Nigeria is a country in equatorial West Africa. It is the continent's most populous nation. It has a southern coastline on the Gulf of Guinea, and has Benin to the west, Cameroon to the southeast, Chad to the northeast, and Niger to the north. It is the largest oil producer and second largest economy in Africa.
- 36 states and 1 territory*; Abia, Abuja Federal Capital Territory*, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara
- · Abuja - Capital
- · Benin City
- · Calabar
- · Lagos - Former colonial capital.
- · Port Harcourt
- · Sapele
- · Warri
- · Jos
- · Ibadan
- · Kano
- · Aba
- · Kaduna
- · Umuahia
- · Owerri
- · Kainji National Park
- · Yankari National Park
- · Obudu Cattle Ranch
Virgin Nigeria and Bellview Airlines make local and international flights (to other African countries and London), Arik and Aero to others African countries.
- · International airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt.
Note: VirginNigeria's application for direct service from Nigeria to/from the USA has been approved by the US Dept of Transportation since April 2008. However, service has yet to begin. Visit Virginair [www.virginnigeria.com] for updates.
Note: North American Airlines (NAA) has canceled its service from the USA to Nigeria and Ghana as of May 2008 due to rising fuel costs. Visit www.flynaa.com for more complete explanation and detail. Hence, Delta is now the only US carrier connecting the USA directly with Nigeria. Visit Delta [www.delta.com] for more information. Hats off to Delta Airlines... competition would be nice. Come on VirginNigeria and Arik!!!
- · Several European airlines fly to Nigeria: British Airways (London Heathrow - Abuja, Lagos), Virgin Atlantic (London Heathrow - Lagos), KLM (Amsterdam - Abuja, Lagos, Kano), Air France (Paris-Charles de Gaulle - Lagos), Alitalia (Milan-Malpensa - Abuja, Lagos), Turkish Airline (Istanbul - Lagos), Lufthansa (Frankfurt - Abuja, Lagos), Iberia Airlines (Madrid - Lagos)
- · Airlines from the United States: Delta Air Lines Atlanta - Lagos (nonstop) from 3 December 2007... New York (JFK) - Lagos (nonstop) from December 2008.
- · Other inter-continental airlines fly to Lagos. They include: China Southern Airlines (Beijing, Dubai), Emirates (Dubai), Middle East Airlines (Beirut), Qatar Airways (Doha).
- · There are African companies: South African Airlines from Johannesburg, Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Abbeba, Kenya Airways from Nairobi, Afriqya from Tripoli, Hewa Bora from Kinshasa.
- · Besides these, there are other airlines (in addition to VNA and Bellview) that operate domestic and regional flights to places like Abidjan, Accra, Banjul, Conakry, Dakar, Douala, Freetown, Johannesburg, Libreville, Monrovia.
- · Currently Port Harcourt international is closed for rehabilitation works.
- · There are also airports in most states of the federation and local air travel is widespread.
- · Most of the trains in Nigeria are for transporting cargo.
- · The new president, Yar'adua, however, says that he plans to invest and aggressively pursue a nationwide train network which should be ready by 2011.
- · At the moment it is not advisable to travel on train especially if you are foreign national.
Getting around is relatively easy, except that there could be delays due to traffic jams within most major cities. There are multitudes of coaches and buses that will take you to any part of Nigeria you wish (ABC Transport Services is well known for its services among others). Lagos state government also operates a transit system (BRT buses) which serves the Lagos metropolis.
Transport by boat isn't widespread unless you venture into the riverine areas of Nigeria.
It would be best to travel around in your own car or a hired one but there are various other modes of transport. The road systems in Nigeria are relatively poor compared with N. American and Euopean countries. The "okada" (motorcycle) is not for the faint-hearted (no helmets) and should only be used for short distance journeys. "Okadas" will get you to where you want to go quickly and you will get there in one piece. In Lagos, there are lots of buses and taxis. There are two main types of buses, the molue and the danfo. Most smaller cities have more taxis than buses, and they are quite affordable. For travelling from one city to another, you go to the "motor park", find the taxi that's going to your destination, and wait until it "fills up". The price is fixed, you don't have to negotiate. Some drivers may have a risky driving style however.
Lots of aggressive street sellers surround the car when you get to crossroads. You shouldn't have a problem if you keep the windows and doors locked however. Armed ambushes are pretty common.
[add listing] See
- · Lagos: Bar Beach, Badagary Beach, Tarkwa bay Beach
- · Lekki: Lekki Beach, Eleko Beach
- English (official), Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo (Ibo), Fulani, Efik, Ejagham, Urhobo
· Nigeria's currency is the naira. On 6 April 2008, there were 117.44 naira to the US dollar.
It is advised to cash all your naira back into another currency at the airport before you leave Nigeria. The rate is irrelevant, as the naira is not that much outside Nigeria. Naira bills/coins may be of interest to currency collectors, but other than that, they will be nothing more than colorful souvenirs of your trip. Be warned that some of the dollar bills you'll get from street vendors will likely be counterfeit, so stick with established banks for your currency exchange needs.
If you have a VISA card, you can withdraw money from Standard Chartered Bank ATM Machine's in Lagos - Aromire St., off Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja & Ajose Adeogun St. in Victoria Island Branch, Abuja and Port Harcourt (in Naira). This will save you a lot of stress carrying large sums of money and it is secured.
MasterCard / Maestro users can also withdraw Money from ATMs at several branches of Zenith Bank. Look for the red ATM sign outside, or ask the on-site security officer at any branch. Also look for Ecobank, they have a branch within the premises of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
It is advisable that you know where to buy things well in advance of your going out. This can save you exposure to hoodlums who can attack based on your lack of knowledge of places. Nigerian Yellow Pages provides list of businesses, contact addresses and phone numbers. The best thing to do is to locate the business, call their representative, who can give you detailed information on how to locate them.
On the market, you are supposed to haggle for your goods (a notable exception is bread: its price is fixed). As a general rule, the real price is about half the price that was first asked. The seller may exaggerate the price when he or she thinks that you are a rich tourist ignorant of the real price. After agreeing on a price, don't walk away without buying, this is considered very rude.
There are many types of traditional cuisine to enjoy. For example: Okra soup, plantain (fried, boiled, roasted), pepper soup, amala, eba, efo, pounded yam (iyan - Yoruba for "pounded yam"), jollof rice, ground nut soup, ogbono soup, isi ewu (goat's head stew), egusi soup, suya (kebab), moi moi, ewedu, edikangikong, ground-rice, puff-puff, chin chin, ikokore, owerri soup (ofe owerri), which is the most expensive African soup in Nigeria. Not to forget 404 pepper soup - it will make you act like Oliver Twist. You must realise that 404 means "dog meat".
- · Nigeria is one of the places where Guinness is brewed outside of Ireland. And they do it pretty well, although it's not the same product. The Guinness-brand (with logo and copyrights where they should be) is also used to brew both an alcohol-free malt version of the black stuff, and an extra strong (about 7.5%) version of Guinness in Kenya (in the case of the latter) and Tanzania (in the case of the former).
- · Beer is actually big business in Nigeria, although the move toward evangelism and islamic law is making its mark. Lagos is relatively unaffected due to its cosmopolitan nature. Heineken, Star, Harp, Gulder and other international beers are available.
- · Malt beverages (non alcoholic) are very common in Nigeria.
- · The other cheap drink of choice is gin, which is locally made. Some locals will swear to it making their step uncle's dog blind, though, so be careful.
- · Never drink the water sold in plastic bags. It probably hasn't been boiled, and may carry some nasty diseases. The bottled water and other soft drinks are safe.