Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove © Alex Mazzeto
One of Nigeria's top tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove holds a deeply special place in the hearts and minds of the Yoruba people, and will delight visitors looking for some insight into one of Nigeria's indigenous cultures. Located on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo, in one of the last remaining areas of pristine forest in southern Nigeria, the grove is said to be the home of Osun, the Yoruba goddess of fertility.
In addition to a gorgeous meandering river surrounded by lush forest, visitors will see numerous shrines and sanctuaries that have been built in honour of Osun; including some stirring sculptures done by Austrian national Suzanne Wenger, who lived in the area in the 1950s and earned herself the local name Aduni Olosa ('the Adored One'). If at all possible, time your visit to coincide with the Osun-Osogbo Festival (late July to August), a 12-day celebration of significant cultural interest, where thousands of locals congregate to invoke ancestral spirits and to rededicate their energies to living in harmony with the deity Osun.