Sokoto State History, Attractions, Hotels, Tourist & Travel Information | Nigeria travel info, tourism and attractions
North-West Nigeria

Sokoto State – "Seat Of The Caliphate"

Located in the north-west geopolitical zone of Nigeria, Sokoto State in its present form was created in 1996 when Zamfara State was created by late General Sani Abacha.

There are twenty-three local government areas in the state which are Binji, Bodinga, Dange-shuni, Gada, Goronyo, Gudu, Gawabawa, Illela, Isa, Kware, Kebbe, Rabah, Sabon-Birni, Shagari, Silame, Sokoto-North, Sokoto-South, Tambuwal, Tangaza, Tureta, Wamakko, Wurno, and Yabo.

The area of present Sokoto State was the home of many empires and kingdoms of pre-colonial Western Sudan and these include Gobir and Kebbi Kingdoms as well as the Sokoto Caliphate. The name Sokoto, which is the anglicised version of the local name Sakkwato is of Arabic origin, representing suk, ‘market’.

Being the seat of the Sokoto Caliphate, the city is predominantly Muslim and an important seat of Islamic learning in Nigeria. The Sultan who heads the caliphate is effectively the spiritual leader of the Nigerian Muslims.

The area of present Sokoto State was the home of many empires and kingdoms of pre-colonial Western Sudan and these include Gobir and Kebbi Kingdoms as well as the Sokoto Caliphate.

People & Culture
Sokoto state has a population of 3,696,999 million people based on the 2006 general census and it is dominated by Hausa and Fulani people. Other minority groups include the Zabarmawa and Tuareg who also speak Hausa as a common language.

[tab:Geography] Sokoto State is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River. As of 2006 it has a population of 427,760. The state has a total land area of about 32,000sqkm. The state lies to the north-western part of the country and shares common borders with Niger Republic to the North, Kebbi State to the southwest and Zamfara State to the east. The state falls on the boundary between semi-arid region and the Sahel savanna.

Sokoto State, Nigeria

In terms of vegetation, the State falls within the Savannah Zone. Rainfall starts late and ends early with mean annual falls ranging between 500mm to 1,300 mm. The dry seasons starts from October and lasts up to April in some parts and may extend to May or June in other parts. The wet season on the other hand begins in most parts of the State in May and lasts up to September or October.

During the Harmattan, a dry cold and fairly dusty wind in experienced in the State between November and February. Heat is more severe in the State in March and April. The topography of the state is mainly of the famous Hausa plains of Northern Nigeria.

Cities & Towns
Other major cities and towns in the state include Yabo, Guddu, Ilela, Binji, Gwada Bawa, Bogingo, Tambulwal, and Wurno.

[tab:Attractions] Waziri Junaidu History & Culture Museum
Established in 1973 to collect, preserve and display all relics, artifacts and archives relating to the history of Sokoto people. The museum houses more than 500,000 volumes of assorted materials and other historical treasures.

Surame is the ruins of the old headquarters of Kebbi Kingdom built in the early 16th Century by its famous King Muhammadu Kanta. The total circumference of the walls of Surame has been estimated to be about 19 kilometres and it is presently located about 4km from Binji Local Government of the state.

Akalawa the ruins of the capital city of Gobir Kingdom. The Gobirawa were believed to have originally come from Arabia around 10th century through Borno and they lived in the area largely now in Niger Republic. Alkalawa Ruins is presently located in Sabon Birnin Local Government Area of the state.

Sultan of Sokoto Palace
The significance of the palace of the Sultan of Sokoto goes beyond cultural and artistic excellence. The palace is also the cohesive symbol of the Nigerian Muslim world which guides believers in the faith. The Sultan’s palace has lavish modern architecture and protected by palace guards in their multi coloured regalia, robes and turbans.

Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio
Located a few metres southwest of the palace on Sultan Bello road near Shehu’s Mosque, in the Hubbare lie the tombs of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio and his relatives.

Sokoto Museum
This is a national museum that houses artifacts and monuments of the old Sokoto caliphate. The museum is dedicated to Usman Dan Fodio and many of his personal items such as thrones, scriptures, maps and copies of his Koran are on display.

Heritage Museum
Located at the Department of Fine, Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, the museum showcases the rich cultural artifacts of the Sokoto kingdom.

Gilbadi Rocks
Located in Gada LGA, these rocks contains ancient fossil remains that are said might provide clue to the origin of life in general.

Shehu Kangiwa Square
Formerly known as Ginginya, it was the site of the battle between British troops and the forces of Sokoto led by Sultan Attahiru in 1903. The area was formerly an open square outside the city wall, and on the northern side there used to be a Gingiya tree – palm tree.

Goronyo Dam
Located in Goronyo, the dam is one of the largest in the West African sub-region and was built in 1981 along River Rima to boost the irrigation in the area.

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[tab:Hotels] Giginya Hotel
The hotel is well equipped with all modern facilities such as recreational centres, swimming pools, internet access, souvenir, conference facilities, restaurant, gift shop etc. Contact: Located along Western by-pass Sokoto, Te: +234 60 231262-4, 231670

Shukura Hotel
Shukura Hotel has 57 rooms which include executive suites and standard rooms all tastefully furnished and serve with friendly and courteous staffs. Contact:Along 10 Kano Road, Sokoto. Tel: +234 60 230006-9

Sokoto Guest Inn
It provides accommodation facilities for visitors to Sokoto. It also provides car hire services, 24 hours laundry and dry cleaning services, internet access etc. Contact:Kalambaina Road, Sokoto Tel: +234 60 233205, 232672

Other hotels in Sokoto:

Sokoto Hotel Kano Road, Sokoto.
Sokoto Guest Inn Kalambaina Road, Sokoto.
Ibro International Abdullahi Fodio Road, Sokoto
Mabera Guest Inn Mabera New Layout,
Catering Rest House Kano Road, Sokoto,
Rima Hotels Bye Pass Road, Sokoto,
Tudun Wada Guest Inn Majema Tudun Wada, Sokoto,
Rima Valley Hotel Western Bye Pass,
Zumunta Hotel Kwannawa Quarters.

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