Created in 1967, Kano is one of the oldest states in Nigeria and its people, one of the oldest civilisations in recorded Nigerian history. It is commonly referred to as ‘the commercial nerve centre of Northern Nigeria’. Kano is the second largest state by population in Nigeria, lagging only Lagos. The state is well known for exceeding expectations of travellers with its lovely landscapes and legendary sites. We have compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Kano to help you explore the City.
1. Visit Tiga Dam/ Rock Castle
Tiga dam is one of the well-known attractions in Kano. Over the years it has proven to be one of the more interesting places to visit while in the grand city and it continues to garner tourists. Visitors can go on a boat cruise or even try their hands at fishing. At the extreme end of the dam is Rock Castle Hotel which was originally built to host Queen Elizabeth and her entourage during her visit to Nigeria in 1960.
2. Horse Riding at Kano Durbar
The Kano Durbar is an exciting ceremony celebrated twice a year to mark the Muslim Salah celebrations. It’s a pulsating display of resplendently dressed horses. All eyes are usually on the Emir and his subjects who ride around the city in an entertaining fashion. If you are lucky enough to be in Kano at the right time of the year, endeavour to be part of this rich cultural festival.
3. Fashion at the Dyeing Pit
Do you ever wonder how those beautiful fabrics you like so much are made? Yes? Then you absolutely must visit one of the numerous dying pits. In ancient Kano, dyeing fabrics were one of the most lucrative occupations as people came from far and wide to buy these beautiful fabrics. You can learn how cloth-dyeing is done and buy something to show the people at home.
4. Explore Nature at Falgore Game Reserve
Spanning 1,000 kilometres, this wide life reserve has been in existence since 1949. Come along with a camera and capture great pictures of animals like the Jackal, Leopard, Serval, Hartebeest, Bushbaby, spotted Hyena, Buffalo, Warthog, Oribi, Red-fronted Gazelle, Green Monkey, Patas monkey, Red-flanked dulker and Bushbuck just to mention a few, as they wander around in the wild.
5. Shopping at Kurmi Market
Pronounced the oldest market in Nigeria and one of the oldest in Africa, the Kurmi market was established about 400 years ago by Emir Muhammadu Rumfa to promote the Trans-Sahara trade. It is an expansive market with a maze of tiny alleys to make the search for the best things to buy from your Kano trip that much more exciting. Pottery, leather products, ancient pieces of jewellery, calabashes and brass works are among the things sold at the market.
6. Climbing at Dala Hills
Dala hills served as home to the very first settlers in Kano. It was here that the original dwellers built their homes using the hills as models. Some of the structures still stand till date and the hills have retained their tourism values.
7. Visit the Kano Wall
This is one of the oldest and most intricate parts of the city. Built over 600 years ago, the wall stands 18 metres high and covers an area of radius 14 kilometres. Maybe not as magnificent as the Great Wall of China, the wall still did well to protect the city during its wars. Personally one of my favourite things about Kano, I advise that every traveller make effort to check this out.
8. Learn at the Gidan Makama Museum
Formerly serving as home to the Emir, Converted into a museum to tell the rich history of Kano. The artefacts on display around the museum tell the story of Kano from the pre-colonial era and the city’s transition into more modern times. The different sections of the Museum hold different kinds of Nigerian art and crafts. Originally built in the 15th century, it has become a National monument. The museum preserves Hausa and Fulani tradition.
9. Eat at a Local Restaurant
The best way to explore a city remains to explore its delicacies. You should take time out to enjoy the indigenous cuisines at one of the local restaurants and discover for yourself if the reputation of Tuwo shinkafa precedes it. You also get the chance to taste suya and Kilishi prepared by the people that pioneered it.
10. Take a stroll
When it comes down to it, there is perhaps a no better way to explore the Kano than on foot. You never know what you might find in the streets of the ancient city.
Do you think our list is lacking in any way? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. Get amazing deals on all your favourite hotels when you Book hotels in Kano on hotels.ng