Are you considering travelling to Nigeria? Is this your first time? Are you wondering what to expect when you visit Nigeria?
This article will help you by giving some insights on what to expect when you visit Nigeria and things to be mindful of and most importantly give you steps on how to prepare for your trip to Nigeria.
Your first trip to Nigeria may seem scary, however, know that Nigeria have good tourism infrastructures including five star hotels.
Things You Should Know before Your Trip to Nigeria
Overview of Nigeria
Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic in West Africa, bordering Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. It comprises 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, where the capital, Abuja is located. Its largest cities include: Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Benin City and Port Harcourt. Nigeria is officially a democratic secular country.
With approximately 184 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world. The country is viewed as a multinational state, as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak over 500 different languages, and are identified with wide variety of cultures. The official language is English. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern part of the country, and Muslims in the northern part.
Is Nigeria Secure to Travel to?
Nigeria is a very big country and so it all depends on where you are visiting. The North-East part of Nigeria have been ravaged by Boko Haram Terrorists, however, the recent regime in the country has curbed their activities drastically. Some other parts of the North have few issues of religious motivated crises time to time and issues of herdsmen clashing with farmers.
The southern part of Nigeria is relatively peaceful. However, there are few issues of herdsmen from the North clashing with farmers in rural areas recently. In the south south oil region (Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwaibom), there are cases of militants destroying oil installations.The South East and South West states are generally peaceful.
What Health Measures Should I take when I visit Nigeria
There are shots that you will want to take prior to your trip, you may also need to take malaria prophylactics.
You should consult your doctor to get a prescription for malaria tablets and make sure you follow what it says on the packet.
There are mosquitoes in Nigeria, you should be wary of that and be prepared. This depends on where you will stay; You should take long sleeves and possibly nets especially if you wont lodge in a 4 or 5 star hotel. You can also get local insecticides like Sniper.
The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Nigeria: typhoid, yellow fever, polio, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, meningitis, rabies, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and influenza.
Generally, get advice from your doctor or any doctor with experience about Nigeria/Africa before travelling.
How to Get Visa before travelling to Nigeria
You need a a valid Visa and Passport to travel to Nigeria. Allow five days for visa processing or one day for the express service. When applying for a visa, you must provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover your stay in Nigeria.
Things you need to apply for Visa to Nigeria
– You need a signed letter of invitation from sponsor (either host company or individual) in Nigeria explaining the relationship to the applicant and the purpose of travel to Nigeria. In addition, the letter must indicate the length of stay, place of stay, and contact information, and must include the statement “We hereby accept full immigration responsibilities”.
– Proof od Departure: Computer generated flight itinerary from the airline or travel agency or copy of airline tickets showing round trip travel to Nigeria and onward flight.
– International certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.
– Copy of confirmed hotel reservation(s). If staying in various hotels, please provide copies of each reservation.
– If you are going on Business trip, you must provide a Letter from employer or sponsoring company, on company letterhead, introducing the applicant, indicating the applicant’s employment status/position held in the company, and clearly stating the purpose of visit to Nigeria. The business letter must also indicate who will be financially responsible for the applicant and must provide detailed contact information in Nigeria.
Visa validity is at the discretion of the consular officer and based upon the supporting documents. Read More on Visa Requirements
Weather in Nigeria
Nigeria weather primarily features a tropical kind of climate where most of the seasons are very humid and damp. There are two climatic seasons that prevail within Nigeria, namely the wet and the dry seasons. The weather of Nigeria is generally quite hot throughout the year, although there are variations in the climate in certain regions within the country. The southern part of Nigeria is relatively more humid and damp than the northern part of the country. In the southern areas of Nigeria the dry seasons begin from the month of November and lasts till the month of March. The northern regions are much drier in nature in comparison to the southern parts. The dry seasons begin from the month of October and last till the month of April. There are extreme weather conditions in the deserts of Sahara. It is scorching hot in the afternoons and freezing cold during the nighttime.
Food and Feeding in Nigeria
Nigeria have varieties of foods. There are many eateries and shopping malls where you can get different kinds of foods and groceries both foreign and local. It is advisable to take bottled water always, and don’t accept water from a bottle where the lid has been opened. There are varieties of drinks as well, you shouldn’t be worried.
Should I travel with a Companion
If possible travel with a partner, while this may not be necessary, it will help make your stay more interesting especially if the partner has previously visited or is a Nigerian.
Which Phone calls and Internet can I use
Roaming: Most mobile phone companies in the world will let you place and receive calls and surf the internet in Nigeria, however this can be very costly
Get a Local SIM card: With a SIM card from a Nigerian network you’ll get a Nigerian phone number and be reachable for your family and friends at a new number. You’ll benefit from free incoming calls and from the same phone and data tariffs like anybody else in Nigeria. You can get a local SIM card on your arrival at the airport. The major networks in Nigeria are MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat.
Book for Hotel and Flights to in Nigeria. Click Here
Women in most, if not all, oarts of Nigeria dress conservatively. That means women travelers may want to opt out of short spaghetti strap sundresses, unless they are on a hotel property, even when it is 90 degrees. You do not want to draw any negative attention to yourself.
Tourist Destinations in Nigeria
There are some notable tourist destinations you might want to visit in Nigeria. Some of them are:
The Ibeno Beach in Akwaibom State, Obudu Mountain Resort in Calabar, Ngwo Pine Forest in Enugu, Awhum Waterfall in Enugu, Arochukwu Long Juju Slave Route in Abia State, The Giant Footprint of Ukhuse Oke in Owan Edo State, Port Harcourt Tourist Beach in Rivers, Gashaki-Gumpti National Park in Taraba, Osun-Osogbo Grove in Osun, Sukur Cultural Landscape Adamawa, Oke-Idanre Hill in Ondo, Ogbunike Caves in Anambra, Coconut Beach in Lagos, Millennium Park in Abuja, Abuja Arts And Crafts Village, Kainji National Park in Niger, Yankari National Park in Bauchi.
Like every other place, when visiting Nigeria for the first time try and keep and open mind and experience the new environment. Be prepared and don’t take unnecessary risks.