, Cross River State

Image source: Wikipedia

Located in the Oban division of the Cross River National Park, Kwa Falls is a breathtaking natural wonder. The cascading waterfall is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, offering a serene and picturesque environment. The site holds historical significance as part of the broader natural and cultural heritage of the region.

6. National Museum, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The National Museum in Port Harcourt provides an extensive collection of artifacts that showcase the diverse cultures of the Niger Delta. From traditional musical instruments to masks and carvings, the museum offers insights into the artistic heritage of the South-South region.

7. King Jaja of Opobo’s Palace, Rivers State

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

King Jaja of Opobo was a powerful merchant king in the Niger Delta who established Opobo as a significant trading hub in the 19th century. His palace, a symbol of his wealth and influence, is a historical site that tells the story of indigenous leadership and resistance against colonial powers.

8. Cenotaph of the Women’s War of 1929, Abia State

Image source: Commons Wikimedia

The Women’s War of 1929, also known as the Aba Women’s Riot, was a major protest against British colonial policies. The cenotaph commemorates the brave women who stood up against colonial rule and fought for their rights, making it a powerful symbol of resistance and empowerment.

9. Isaac Boro Garden Park, Port Harcourt, Rivers State

Image source: Commons Wikimedia

Named after the famous Niger Delta activist Isaac Boro, this park serves as both a recreational space and a historical monument. Isaac Boro’s struggle for the rights of the Niger Delta people is commemorated here, highlighting the region’s ongoing quest for justice and equity.

10. The Ibeno Beach, Akwa Ibom State

Image source: Daily Trust

Ibeno Beach, one of the longest beaches in West Africa, is not only a natural wonder but also a site of historical significance. It was a strategic location during the Nigerian Civil War and has since become a place where history meets leisure, offering visitors a serene environment to reflect on the past.


South-South Nigeria’s historical sites provide a window into the past, offering valuable lessons and insights into the region’s rich cultural tapestry. From ancient kingdoms to colonial landmarks, these sites are essential for anyone interested in understanding the history and heritage of this vibrant region. Whether you are a history enthusiast, a cultural explorer, or simply a curious traveler, these ten historical sites should be on your must-visit list.

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