Practical advice for Nigeria
GETTING TO NIGERIA
Regular, mostly daily flights to both Lagos and Abuja from Accra, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cairo, Dakar, Dubai, Houston, Istanbul, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Nairobi, New York, Paris, amongst other destinations. Arik Air is Nigeria’s biggest carrier, however most major international airlines fly to both Lagos and Abuja.
GETTING AROUND LAGOS
Public transport in Lagos can be dangerous, and is not recommended by Hip Africa. Taxis and long distance buses are often poorly maintained, uninsured and driven by unlicensed drivers. Most major hotels (and the airport) offer cars for hire with drivers: this is the safest and best way to get around Lagos.
There are several cab companies servicing Lagos, using both metered and fixed fares, and they generally accept cash:
Red Cab. Taxi Service ☎ +234 700 073 3222
Orange Cabs. Taxi Service ☎ +234 791 7202, 234 702 911 9504, 234 819 116 6926
Recommended Insurers: World Nomads www.worldnomads.com
SAFETY AND TRAVEL RISKS
There are high levels of violent street crime (muggings, kidnappings, car-jackings and armed robbery).
Avoid carrying valuables, take all sensible precautions and strictly follow any particular safety advice you get from locals/employers/hosts/hotel staff.
If feasible, avoid travelling around after dark, especially in isolated areas.
Terrorism Threat Level
The main terrorist threat in Nigeria comes from Islamist extremist groups Boko Haram and Ansaru.
Northern Nigeria: Terrorist attacks occur particular in the north east (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states). Major urban centres such as Bauchi, Kanu, Kaduna and Abuja, are also particularly at risk. Traveling in the north of Nigeria could result in kidnapping, or being caught up in a terrorist or violent incident.
Official Travel Warnings
Northern Nigeria: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Borno State, Yobe State, Adamawa State, Gombe State and Bauchi State where there are frequent violent attacks. Recent attacks have increasingly focused on public places, including bars and restaurants, resulting in a large number of injuries and deaths. The FCO advises against all travel to Kano City and Okene City, which see frequent high levels of violence.
The Niger Delta States: The FCO advises against all travel to the riverine areas (ie the river and swamp locations on or close to the coast accessible by boat, but not by road) of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River states. The FCO advise against all travel to Warri city.
Do’s and Don’ts
West Africa is one of the world’s major hubs for internet scams. Be extremely cautious if you have received correspondence over the internet i.e a job offer, a business partnership or any request for a face-to-face meeting in Nigeria. Scams come in many forms from romance to employment opportunities, and can pose a great financial risk to victims.
Buy African art and antiques, but make sure you get written authorisation from the Department of Antiquities, in order to legally take them home with you.
Photography of government, military buildings and airports may lead to arrest.
Try and break your bank notes into smaller denominations before buying fruits and other snacks.
If considering fertility treatment in Nigeria, beware of staged fake births (commonly known as ‘miracle babies’) which have resulted in visitors being falsely led to believe that they have given birth.
In Lagos, eating, smoking or using a mobile phone while driving and riding a motorcycle without a helmet are prohibited. Motorists face fines or imprisonment for violations.