Highest Rock in Nigeria: The Top 10 Biggest Rocks and Hills

The highest rocks and hills in Nigeria are marked by their extensive heights above the surrounding and sea level. The highest rock is Zuma Rock, which stands at 2,379 feet, while the highest hill is Shere Hills, found in Jos, Nigeria. It stands at 1,829 meters (6,001 ft), and is over two times larger than Zuma Rock.

Then, the most elevated part of Nigeria is called Chappal Waddi Mountain, found in Taraba State. These rocks and hills are characterized by different things and have distinct historical and, in some cases, spiritual significance to people living around them. Irrespective of that, these peaks and elevations are great tourist attractions to the places they are located. Thus, people within and outside the country visit these rocks and hills which hikers equally often use.

Which is the Highest Rock in Nigeria?

1. Zuma Rock

  • Height: 725 meters (2,379 feet) 
  • Location: Niger State

Zuma Rock is the highest rock in Nigeria, and its beauty has earned it a spot on Nigeria’s 100 Naira note. The giant rock is 2,379 feet, about 1,859 feet taller than the tallest building in Nigeria known as the NECOM House in Lagos.

There is a popular opinion that the Zuma Rock is found in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. However, it is located in Madalla, a village in Suleja local government in Niger State, the largest state in Nigeria by landmass. 

Madalla is very close to Abuja, which is the main reason the rock is believed to be in the FCT. Nonetheless, it is known as the gateway of Abuja and is visible in the city. It is found along the Abuja Kaduna road.

Apart from the apparent uniqueness and beauty of the rock, it has both historical and spiritual importance. 

Historically, the rock was found in the 15th century by the Zuba people of Niger and was earlier known as Zumwa before it later became Zuma.

It served as a solace and defense structure for the Gbagyi people during the war.

Spiritually, it is believed to possess some spiritual powers, and it is, in modern times, alleged to be used by ritualists and criminals. On the part of history, there are claims that evil spirits are living in the belly of the rock.

The rock may have backed the Gbagyi people’s claims with its physical features that depict a face with the eyes, mouth, and nose. They believe this feature represents the face of a deity and ancestral powers governing the community.

Well, geographically, this facial depiction originates from the natural runoff that cascades down the stone from the top of the Igneous rock.

According to myths, Zuma Rock is considered a gateway into the afterlife. Then, in present life, it is a protector against a disastrous outburst; this is owing to the claim that there is a vast expanse of water beneath the rock.

Another interesting thing that seems like a myth but has been confirmed many times is that the rock sometimes brings out fire. This first gained media attention in 2017, with several news outlets and social media going agog with the report.

However, it has been confirmed that the fire is a yearly occurrence during the rainy season. While there may be some spiritual explanation by the people, there is equally a report by a geologist that it could be a volcanic phenomenon. If it turns out to be volcanic, it will become one of the many volcanic phenomena in Nigeria.

The state that has dormant volcanoes is Plateau State. Studies have shown that about 22 static volcanoes are exiting in the state.

2. Aso rock 

  • Height: 1,300 feet (400 metres)
  • Location: Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
Highest Rock in Nigeria
Image Source

One of Nigeria’s most celebrated and popular rocks is the Aso Rock because of its peculiar placement in the Federal Capital Territory. The Aso Rock is 1,300 feet (400 meters), and its peak height is 936 meters (3,071 ft.) above sea level.

It is located on the outskirts of Abuja. It is also one of the most noticeable things nature has designed in the Federal Capital Territory. In the vicinity are the Nigerian presidential villa, the Nigerian National Assembly, and the Nigerian Supreme Court.

Also, the Aso Rock territory is mainly inhabited by the Gbagyi people, just as in the case of Zuma Rock. Therefore, the name Aso comes from the tribe, meaning Victory/Victorious.

The rock has a special place in the history of the Gbagyi people. Apart from the reports that it was used in ancient times for worshipping deities, it was also used during war, and it helped the people fight many battles undefeated.

3. Wase Rock

  • Height: 298 metres (978 ft)
  • Location: Wase LGA, Plateau State, Nigeria.
Wase Rock
Image Source

Wase Rock is located in Wase LGA of Plateau State. It is one of the wonders of nature that earned Plateau State its nickname as the Home of Peace and Tourism.

The rock is named after the local government it is found in and it boasts of standing at a height of 298 meters (978 ft) above the surface and an elevation of 543 m (1,781 ft) above sea level.

This height makes the rock visible from as far as 40 kilometers away from its exact location. Its characteristics include having a pointed split at its peak and being surrounded by scree, a collection of broken rocks.

The Wase Rock is easily identifiable based on its massive size and nature as a dome-shaped rocky inselberg (Island Mountain). What is more fascinating about this rock is that it is one of the only two of its nature found in Africa, and of the five found in the world.

Another interesting and exceptional thing about the rock is that it is a breeding space for the rare Rossy White Pelican bird. For harboring this species, it is listed as one of the only 5 places in Africa to have the Rossy White Pelican bird.

4. Riyom Rock

  • Height: 250 meters (820.21 feet)
  • Location: Riyom, Plateau State
Highest Rock in Nigeria
Image Source

Riyom Rock got its name from the environment it formed. It is found in Riyom LGA, about 25 kilometers from Jos, the capital of Plateau State in North Central Nigeria. It is one of the highest rocks in Nigeria, with a remarkable height of 250 meters (820.21 feet).

Like the other rocks in Nigeria, Riyom Rock has a unique and understating feature that attracts people to its impressive height and formation.

The rock is referred to as Beta Betat by the indigenous Berom people of Riyom, who are native to the Berom language. The term means three rocks, as it appears, stacked on one another. Surprisingly, this stack of rocks starts from an enormous root and becomes smaller at the peak.

The odd rock formation has stood the test of time even though the last and smallest rock looks as though it lacks balance.

The rock has also been nicknamed “rocks placed by an unseen hand.” Well, to the people of the community where it is situated, the rock stands as a symbolic blessing to them and their community.

5. Olumo Rock

  • Height: (137 m) 449 feet
  • Location: Ikija, Abeokuta North, Ogun State
Rocks in Nigeria
Image Source

Olumo Rock is the highest rock in the South-West region of Nigeria. It stands at 449 feet (137 m) above sea level. The rock is located in Ikija, Abeokuta North, Ogun State.

Olumo Rock is also known as the Fortress of Abeokuta, and it is considered one of the rocks with very significant histories in Nigeria. The name was carved out from the Yoruba word, Olumo which stands for “Olu” as God, and “Mo” is Moulded. From the times of old, rocks have been used as a safe/hiding place during communal unrest.

Olumo Rock, in this case, has served as a refuge for many years for the Egba people of Ogun State during inter-tribal feuds that took place in the 19th Century.

In 2006, the rock and environs were commissioned and remodeled to become one of the tourist attraction centers in Abeokuta after it was made a tourist site in 1976. Olumo Rock now has man-made stairs and even an elevator at the location to ease stressful climbing for tourists.

Other things to find at ease in the attraction center of Olumo Rock are the Itoku market, where crafts and other tourist essentials are sold, a museum, a restaurant, and a water fountain.

From the top of Olumo Rock, popular establishments in Abeokuta that can be cited are the Abeokuta Central Mosque, River Ogu, and the First Church in Nigeria.

6. Gibadi Rock

  • Height: About 100 m (estimation)
  • Location: Sokoto State

Gibadi Rocks is 100 m high in estimation and is located in Sokoto State. Although it is not the most renowned rock in Nigeria, it holds its own place as one of the major and most beautiful rocks in the country. Unfortunately, there is sparse documentation about the rock.

Highest Hills in Nigeria

For many articles about rocks and hills in Nigeria, there has been a general collection of the two. However, rocks and hills are different entities and are formed in different ways. A hill or mountain (sometimes used interchangeably) is a natural landform that rises above the surrounding of a place and its construction or formation is through tectonic forces and volcanism.

On the other hand, a rock builds naturally from occurring solid substance, which is composed of one or more minerals.

Due to this differentiation, there is a need to put rocks and hills on a different sect in this article. Before the list, it is worth noting that there are elevations such as Chappal Waddi (the highest mountain in Nigeria) which are higher than the hills written here. However, there have been debates about whether hills and mountains are the same.

Some reports claim that there is no actual difference while others claim that any elevation from 2000 meters should pass as a mountain and those lower than that should fall under hills. Using the latter definition, here is a list of the highest Hills in Nigeria.

7. Shere Hills

  • Height: 1829 meters (6001 ft)
  • Location: Jos, Plateau State
 Biggest Rocks and Hills
Image Source

Shere Hills is located in Jos East of Plateau State. Its highest peak is 6001 feet, about 3,622 feet taller than the highest rock in Nigeria. This hill is the highest peak in Plateau State, but its exact height has been debated. To some, it is the fifth-highest elevation while others claim that it is the third-highest peak in the country.

Whatever the case, it is only about 1,935 shorter than the highest mountain in Nigeria, Chappal Waddi, which stands at 7,936 feet.

Shere Hills has numerous other peaks. The highest is called Gog and Magog. One other interesting thing about this hill besides its size and beauty is the fact that it has beautiful rock formations.

Shere Hills has now become a tourist attraction site, and even more so, the military and paramilitary forces in the country uses the location for training.

Different bird species (over 20) have been sighted on the hill. One of the many is the Jos Plateau indigobird, which was endemic to Plateau State and Nigeria before being sighted in Cameroon.

8. Sankwala Mountain

  • Height: 1800 meters (5906 ft)
  • Location: Cross River State, Nigeria
Sankwala Mountain
Obudu (Image Source)

Popularly known as the Sankawala Mountains, this is one of the most elevated hills in Nigeria. It stands at 1800 meters (5906 feet) and it is located in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State.

It is also found in the southeast of the popular Obudu – a town known as the home of Obudu Mountain Resort.

The beauty, height, and cool temperature are the dominant features of the mountain. Another major characteristic that makes Sankwala one of the tourist attractions in Nigeria is the Obudu Plateau, which is found on the Oshie Ridge of the Sankwala Mountain Range.

Being a major tourist attraction, it has attracted people within and outside the state and country. Also, tourists often partake in activities such as mountaineering, hiking, camping, and sightseeing.

9. Masaijeh Hill

  • Height: 1,593 m (5,226 ft)
  • Location: Bauchi State

Masaijeh Hill is located in Bauchi State, North East Nigeria. It stands at 1,593 meters, and this height brings it’s beauty and uniqueness. Nonetheless, it is one of the least documented highest peaks in Nigeria.

Whatever the case, Masaijeh, like many other hills, is an abode of numerous trees, other plants, and animals.

10. Idanre Hill

  • Height: 1,053 m (3,455 ft)
  • Location: Idanre, Ondo State
Idanre Hills
Image Source

Idanre Hill, located in Idanre Town in Ondo State, continues to remain a well-preserved nature that connects people to their ancestry. The town is situated in Idanre, only about 20 kilometers from the capital of Ondo- Akure.

Idanre Hill has passed through history as an important space for the Yoruba people of Idanre. In modern times, it is used as a place by nature lovers for tourist activities like hiking, and many more.

Looking at its historical part, the hill, which is also known as Oke Idanre, was an abode of Ufe Oke people (Ife of the mountains) who lived for more than 800 years before heading to the plains in 1923.

Evidence of the existence of people living on the hill still stands, and they have fast become some notable features of the elevation. Some of these include the Owa’s Palace (ruler’s palace), shrines, thunder water (Omi Apaara), the Old Court, and burial grounds.

The original owners or habitats of the hill, the Idanre people, still have a connection with it despite descending about a century ago.

These people celebrate the Ogun festival on the hills. Another festival held in the hills is a unique annual festival of bats.

There are many other unique features on the hills. It is home to a tailless animal called hyrax. Unique monkeys, bats, and numerous other plants are found there. Nonetheless, some of these animals, especially hyrax, are going into extinction as a result of hunting.

Due to its beauty, uniqueness, and place in history, Idanre Hill has been nominated as a UNESCO site in Nigeria.


Featured Today

Read This Next