Nigeria is a large West African country. It shares its borders with Benin, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. The south coast of the country is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Guinea. The capital city is Abuja.
The climate in Nigeria is equatorial monsoon and sub-equatorial. The average annual temperature can reach over +25°C. August is very rainy here. Winter in Nigeria is a dry period with strong wind and great fluctuations in temperature. The best time for visiting Nigeria is November and winter months.
The official language is English. The Nigerians are very religious people. There are equal numbers of the Muslims and the Christians, and about 20% of the population still follow the old local beliefs.
Those who prefer to spend time on a beach should go to Port Harcourt. There are wonderful sandy beaches in this small resort town. In the downtown, the tourists will find the National Museum of Port Harcourt.
If you prefer city entertainments, you should visit Kano, the city with a thousand-year history, see the monuments of history and architecture such as the grand mosque and the palace of Emir. Kano is also a good place for shopping. The market here is famous throughout the African continent. The markets of Lagos will seem endless to you.
The tourists will find the monuments of civilisation in the cities Ife and Ibadan which still preserved the examples of culture of an ancient Yoruba civilisation. The Ethnographic Museum of Ife contains the terracotta and bronze sculptures, ivory and wooden crafts.
The lovers of out-of-town holidays should visit the national parks of Nigeria. For example, the Cross River State Park near Akwa Ibom, the Chad Basin National Park near Abuja and the smallest Okomu National park near Lagos. In the Yankari National Park in the city of Bauchi, safari tours are arranged.
If you stay in Abuja, do not miss a chance to visit the Arts and Crafts Village and to see the Abuja’s Unity Fountain.
There are regular flights to Nigeria from Europe. The CIS tourists should take a transit flight.
There are also regular flights between Nigeria and neighbouring African states.
The CIS and EU travellers must obtain a visa to travel to Nigeria.
It usually takes about a week to get a visa. The tourists can fill in the application form on the site of the Immigration department.
A visitor visa is valid for 90 days.
Be aware that all the tourists coming to Nigeria must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
The Nigerian Customs does not restrict the import of foreign currency. The export of currency is limited to the imported sum. The sums exceeding 3.000 US dollars must be declared.
The tourists can import the following things duty-free:
- perfume (284 ml);
- gifts (the total cost must not exceed 300 nairas);
- household appliances, audio and video gadgets (one item per person);
- alcohol and tobacco.
It is prohibited to export from Nigeria:
- rare plants and parrots;
- ivory and skins of animals.
Any object which the Nigerian Customs officers recognise as having an archaeological or cultural value will be confiscated.
Any meal in Nigeria consists of several dishes and the main is a side dish. Meat, fish, and vegetables are served with rice but on a separate plate. The Nigerians eat soup at the end of a meal.
The tourists will find the Nigerian dishes quite hot. In Nigeria, you should definitely try Suya. It is a simple meat dish barbequed over a charcoal fire served with a hot sauce Vaja.
The lovers of seafood will surely like a thick soup with a sea-cat and Moja-Moja (smoked fish baked in palm leaves with beans casserole and eggs).
Those who prefer more traditional food can try a beef or chicken stew with vegetables and lime.
The tourists will discover an unusual taste of the Nigerian banana beer and palm wine. These beverages are ideal for Suya with hot Cayenne pepper.
A traditional refreshing drink in Nigeria is Malta. The taste of it reminds the Russian kvas.
If you crave for something more exotic, try the snails which are sold on the markets and in the shops.
The national currency of Nigeria is the Naira.
Officially, it is not allowed to use foreign currency in Nigeria. However, in real life, the tourists can pay for the goods in any foreign currency. Foreign currency is willingly accepted on the markets and in small shops.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks and in official exchange offices.
Credit cards and traveller’s checks are accepted only in the capital city.
The tax-free system is not available in Nigeria.
The criminal situation in Nigeria is complicated. The tourists should not carry large sums of money or leave the money in the hotel room. The tourists can become the victims of a fraud or a robbery.
Details of interest
Music is everywhere in Nigeria and this is the first thing the tourists should get used to. Music is a continuation of the traditions that existed in Nigeria in the earlier times. A choral singing is usually accompanied by a theatrical performance. The main musical instruments are drums and a wooden drum Ekwe. A popular Nigerian music style juju influences world modern pop music.
The Nigerian legislation is based on the British law system.
An important even in the country is the Fishing Festival. This great event takes place in Argungu in March. People from all the villages in Nigeria take place in this Festival.
Sightseeing in Nigeria
In Nigeria, there are two UNESCO sites. They are the Sukur Cultural Landscape and the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove.
- The Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove is an important place for the people of Yoruba. On the territory of the grove, there is a Temple carved in the trunk of a large tree. The people of Yoruba believe that the fertility goddess lives in the trees.
- The Sukur Cultural Landscape includes the Palace of the Hidi, sacred symbols, settlements, and terrace fields.
- In the Yankari National Park, the tourists will see the wild animals in their natural habitat.
- The Aso Rock is a Mecca for the lovers of climbing and trekking.
Among the traditional Nigerian souvenirs are the carved crafts from ivory and iron crafts. In Benin City, the tourists can buy the crafts made by the craftsmen from the local Craft Guild.
One of the main sights in Abuja is the Arts and Crafts Village. This village is situated in the business centre of the city and each shop there is made in the style of a traditional Nigerian hut. The walls are made of red clay and the roof is from straw. The tourists can buy there African masks, figurines, necklaces, bags, and clothes.