If you’ve got an adventurous spirit and you’re looking for something off of the beaten path, Nigeria may be a great option for your next vacation! From sun-drenched beaches to bustling city markets, Nigeria is a fun country with a vivid culture. The great thing about a Nigerian vacation is that you can customize your trip based on what you want to get out of it. There are tropical resorts, mountains, jungles, and cities depending on the type of trip you want to take. Just keep in mind, it’s extremely important that you choose a safe location for your trip. While the vast majority of the country is extremely lovely, there are a few regions of Nigeria that can be a little unsafe for tourists.
Method 1 Method 1 of 5:Where to Stay Download Article
Visit Lagos to experience Nigeria’s biggest bustling city. Lagos is Nigeria’s biggest city and it’s one of the most popular destinations for tourists. There are beautiful beaches, a vibrant nightlife, and tons of shopping. Ikoyi, Yaba, and Victoria Island are the most popular neighborhoods when it comes to staying in Nigeria.
- The Tarkwa Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Nigeria and it’s here in Lagos!
- The Lekki Conservation Center and Lufasi Nature Park are great tourist spots if you want to relax and enjoy some local wildlife.
- If you’re doing any shopping, you can’t go wrong with the Lekki Market or Ikeja City Mall.
- Most Nigerians speak English, so don’t worry about running into a ton of language barriers if you’re a fluent English speaker.
Go to the capital city of Abuja for some shopping and good food. Abuja is slightly smaller than Lagos, but the infrastructure is better and it’s a little less chaotic. If you’re looking for a more relaxing city experience near some of Nigeria’s popular natural sites, Abuja may be the best choice for you. Zuma Rock, a popular monolith in Nigeria, is located just outside the city. The city is also home to lots of gardens, nature sites, and public zoos.
- Abuja is home to lots of famous mosques and cathedrals. It’s a great city if love ancient architecture!
- While Lagos is home to the famous street markets, Abuja is home to many massive malls. If you want a calmer shopping experience, Abuja is a better choice.
- There are a lot of waterfalls and hot springs near Abuja that you can easily turn into a day trip if you want a break from the city.
Pick a ranch or resort in Central Nigeria for a relaxing vacation. A private ranch or resort is a great option if you want to relax with your feet in the water and a drink in your hand! Since it can be dangerous to travel across the country, many tourists opt to spend the entire trip at a resort and take some tours through the countryside with a tour group. Some of the most popular options include:
- The Obudu Cattle Ranch. This is one of the busiest resorts in the country, and it has a water park, golf course, and stable if you’re interested in horseback riding. This is a great option if you’re taking a family trip.
- Okuma National Park. The resorts on this site are surrounded by wildlife, which is awesome if you’re looking to go on a safari tour.
- The Ibom Hotel. This resort has a full golf course and is situated in a remote part of Nigeria if you want to do some peaceful golfing.
- Yankari Games Reserve and Resort. This is another great option if you want to see some baboons, hippos, and elephants. It’s also near the Marshall cave system if you’re a fan of spelunking.
Select a beach resort along the western coast to chill by the ocean. Starting in the central coast and heading west, there are dozens of beach resorts that dot the Nigerian coast. Many of these resorts are near Lagos if you want to spend a day or two poking around the city and shopping. This is a great option if you want to soak up some sun and enjoy a cocktail on the beach. Popular options include:
- La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort. This resort is famous for its views and modern luxury if you want to relax in style. It’s also just outside of Lagos if you want to see the city.
- Clear Essence California Spa & Wellness Resort. If you want to get a massage or soak it up in the sauna, you can’t go wrong here.
- Whispering Palms. This romantic destination has a zoo, palm trees, and intimate dining. If you’re taking your partner or spouse on a trip, this is a great option.
- Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort. This resort is popular for its warm springs and pool, but it’s also near the Idanre hills if you enjoy the occasional hike.
Avoid traveling to the northeast or the eastern coast for safety reasons. Unfortunately, certain parts of Nigeria are considered dangerous for travelers. Kidnapping, terrorism, mugging, and scams are rampant across the northeast states and Nigerian Delta. Check in with your embassy if you’d like more information on what you should avoid when visiting Nigeria.
- Most countries explicitly tell their citizens not to visit Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, and the Zamfara border with Niger. The eastern portion of the coast of the country is also usually off-limits, since pirates have been known to patrol the area.
- The one exception here is Port Harcourt, a coastal city in the east, which is considered a pretty calm place for tourists. It’s a city known for its parks and gardens if that’s something you may be interested in.
- It’s not a good idea to travel across the country by vehicle. Unsanctioned road checkpoints are common in Nigeria, and you could run into trouble. The rural roads are generally in pretty poor condition as well.
Method 2 Method 2 of 5:Flights and Accommodations Download Article
Plan to visit Nigeria from October to January for the best weather. The rainy season in Nigeria runs from May to September, and it can rain hard and often during this time. It can get extremely hot from February to April. This makes late fall and winter the best time to visit if you can fit it into your schedule. Expect some heat regardless of when you’re travelling, though.
- Avoid traveling on a holiday. A lot of Nigerian expats go home during Christmas and New Year’s so it can be busy and expensive.
- It typically doesn’t rain at all during the dry season, so don’t worry about packing rain boots or anything like that!
Book tickets to fly to Lagos or Abuja to keep things simple. There are smaller airports in the country, but your best bet is to fly into Lagos or Abuja. Check out a map to see which airport is closer to your hotel or resort and book your flight. Book your return tickets as well, even if you’re planning on taking a longer trip. You need a return ticket to get into the country.
- The visa-approval process for Nigeria is a little odd. You must have your hotel and flights booked before you submit a visa application.
Pay for your hotel or resort once you know where you want to stay. If you’re staying at a resort, call them and book your stay. If you’re staying in Lagos or Abuja, look online and read reviews of the popular hotels there before making your decision. If you can, find a hotel that offers shuttle services or transportation since it’ll make getting around a lot easier.
- Airbnb is popular in Nigeria if you’re interested in something a little less traditional.
- Make sure that your hotel has air conditioning! It can get extremely hot and humid in Nigeria, and you’ll be thankful there’s some frigid air in your hotel after a long day of running around.
Arrange for transportation from the airport to your hotel or resort. You can always take a cab or Uber from either of the major airports to your hotel, but your accommodations may offer a private driver to come pick you up. Either way, figure out how you’re getting to your hotel or resort once you land.
- Nigeria has Uber if you’re already familiar with that app. They also have a taxi-hailing app called Easy Taxi if you’d like to download that ahead of time.
- You’ll find cab stands at either of the major airports. Make sure that they take credit cards before getting in if you haven’t exchanged your currency yet, though.
Method 3 Method 3 of 5:Visas and Vaccines Download Article
Swing by your doctor’s office for your polio booster and yellow fever vaccine. You must submit proof of a polio booster and yellow fever vaccine to be approved for a Nigerian visa. Call your primary care doctor and let them know you need these vaccines. Show up for your appointment and get these vaccines. Hold on to the paperwork so you can prove that you’re healthy enough to travel.
- Depending on where you live, you may need a World Health Organization yellow card to get into Nigeria. Your doctor may be able to get one of these for you. It’s just a document printed by the World Health Organization proving that your vaccine batch wasn’t expired.
Get the optional vaccines if you can, just to be on the safe side. It’s also a good idea to get your measles, hepatitis A, malaria, and typhoid vaccinations if you haven’t had any of them. These may not be mandatory for travel, but it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting these vaccines or boosters as well.
- Ask your doctor about getting cholera, hepatitis B, rabies, and meningitis vaccines if you really want to play it safe. These aren’t mandatory, but it’s a good idea to get these if you want to avoid getting sick on your trip.
Apply for a travel visa through your country’s Nigerian embassy. Contact the Nigerian embassy where you live and explain that you’re interested in visiting. They will walk you through the process and explain what you need based on where you’re applying. In most countries, you can complete this process online.
- Unless you were born in Nigeria, you must have a visa to enter the country.
- Your passport must be at least 6 months from expiration to be approved for a visa, so apply for a new passport if you’re getting close to that expiration date!
Submit your required paperwork and wait to be approved for your visa. Upload or hand in a copy of your vaccination paperwork, your passport, and any other additional documents you need to submit. Then, wait for your application to be approved. The amount of time this will take depends on how busy the Nigerian embassy is in your country, but expect it to take a few weeks.
- You may also need a letter from your bank explaining that you have enough money to cover the cost of the trip. Submit this with your other documents as well. A bank statement may suffice depending on where you live.
- The fee changes depending on where you live, but it will typically cost $20-200 per person to apply for a Nigerian visa.
Method 4 Method 4 of 5:What to Bring Download Article
Pack your prescriptions and OTC medications. Don’t forget to pack any prescription medication you’ll need, since it may be a nightmare to get a refill in a Nigerian pharmacy. Also, pack some ibuprofen or some other pain medication. Be sure to pack some anti-diarrheal medication, since your body may take some time to adjust to the Nigerian food and water.
- You may also want to pack some antacids if you’re prone to heartburn. Nigerian food is notoriously (and deliciously) spicy.
Bring a variety of breathable short- and long-sleeved clothing. Nigeria is hot, so stick with lightweight fabrics like linen and cotton. Stick with neutral colors, and pack a few sets of long-sleeved clothing in case you’re dining out or going hiking in an area full of insects. In some of the more conservative regions of Nigeria, it’s a little bit of a faux pas to show your knees and forearms.
- It is illegal to wear army prints, military apparel, or camouflage in Nigeria. Leave those combat boots and camo T-shirts at home.
- Blue and black clothing attracts the tsetse fly, which can bite and carry disease. Stick with red, yellow, or white clothing as much as you can.
Keep a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen in your bag. Nigeria’s sun can pack a punch if you aren’t ready for it. If you’ve got a nice beach hat, pack it and bring it with you everywhere you go. Bring plenty of sunscreen and put it on whenever you’re heading out to explore the country. Unless you’re visiting in the rainy season, don’t expect much cloud cover to keep the heat off!
- It can drop as low as 72 °F (22 °C) in Nigeria, but it doesn’t get much cooler than that unless you’re high in the mountains or staying in the north. If you think you’ll get chilly, bring a sweater. Most people won’t need one, though.
Method 5 Method 5 of 5:Safety Tips Download Article
Keep your passport and visa locked up at the hotel to keep them safe. Nigeria can be pretty strict when it comes to tourists, and you won’t be able to get out of the country if you don’t have your passport and entry visa. Keep your key documents locked in the hotel or resort safe so that you don’t lose them. It will be a major headache if you can’t get on the plane home!
- Historically, pickpocketing has been fairly common in Nigeria, so only carry what you need when you’re heading out on the town.
Stick with cabs or rideshares when you’re traveling. Nigeria has public transit, but it can be inconsistent, dangerous, and confusing. You’re better off getting a driver to take you around. You can find taxis all over the major cities in Nigeria. If you prefer, you can always use your phone to hail an Uber. Your hotel or resort may be able to provide transportation as well.
- Traffic in Nigeria is famously chaotic. You may be able to rent a vehicle or motorbike, but you’re better off just hiring a local to drive you around.
Avoid tap water and stick with the bottled stuff. The tap water in Nigeria can carry a variety of bacteria and contaminants, and your stomach isn’t going to agree with it. Only drink bottled water when you’re out and about.
- Pack a spare bottle in your backpack or purse when you’re heading out on the town.