“Tourism in adult it is experience, while in youth it is fun”. Tourism experiences bring out the opportunity to know, observe and to share other people’s lifestyles, cultural heritage, green environment, waterfalls, indigenous knowledge, organic foods and rural hospitality. As a result of this, many African countries are blessed with these natural amenities. The natural beauty is a main factor behind the up-gradation of Tourism especially in Africa. This is why there is need to put in place the tools for growth, providing the necessary knowhow through collaboration between the African Countries. “To be more is to know more”. People need to change environments many a times as this widens and broadens one’s knowledge, mentality and skills of understanding as well as ability to make meaningful use of the experience and information gathered. Therefore, the role of tourism cannot be over emphasized.
The major purpose of tourism is to stimulate intercultural contacts and provide opportunity for both tourists and local residents to connect, learn from each other and both to benefit from the interaction. I believe it’s important to educate Western travelers about the other side of modern Africa, tourism experience allows people to detach themselves from old fashioned thinking and stereotypes and gives them a broader view of the world. Travel to African villages and a homestead is a unique experience that can increase understanding and build strong relationships. These endeavors enhance the human condition.
People want to see the unseen, know the unknown and this is what tourism is all about. Exciting trips to the tropical forest, exploring the wildlife, art and culture e.t.c. Therefore, some African countries have these memorable tour experiences at their door steps without any regret of visiting their tourist sites. For instance, Republic of Benin (Portonovo, Cotonou, Ouidah, Abomey etc.), Nigeria also expresses tourism experience.
Porto-Novo, Cotonou, Ouidah Exemplary of Tourism Experience.
Created in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese, City of Porto Novo inherited its name because of its resemblance to the Portuguese city Oporto. It is under Republic of Benin. Though the government and most of its activities were moved to Cotonou, which is 32km west of Porto Novo. Porto Novo is still the official capital of the country. Porto-Novo has a wide range of tourist activities to offer It is essentially a beautiful city by its marked past, where many kings ruled their kingdom from. Tourism in Benin is growing rapidly and it is among the tourism industry is a good revenue earner for the country.
Traditions and culture of the country represents the simplicity in the lifestyle of the dwellers.
It may interest you to know that in Porto-Novo, the rate at which they embrace culture is extremely high and this makes it more interesting for tourist to visit and revisit. They value their culture a lot including their youths. You can always see them in their local fabrics in terms of dressing, hairdo (plaiting), attitude and nature etc. Other modern culture is not allowed to supersede their own culture and this especially the youths and this brings out the best in them. The peaceful and crises free environment even permits the foreigners to reside their permanently. The youth in this city are not overwhelmed by “modern distractions” which may deteriorate their future unlike some other countries. Even at this modern age, majority of their ladies still wear “Buba and Iro” (typical African’s attire). Their men in Buba and Sokoto.(Ditto).
The markets of Nigeria showcase the handicrafts and sculptures, the hotels and other accommodation facilities represent the warm hospitality and local customs and the calm and peaceful environment enhances into the beauty of the country. These factors make the memories of Benin tour everlasting.
Likewise there are many interesting, cultural, historical and adventure tourist attractions such as:
Royal Palace of King Toffa: The museum that used to be the kings palace, tells you how African royalty actually lived before the colonial era and how the kings ruled the kingdom from the palace.
The museum has a lot of scary but interesting past. In the museum is a room, where it is believed that Deities and other gods were worshipped in the past. It is therefore sacred room for any visitor, even the kings.
Ethnographic Historical Museum: The Ethnographic Museum of Porto Novo, traces the history of the city. You can admire among other cultural artifacts the famous collection of Yoruba masks for example with a superb collection of Yoruba history. It also talks about the three stages of life man must passed through with its illustrations (i.e. Infant Stage, Youthful Stage And Death Stage) There are other historical artifacts to enjoy. The Museum houses a superb collection of Yoruba history.
You can also visit the church built in the ornate style of Brazil, which also now has a modern day mosque. It the most colorful building in West African then in 19 Century. It’s a place to visit.Visiting Songhai Centre:
. The Songhai Centre is a place much visited mainly by those who are passionate about agriculture worldwide. This is a centre for sustainable agriculture and it is well worth spending at least a couple of hours here. The Songhai centre specializes in production, development, research and training in sustainable agriculture in order to help African farmers to run viable and profitable farms. Many types of fruit and vegetables are grown here, animals are raised and there is a fish farm, water filtration plant and fruit juice production, as well as soya, cassava and palm oil. You can see how each section creates the bio-fuels to allow the other sections to function and how everything is used with no waste. tDantokpa Marke
– The largest Open- air market in West Africa. It is located at Cotonou, where thousands foreigners from different countries trip in and out daily for business transactions. All forms of goods is sold such as; provisions, fabrics local and Foreign, equipments, utensils, jewelries, electronics, etc.
Chillax at Newly restored Obama Beach. Full of bubbling activities.
Located 10 km North of Porto Novo, the big bustling market of Adjara is the absolute city is the ideal place to purchase your holiday memories. You'll find excellent masks, drums hand carved, pottery and all kinds of local handicrafts. At the colourful market of Adjara, you can buy drums, cloth, baskets and pottery of the prettiest kind.The Zamgbeto Temple
Zamgbeto is a deity which is being represented by the Zamgbeto masquerade. The temple is the largest and the smartest Voodoo temple in Benin, others are in rural areas like Ouidah, Abomey, Ganvie etc. This one is dedicated to Zangbeto, the night watchman, who is one of the most powerful and popular Voodoo gods and who has temples in many towns and villages throughout the country.
In the days before the police, the Zangbetos were responsible for keeping law and order.
The Zamgbeto temple is a tall building, built and shaped like a giant "Zamgbeto" masquerade. It is the meeting place for people who believe in Zamgbeto worship.
The temple can only be viewed and admired from outside as it is forbidden to enter the building except by selected worshipers - most of the Voodoo temples forbid entry to non-members, particularly the Zangbeto temples, which do not even allow women in.
During their yearly festivities, various type of Zamgeto's display their colours and dancing prowess. They vary in size and height, from a 1 footer to a 7 footer.
There are lots more to know….NIGERIAN TOURISM
Nigeria is a country situated in the western coastal region of the African continent. The country is rich in natural beauty like, long blue beaches, rivers and lakes, forests, breathtaking views of the waterfalls and soothing environment. The natural beauty is a main factor behind the up- gradation of Nigeria tourism. Nigeria has a wide range of tourist activities to offer. It is a coastal country and the main attraction for the tourists is the long beaches and the marine activities. Apart from this, the other attractions are the historical monuments, exciting trips to the tropical forests, exploring the wildlife, art and culture and the lifestyle of the country.
The Major Nigeria attractions are:
• Nigeria Water-falls- Various water-fall situated in different cities of the country.
• Nigeria National Parks- The national parks in Nigeria showcase live pictures of the wildlife. There are many animals of various breeds kept in the Nigeria National Parks.
• Nigeria Nature- Nigeria nature refers to the climate and natural beauty of the country.
• Nigeria Beaches- Nigeria is situated on the coastal region of Africa and the beaches here are long and very beautiful.
Above all, Tourism is experience while experience is the best teacher individual can have. Give yourself, families, friends and loved ones a wonderful experience, feel the good nature of life, know other people’s culture, environment, lifestyle, cuisine, norms and values, be an experienced teacher to others that are still far ignorant of tourism. Take a step further in tourism today. You will have memorable stories to tell. Tourism, the best life you can ever give yourself and the best way to live long.