Nigeria in One Week

This itinerary focuses on the west of Nigeria, tying in a visit to Lagos with a delve into Nigeria's rich Yoruba heritage in the towns of Abeokuta and Oshobgo, and the nearby palace at Ile Ife.

Kick off in Nigeria's most exciting city, staying in Ikoyi, which is a little more leafy and laid-back than flashy Victoria Island. Tour art centres such as Terra Kultur to get a taste of the local culture, browse crafts at the incredible Lekki Market and then go out dancing at the Shrine. Then head north to Abeokuta, where you can climb a huge rock outcrop to see Yoruba shrines and priestesses, and explore the surrounding streets with their crumbling Cuban and Brazilian villas. Skirt the southern fringes of mega city Ibadan to reach Oshogbo, where there's a compelling cluster of sights: a sacred grove, a house shrine once occupied by Yoruba priestess Suzanne Wenger, and – a day trip out of town at Ile Ife – a palace that is the foundation stone of Yoruba culture.

Nigeria in Two Weeks

All roads start at Lagos – don't be put off by the traffic and chaos, as it's well worth getting to know this divided but irrepressible city. After a trip to Yoruba country, the route then heads west to Benin and Calabar, with a possible excursion to see drill monkeys in a lush forest habitat.

Lagos, ancient Abeokuta and sacred Oshogbo make a good start to a two-week trip. The go east to Benin, once the seat of one of Africa's most impressive empires. Visit the Brass Casters Street to catch a flavour of the former glories and buy unique crafts. From here take the long trip to Calabar in the far east of Nigeria, where you'll find a good museum of ancient and colonial history, as well as traces of the city's role as a huge slave port. If you can, make the trip north from here into the Cross River National Park, where the excellent Afi Mountain Drill Ranch immerses you in the forest and the lives of the resident drill monkeys.