With every step you take, you are bound to discover new settings, traditions, and a way of life that will awe you and make you fall hopelessly in love with this country. But, with so many mesmerizing regions, where should you start your great adventure?

Here’s an idea: Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.

With a rich cultural heritage and numerous festivals, Makurdi is the heart and soul of the Benue State in Nigeria. 

Here’s the thing: the Benue State features some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Nigeria and getting to its capital city, Makurdi, will surely be a pleasant trip.

Whether you choose to travel by plane, car or train, pack your bags and take your time to enjoy the scenery of its unique hill sides and fertile fields. You won’t have to worry about the weather, as its tropical savannah climate has warm daily temperatures. 

The many ethnic groups that live together here make this area a melting pot, specific to Nigeria’s cultural diversity. So, there is something to enjoy for every traveler’s taste and wallet. 

Here are some of the most interesting things you can do while visiting Makurdi.


1. About Makurdi

Makurdi, the capital of the central Benue State, is mainly an agricultural economy inhabited by four main ethnic groups: the Idoma, Tiv, Igede, and Etulo communities. Their customs, cuisine, languages, and diversity give Makurdi its special atmosphere and make it a captivating destination for travelers that want to explore genuine African culture. 


2. Akata Festival

This colorful event is focused mainly on fishing and the cultural practices of the Tiv people. It celebrates the bounty of fresh produce and traditions in the Benue area. From fun activities like arrow shooting, beauty pageants and boat racing to trading merchandise and the caught fish, the Akata Festival has something to offer to anyone that visits Makurdi during the three-day event.


3. Kwagh-hir Festival

Another festival celebrating the culture of the Tiv people is Kwagh-hir. You can explore the traditions and creativity of the Tiv community through theater, dance, fashion or language. Storytelling combined with modern expressions of art will become a captivating lesson about the Tiv history and heritage. 


4. The Annual Food Festival

As “the food basket of Nigeria,” it was only natural for the Benue State to hold an annual Food Festival in its capital city. The farmers showcase their produce and people celebrate by dancing and singing. This occasion also serves to contribute to important social causes like breast and cervical cancer, and it raises awareness amongst the women of the area. 


5. Visit the City’s Landmarks

Glancing at the huge bounty bowl of produce in a busy roundabout or admiring the Agriculture University in Makurdi is just a fraction of all the sightseeing you can do in the city. You can travel by foot or get a cab/rent a car and explore the busy streets of this colorful capital. 

If you want to enjoy an authentic experience, a few lessons with a language tutor before your adventure will allow you to immerse yourself in this fascinating culture and communicate with the locals in their native tongue (or, at least learn a few basic idioms.)


6. Get to Know the Local Cuisine

Makurdi’s mix of culture guarantees that the local cuisine will not disappoint you.

Each ethnic group composing the Benue population has its particularities and brings something new to the table (pun intended.) Makurdi has plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a nice, warm meal.

Or, if you want something new, try the street foods – it’s delicious! Get a chance to experience local dishes, but also to enjoy the global cuisine, all made with the freshest local produce. 

For all travelers, whether they are perpetual nomads or the occasional tourists, on a low or high-budget, food lovers or theater enthusiasts, Benue State and its capital city, Makurdi, have everything to offer. It is a unique experience one must try for themselves and take a little piece of Nigeria with them when they leave. 

The cultural diversity given by the many ethnic groups living together gives this place a rich vibe and atmosphere that will enchant your eyes, soul, and mind. So pack your bags and visit the Food Basket of Nigeria soon!


If you would like to experience the magic of this destination for yourself you might like to seach Nigeria tours. Or for a more rewarding experience where you can do something different you might like to apply to volunteer in Nigeria