Forestry is an important element of the ecosystem, the benefits of having thriving forests in an environment cannot be over-emphasized. However, some forests have become safe havens for all sorts of spurious and detestable activities. In Nigeria, the scourge seems to have hit alarming levels.
Although there exists countless forests in Nigeria, some forests in ‘Naija’ are simply a no-go area, they are as scary as hell itself. Here are 10 of such forests in the country.
#10 Falgore Forest Kano
Located in the midst of three local government areas in Kano state is a massive piece of nature that has gradually become a scary monster. Residents and passersby avoid hanging around it, they hurriedly pass by without staying to take any form of inquisitive look. This massive natural entity is none other than Falgore Forest in Kano state.
Residents and indigenes of Riding Wada, Sumaila, and Doguwa local governments can give you a proper low down of what having such a feared forest within their boundaries has brought them.
Due to the thick and impenetrable nature of this forest, it has become a safe haven for criminals who seek a hideout for their untoward activities. The forest is also infested with all sorts of wild creatures who roam loose all coming together to make this forest a scary landmark.
#9 Kamuku Forest Kaduna
So large is the Kamuku Forest it was dubbed the ‘Sambisa’ of Kaduna State. This forest is bordered by five states, namely: Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi and Niger state. This gives you a hint of how large this forest is.
Aside from the tall trees which are dominant in this forest, the vegetation is quite sparse, to say the least (especially during the dry season). So what makes Kamuku a dreaded forest in Nigeria?
This forest is mostly dreaded because of Fulani herdsmen, armed bandits and other terrorists who have comfortably made Kamuku their new home. Last year, the situation got so bad that Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had to call for meeting with the governors of the four other affected states to discuss on how best to secure their states from activities going on in the forest.
There was a raid on the forest earlier this year by security operative and some criminals were apprehended and about 2000 cows were recovered, however, Kamuku remains a dreaded forest.
#8 Yan Mangu Forest Zamfara
In the tropical town of Zamfara, sits a gift of nature, a real blessing to the ecosystem. Indigenes and settlers in Zamfara have come to appreciate this natural mass named the Yan Mangu forest. Cattle rearers comfortably took their cattle into the forest for grazing, young children will often enter the forest to pick fruits, while some farmers would cultivate the outskirts of the forest.
All this changed in January this year when cattle rustlers and armed Fulani herdsmen decided to make the Yan Mangu their new home. Farmers steered clear of the area for fear of lives, children were sternly warned to stay away from the vicinity of the forest to avoid abduction and being killed.
The situation got so bad that the Federal Government had to send soldiers to raid the forest and drive out bandits using the place as a hideout, but the situation is still dire. People still talk about the Yan Mangu in hushed voices and many still dread the forest.
#7 Edumanom Forest Bayelsa
The Edumanom forest in Bayelsa is a forest reserve that is being protected from poaching and illegal lumbering by the Federal Government of Nigeria. On why this forest is on our list of the feared forests; this is because of the impenetrable nature of the forest as well as the vast variety of wildlife prevalent in this forest.
Numerous dangerous animals roam the forest freely, a feature which makes the forest a dangerous place to be in.
#6 Osun Sacred Grove forest Osun
Located in Osun state Nigeria is a dense forest that stands as a symbol for the Osun people as a sacred piece of creation which they do not joke with.
This forest, which is rich in vegetation is quite a scary one. The entrance is adorned with all sorts of carvings, sculptures of gods and goddesses whom the people still worship today. It is believed that this forest is protected by a river goddess who oversees every activity going on in the forest. The diabolical activities that take place in the Osun sacred Grove make it an eerie and scary place to be in.
#5 Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi
In Bauchi State Nigeria is a forest which was so infested with wild animals that the then British Government in 1956 had to swoop in and convert the forest into a game reserve. The Yankari Reserve remains one of the deadly places to visit unaccompanied by a guide.
It is said that the reserve has the largest settlement of elephants in West Africa. The presence of lions, crocodiles, hippo, cheetahs among other wildlife makes the forest quite fearful. The Yankari Reserve remains a great tourist attraction in Nigeria. However, the forest remains feared due to the presence of wildlife.
#4 Igbele Forest, Delta
In Ode-Itsekiri Warri, Delta State Nigeria, has located in it, an eerie forest that sends shivers down the spine of those who go near it. Named the ‘Igbele’ which in itself means ‘Evil Forest’. This forest apart from being dense and rich in vegetation is named the Igbele because of the diabolical practices that go on there.
The Itsekiri tribe is said to have an ancient practice, in which every corpse about to be buried is made to undergo a form of test by an oracle. The oracle tests if the deceased was a witch or a cruel person during their lifetime. If the oracle declares that the person was bad during their lifetime, the corpse is not buried but dumped in Igbele forest. This practice has made the place a fearful place to be in, as it said to be littered with bones of corpses which had been dumped in the forest in the past.
You might wonder if this practice still exists in our time and age; well it does, you can ask the next Itsekiri man you see. If he blow you no call me oh! 🙂
#3 Ajofia Okija Forest, Anambra
Located in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State is one of the evilest and fearful forests in Nigeria. The forest is named the ‘Ajofia’ Okija which in interpretation means ‘the evil forest of Okija’.
The Okija forest plays home to the infamous Okija shrine. It is the deadliness if this shrine that makes this forest a no-go-area. The Okija forest is rumored to be the forest with the most litter of human remains in Nigeria. In the early 2000s, Okija forest and its shrine came into popularity after it was raided by police and human remains were found littered all over the place.
The Okija forest is no longer as popular as it was in the past but it still is one heck of a fearful place.
#2 Soka Forest, Oyo
This forest is a horror forest located in Ibadan, Oyo State Nigeria. The forest is described to be a den of thieves, kidnappers, and ritualists. The forest is dense and rich in vegetation, perhaps that was why criminals decided to turn this piece created by nature to a home for all sorts of evil practices.
In 2014, it was discovered by police, that this forest was a habitat for ritual killings in Ibadan, as corpses and other human remains were found littered in the forest. That was two years ago, but till today the place remains a fearful evil forest.
#1 Sambisa Forest, Borno
The Sambisa has risen to become one of the most popular forests in Nigeria. The Sambisa forest is so large that when compared in size is bigger than some states in Nigeria. The Sambisa came into popularity in 2009-2010, after jihadist fighting under the umbrella of Boko Haram started using the forest as a major hideout for their operations.
The thick vegetation in the Sambisa forest makes it a difficult terrain to navigate and hence a good shelter for armed bandits. The Sambisa forest is the deadliest and most fearful forest in Nigeria. If you feel say you get power go try Sambisa!
Do you have any idea of any forest that should be on this list? Leave a comment and we will try to investigate 😉