The feeling of needing to get away is universal because as humans our progression depends not just on a mental change but also a physical one. Psychologists have noted that physical movements cause us to experience new philosophies, traditions and people, whilst also introducing us to new ways of doing things. Bakers who learn traditional Swiss dessert-making techniques and practice that find themselves re-invigorated when introduced to Middle Eastern techniques because it breaks your brain out of a pattern, forcing you to take an active rather than passive role in your work/passion.

Ability to flit from country to continent is a privilege that not everyone is afforded so the next best thing is short breaks, preferably local but, at best, within your country. A successful short break needs to be restorative to your mind, giving you not just a break from your physical space but also the space to leave your mental baggage behind, even for a few hours.

Water bodies are said to be an unbeatable physical and mental escape for reasons not wholly deducible. Many experts have conducted research but have failed to come up with a concrete answer as to why spending time by bodies of water reinvigorates people. There however, is universal agreement that spending time around water is an unmatchable and cost efficient way to vacation.

Luckily, Nigeria has some of the best, most unique water bodies in the world. Seriously, we are something of a blessed country, albeit, with a lagging tourist industry. This means that whilst many of these sites do not get the love they deserve, they are also not likely to be crowded and can be a great, quick daybreak, that serve as both physical scenery change and the perfect way to refresh your mind. Having visited three of the five I am going to list out for you, as well as being a Pisces, I’d say I am a highly trustworthy source for a good water getaway in Nigeria:

IKOGOSI WARM SPRINGS

Ikogosi Warm Springs, located in Ekiti State is an enigma, where a singular natural water source splits into two streams: one extremely hot, the other extremely cold.

ADO AWAYE SUSPENDED LAKE

This lake combines two things every good break needs; a chance to hike and get those endorphins flowing and the reward of a lake at the top of a mountain where you can sit, reflect and be amazed by the universe and its wonders. Located in Oyo State, it is one of only two suspended lakes in the world, meaning we have at our reach something many people would pay a shocking amount of money to witness.

ERIN IJESHA WATERFALL

Erin Ijesha Waterfall or Olumirin Waterfall is one of Osun State’s gems. There is something about watching inches and inches of water fall in never-ending sheets that puts things in perspective whilst also slightly hypnotising you. Honestly, you sit and stare and suddenly a few hours have gone and your mind feels lighter and your body more serene.

KWA FALLS

Kwa Falls in Calabar is definitely on my list of must hit places in this lifetime. As part of Cross River’s National Park, it is one that also combines the joys of physical activity with the tranquility of water.
Tip from a reliable source for any novice hikers, this is not the easiest of descents and ascents in the rainy season, so either go with a strong team or wait till the rainy season is over before tackling this particular wonder.

LEKKI CONSERVATION CENTRE

Lekki Conservation Centre is a nice tranquil weekend afternoon break. Being surrounded by greenery in that way in Lagos is a deserved treat. Hearing the flow of water as you walk across a suspended bridge is for some a fearful experience and for others exhilarating but you only find out by actually going…

-Niki Igbaroola

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