With over 500 spoken languages
, the American CIA estimating it to have over 250 ethnic groups
and a United Nations population estimate of about one third of Europe
(about 180 million people) - making it the 7th largest country by population in the world - Nigeria's significance is arguably not limited to just Africa but indeed spans the entire planet!
So, why is so little known about this country
of countries which is over 900,000 square kilometers in size - or enough land to fit Germany, Norway and Italy altogether - unimaginable diversity and an obscene abundance of resources?
The BBC London "Welcome to Lagos" series
give some interesting insights of its 16 million strong, densely populated capital city! However, whilst its national literacy rate is only modest (at about 50%), Nigeria is indeed the original home of internationally renown geniuses like the English Literature Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka
For the travel adventurer, there is lots to behold... Ancient architecture, colourful traditions, and intriguing cultural diversity... Music is another significant passion of this mysterious country - with the likes of the controversially inspirational Fela Kuti
- who created his very own Afro Beat genre - the "masked" and extremely colourful Lágbájá
, the more contemporary Bez
, and the up and coming Chykay
being some of the numerous big characters...
Regardless of the pockets of bad news that make all the headlines, Nigerian is actually a country of happy people, fun loving and down to earth people at heart... From the remote desert encroaching villages of the northern Sahel Savana region of this Sub Saharan African country, to its southern beaches and diverse rain forests, a smiling face is never far away... One only needs to open one's eyes, keep an extremely open mind and be prepare to embrace an experience of a lifetime!
So, whether it be a desire to track some of the worlds most endangered species - such as the baby "Mandrill" monkey I previously discussed
- an escapade into the rarely trodden game reserves of the middle belt or a slightly more relaxing soaking up of its seemingly unlimited offerings of sun and culture, Nigeria has an abundance of riches to offer the truly adventurous at heart!
The easy summary here is that, in Nigeria, the "dreamtime" photographic opportunities are - indeed - limitless!
Thanks for listening!