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Is Nigeria somewhere to visit as a tourist?

edited March 2009 in Africa
I am interested in visiting Nigeria as a tourist. I want to check out Lagos, and see the sights for myself. After reading so much about the endless Nigerian scams and dodgy people I am realyl curious to see what the place is really like for a western vsitors. I have heard from some that the people are really warm and friendly, from others that Lagos is filled with hookers and scam artists and robbers.

Has anyone been and got any experiernces to share of Lagos and Abuja? Is it crazy for a single travellers to visit?


  • edited 1:58PM
    Lagos is not for the rookie traveller. You need to be street wise to avoid getting into trouble. The city is hot, dirty, but very full of life, totally African and very exciting to be in. It is not for everyonem, and not for more than a few days I think. The markets are the best attraction, where all the life concentrates. the cinemas also are fun, because the nigerian movies (the industry is called "Nollywood") are crazy and prolific (more than 2000 are made every year; $500 million dollar biz).
  • edited 1:58PM
    a traveller especially from a western country needs to check out the health hazards in nigeria of which there are many and get the vaccinations to reduce the risk of getting cholera, malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, hepatitis B, HIV, hepatitis A, hepatitis C. You can book for travel vaccines at your GP centre but the yellow fever has to be done at a specialist centre which the GP can advise you where. You need to do these a couple of months before because some of them are a course of injections/tablets so dont leave it til the last minute. also your arm will be sore for a few days and you wont be able to carry your bag! honestly, though you need time to get them sorted about 6 weeks. also the Gp needs to get the vaccines in sometimes. Check the websit ato see how these diseases are spread as then you will be better prepared to reduce the risk of catching them. For example some are throgh mosquitoes ( some in the daylight other mosquitoes bite at night) dont wear aftershave or perfume as it atracts the mosquitoes. take some redhydration salts in case you get diarrohea because dehydration can kill you or at least make you disorientated/confused. you need travel insurance which includes evacuation as their hospitals are not really for westerners. It is much more dangerous for your health to be in these countries than a holiday in europe or usa. I have travelled there a lot and it is very stimulating/different enjoyable sceneray but you have to be very careful if you are travelling alone not to get taken advantge of by people who seem very friendly yet are after your money, your organs (kidney etc) and carry HIV, hepatitis B. Take good precautions and travel with other westerners. Hide your passport well and dont get into a relationship (passport hunters and god diggers and HIV carriers) Enjoy but be careful
  • edited 1:58PM
    travelling nurse, thanks for your comment on nigeria, very inspiring indeed. though your comment on health is well thought of (excluding the HIV rants), your comments on crimes and other vices associated with nigeria is both very bogus and misleading. crime in nigeria can never be same a those commited in new york, where someone is shot almost every 3 minutes. unfortunately for you, and those who may not have been to africa. only news you hear is of crime, war and poverty, never a news focusing on other aspect of african life. my advice to any one going to nigeria is to take as much care as you would if going to a new place. nigeria is a country with over 150million people, majority of those numbers are kind peace loving people, and always willing to help out anyone. it doesnt mean they are out to stab you in the back or steal your passport when you are not looking.I live in the UK, and i know of many people who have lost their passports to thiefs from eastern european gangs. your passport is your most priced possesion when abroad, therefore it is your responsibility to keep it safe. I dont believe any body going to lagos must be street wise to enjoy the city. lagos like every city in the world has places with people of dogdy character, it is left for the traveller to know where he's going, and if possible find out from their embassies safe areas they can visit.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Be very careful over there. I know westerners who opened a bank account in Nigeria as they were doing volunteer work for a few months...When they got home it turns out that somebody in Nigeria tried to sell their house using the details that they used to open the bank account.
  • edited 1:58PM
    hello! i just want to ask if its safe to work in Victoria island Lagos? I've met an employer through the net and I am applying as au pair to their family. They tell me that they are based in london but have business in nigeria? they advise me to get a visit visa because the embassy would not allow me to have the working visa? They will shoulder all my expenses? And they extend my visa every 3 mos? am i safe with that arrangement?
    pls email me at [email protected]
  • edited 1:58PM
    Visit Lagos yourself and form your opinions.
  • edited 1:58PM
    DEEN, i take it you have visited - what is your opinion??
  • edited 1:58PM
    I think Nigeria is not that bad.But is ok,if you have a nice hotel and
    someone to trust.
  • edited 1:58PM
    @ Travelling Nurse;you sure make Nigeria sound like a hell hole.Like diseases are flying around in the air.Nigeria aint south america where people sell organs.I doubt if you have even been to Nigeria.Am a Nigerian and have travelled to few major cities around the world and what still baffles me until now is the way Nigerians treat expats(WHITE EXPATS).Nigerians place the best interest of an expat over their own citizens.
    @Simo21 my advise is if you are visiting Lagos or Abuja you should have a good tour guide,a car ,a driver and a good reputable hotel(try hotel chains).Also take vaccine for malaria from your country before you depart.TB and cholera are not common in the Major cities;you only find such in the rural areas in the northern part of the country.Just take the normal precautions you will take when travelling to any other major city anywhere in the world;)
    At least Nigeria is not as dangerous as South Africa where you can get shot if you refuse to give away your wallet
  • edited 1:58PM
    my parents have been travelling to Nigeria every two years since 1990, I went over twice in the last couple of years and will go back in Fall. It was fantastic.
    However, we avoided any problems by going "only" to the middle and (north)eastern parts, especially Mubi and Jos, where we have friends and where we lived in compounds together with the local people. In that region, there are no (white) tourists and people easily converse and integrate you, while the southeastern part is more difficult due to the white being seen as "rich engineers" and the colonization has done most of its damage there.
    Abuja and Kano are easily reachable via plane and, at least for Europeans, not _very_ expensive (~600 Euros).
    I heartily recommend going there, lots of things to discover, people are natural, welcoming and happy. Be aware though of local customs and behaviour before going anywhere in Nigeria, some gestures might be misinterpreted.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Nigeria is a nice place to visit and nigerians are warm and friendly.The crime rate in new york and other major cities are high than that of nigeria.People should stop writing or saying nagative things about africa or nigeria.Ben
  • edited 1:58PM
    @ Simo21 Nigeria is a very nice place to visit, though like every other country Nigeria has it's own share of crime but far better than so many countries in the world. If you intend visiting Lagos, i will suggest you get vaccinated for Malaria, the rest are irrelevant.

    Between those who claim Nigeria is full of diseases that is so not true, the only disease you can point to in Nigeria is Malaria unlike countries struggling with H1N1 flu, avian flu etc

    Make you research on hotels you can use in Lagos etc Nigerians are very heartwarming people, give it a try and you will not regret it.
  • edited 1:58PM
    I have been in a relationship with a nigerian guy for 3 yrs back in the UK. He recently went home renewed his passport and for some reason his visa was cancelled and has to reapply, this could take months. We were supposed to be goin back together in July to visit his family although it now seems I will be travelling alone if he doesn't come back soon. He lives in Lagos. As a white westerner I am wondering if it will be safe for me to travel alone he will obviously be meeting me at the airport. How do I apply for a visa? how long will it take and how soon should i start getting vacinated? his family are keen to meet me and think I will have a wonderful time although I should expect it to be hot (don't forget I live in the UK lol), I am ignorant as I have only read comments on the internet which scare me of travel to Lagos. Can anyone reassure me?
  • edited 1:58PM
    Caz don't be scared of visiting Lagos, Nigeria. There are tons of white people in Lagos and it is really safe for you to travel alone, just makes sure he picks you up at the airport once you touch down.

    I can assure you that you will have the best time of your life, his parents and family members will certainly spoil you with food, love and affection. Though i will suggest you get vaccinated against Malaria thats the only negative thing i can point out.

    It's going to be hot but Nigeria at the moment is going through the raining season, so expect a mixed weather.

    As for the Visa, i believe British citizens require a valid passport to travel to Nigeria but do ask the British High Commission about the visa issue.

    Don't allow the internet scams you read here or anywhere else dissuade you, you have guys have been together and there is no way you can fall for such scams, do travel with your credit card if you don't want to hold on to cash. The internet scams you read about all happen via the internet it's not as if people work around trying to scam people lol

    Brace yourself for the most enjoyable time of your life Caz.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Thank you Pixie. Your words of encouragement have brought great relief to me. I am now looking forward to going and will be booking my flight this weekend. And I also guess that means shopping for holiday clothes etc lol Want to make a good impression and a girl needs to look her best when meeting the parents haha.

    I have taken all your comments on board and your advice is greatly appreciated. many thanks and will let u guys know how my holiday went.

    God bless
  • edited 1:58PM
    You welcome Caz, just be neutral don't try and be skeptical you will certainly enjoy yourself. It is kind of raining in Nigeria at the moment, so i will suggest you go with some warm clothes also. Try the local dishes when you get there, ask your husband you want Yams & Eggs, Eba & Egusi soup etc LOL

    Do have a blast girl.
  • edited 1:58PM
    hey can someone help.....i am a Nigerian but have not travelled home for the past 14 years but thinking of going in 4 months time.. scared of what to
  • edited 1:58PM
    Leaving for Lagos next week. Can I do a trip out to Lake Chad in four days and still have time to see some sites in between Lagos and Maiduguri? More importantly, are the overnight buses as dangerous as everything I read indicates?
  • edited 1:58PM
    I am a nigerian,and had being traveling and living in couples of western
    countries for the past thirty -six years and have experienced and seen some worst situations and conditions in some of the big cities than the ones discribed in Lagos.So do I need to stop my adventuring to these places.?
  • edited 1:58PM
    most comments about Nigeria are basically uninformed. I am a Nigerian and I have travelled to over 12 countries around the world. And I can safely say that the crime rate compared to places like newyork , south Africa and some parts of London is relatively low. The capital of Nigeria is Abuja which is situated geographically at the center of the country it is a beautiful city which offers excellent architecture in most parts. Lagos is also a beautiful city known for its aquatic splendor. Anyone traveling to Lagos would enjoy a nightlife that is second to non. the people popular known as Lagosians are fun loving,warm highly intelligent individuals and just like any other country in the world Nigeria has its share of bad eggs who are about 2% of the entire population. I believe that the overall citizens should not be judged based on these individuals. Nigeria has a large foreign community comprising of individuals from all over the world who have been living in Nigeria for years. In order for them to continue to earn enormous salaries(based on the supposed high risk factor) they feed the rest of the world with unfavorable stories about the country.If it was that bad we would not have them trouping in in droves everday!
    Do travel in and make your judgements
  • edited 1:58PM
    JK, thanks for your comments. I have a friend in NYC who graduated from harvard business school and recently moved to Lagos. He loves it there and he's planning to move his wife there soon. He owns a VERY VERY successful business in NYC but he wanted to move back to Africa. He is originally from Nigeria. I also have several other highly intelligent Nigerian friends here in NYC that I hang out with. I think you are right when you say the Nigerians are fun, warm, and highly intelligent people. With that said, I've been invited to speak at a conference there in November. I was contacted via email based on my website. I'm excited and skeptical, because I don't have a whole lot of information yet. I was told that my air ticket, meals, and hotel will be covered during the conference. For now, I'm proceeding with caution. What are you thoughts, JK or anyone?
  • edited 1:58PM
    David/JK, here is a very interesting blog from a guy who moved to Lagos from London:

    He is very positive about the place and proud to be an AFrican. Nice to hear another side to the familiar story!
  • edited 1:58PM
    I lived in Nigeria from 1969 to 1988 and then came home to Canada to care for my aged parents. (I am a Canadian) Since that time I have returned every 3 - 4 years and then last year and am hoping for a visa to visit this year in the Fall. I know that there is good and bad everywhere. I have had both good and bad experiences both in Canada and Nigeria. I am a senior now and know there will come a time when travelling there will not be in the picture anymore. I will sorely miss my friends when that time comes. I have watched babies grow into adults and some of them call me mom and grandma. So you know that my heart and mind will always be there.
  • edited 1:58PM
    "Nigeria!" "Nigeria!" "Nigeria!" Wow at least without some bad news the name wouldnt have been popular. Nigerians are enterprising and hardworking, now thats the good part. Obviously never forget that in every community there is good and bad! But Brixton, Peckham gangs, gangland shootings Manchester or the East End in London is never highlighted on international tourist websites reviews. Of course you have to be careful, why? its because the Pound has a higher value than the Naira. Imagine a case where the Naira was higher in value than the Pound, do you think I wont be a target at Heathrow? I remember back then in the early 70's coming to London with much valued Naira was risky that we had to be met at the airports.

    Anyway much love to tourists, visitors and foreigners, visit for a safe, secure and professional service locally and internationally to and fro your destination. I lived in the UK for so many years and as a Nigerian I have the experience of both worlds, if you know what I mean. Stay Safe and Blessed.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Hi all, I am so glad to hear about Nigeria being so wonderful, I am wondering tho, I am in love with a Nigerian Man (I am female by the way) and we have talked and chatted for 4 years, he has applied twice for a canadian visa and has had no luck, any suggestions on how it can be legit and get it done, we dont want to have to pay off someone to get the visa. I am Canadian and have written the invite letter, but that doesnt seem to be the problem here, Any tips would be greatly appreciated, the faster the better, we want to meet. Thank you all.
  • edited 1:58PM
    gaddamn! 4 years! how d'you guys or chics do it?! just talking without any action for 4 gaddamn years!! thats magic, whoz got the sugar-coated tongue? I am not into the visa intricacies but if I may ask kw2004 on what grounds is he applying to come into Canada? as a student, business man or just plain visiting?
    You have sent the invite letter, and was he rejected? if he was then his documents are incomplete, not enough funds as to the grounds he is applying to get the visa on, he did not show any solid evidence of work in Nigeria, how old is he? probably he is within that age bracket that might be seeking for "greener pastures". Are u planning to marry? which of course is not something you will just jump into but man, 4 years? it shows his words are something smoother than all the Canadians you've listened to!!

    Dexter with love
  • edited 1:58PM
    Simo21, bladde26 and lorn hello and may have this opportunity to introduce myself. I'm Dexter, new to the site but not new to the game of showing some luuurve to individuals who have a need to get their questions answered. I do the best I can but hey in anything you have to do your research before you get burned, never take anybody's word as gospel truth. Even the Bible needs to be researched! and as always there will always be risk to take because thats what makes us stay alive and youthful!

    Lorn, I will send you an email to that effect but Simo21 and Bladde26 check out to pre-book your local itinerary before you embark on your journey. The company's HQ is in the UK so incase you are scared you can kick some butt when back in the UK. Check out the website to make sure. Nigeria is a land of opportunities! Remember Nigerians came tops among the Most Happiest People in the World in a 2006 poll so imagine the love we still have inside irrespective of the playahating!

    Dexter with love at
  • edited 1:58PM
    its kw2004 but im just a guest so now I need a new id....
    I am sure we will marry sometime, but as for now, we just need him here, he is 31 and he works but I guess not enough for the Can Visa to want to let him come here. He doesnt own property which is probably an issue also. We have just been trying as a visitor visa, I have been looking for someone to hire him on a work visa, but there are not many that are willing to hire a Nigerian unless they are already here. YEAH 4 looooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggg years I tell you, but you know what.... its worth it, I have never met any Canadian man that has compared to him and nor am I looking. And you know what..... I see millions of East Indians and they come and work at gas stations and convenience stores yet how do they get here, I guess they have the money in the bank. (That was not meant as a rude comment of the EI's) I just dont get it.
    His Father is a Liberian who he thinks lives in the USA but of course once he got there they never heard another word from him, I thought that may help, but ahhhhhh I just dont know how to get him here. How do you prove the the Can Embassy that you are going back, when really, if we marry isnt true? To make matters worse is that I have been trying to divorce for YEARS, otherwise I would go there. Anyway, thank you.
  • edited 1:58PM
    have family over in Nigeria and they can't get home. The airlines, the banks, the courts, everyone over there is corrupt. Never ever go to WU or MG alone because you will be robbed right after you get your money. The police are also corrupt over there. Everyone bleeds the Americans dry of their life savings just to get home. My husbnd has been robbed, beaten, kidnapped and the story gets worse. Never go there just to make money, because you might never ever get home. There are some nice Nigerians, but the crime overrides the nice ones. My family was on a plane trip home to the US when it was Hijacked. The arilines didn't want to pay the 23 million the pirates wanted at 1st but finally they did pay to set the people on the plane home,,,only demanded 7,000 each for them to get home. I beg you not to go there,,EVER...if you do, tell the US Emabassy you are visiting their country incase you can't home. And if you can't get home for money reasons, or any reason, go to the US Embassy for help. Trust me, watch your money, watch your back, beware of the airlines when trying to get home, they will only keep asking you for money for this or that...and check customs also, they want money also. Oh and don't forget the fees customs will charge you with your goods to get out of the country.


  • edited 1:58PM
    My sister is in Lagos as I write this. She went with her Nigerian husband to visit his sick mother who is on her death bed. They refused to let her board the plane because she is an American citizen. The officials told her that there is an embargo on American citizens travelling to Nigeria. True to Nigerian corruption they have to pay a huge fine of some sort in order for her to leave. She also told me how filthy most of the city is; with garbage dumps adjacent to many communities, and power outages everyday. My sister and I are not travel novices, so for her to complain it must be really bad. I wanted to plan a trip to Lagos with her under better circumstances, but now she says she will never go back no matter how great the accomadations are.
  • edited 1:58PM
    I am travelling to Lagos in about 4 weeks. I'm a white Australian female, travelling alone. A friend of my mine...male, Nigerian and black is meeting me at the airport. I have just obtained my visa from the Nigerian Embassay and I was told to carry US$ with me as i would probably need to pay some US$ to the customs ppl...... a bribe I guess?? She couldn't tell me how much it would be, just what she had heard...... from other travellers, I am supposing??

    Does anyone know how much I would be up for? and what come back, if any, do I have?? I know that once I meet up with my friend I will be OK but just getting through customs sounds like it might be a problem. If I have to part with some small currency US$ I can cop that but I'm concerned about what else they might ask for or try to take from me??? I was going to take about 3K US with me into the country but I don't want them to take it off me and if they try to, is there anything I can do about it??

    I considered maybe having the phone number of the lagos State Police, or the Inspector General of Police or the phone number of the Australian High Commission with me and calling them if it got a bit over the top with their demands?
    I would be interested in the opinions of ppl in the know!

    I have previously travelled extensively through Europe and Asia, spending a year travelling around the world when I was younger, but never to Africa so I don't know how far to push back if I feel that what they want is over the top?

    Also is there any better way to get money in Nigeria. I can't use my Credit card...too risky, I hear that with travellers cheques you don't get a very good exchange rate and I don't think that there are any suitable ATM's for the travel money card that I'm using in Europe and England. I can't load it with NGN, only the major currencies like US$, British Pounds, Euro n a couple of others. Anyway my friend said that US $ cash is the best currency to have in Lagos, if it can be arranged.

    Any thoughts, ideas or words of wisdom would be much appreciated !! :)

    Oh and I am leaving on Sunday Oct 4, for London so any responses before then would be great!!
  • edited 1:58PM
    Roxy - take *some* cash in US dollars, but for gods sake dont take 3000!!! Get that in travellers cheques, which you can easily change when you need at a central bank. Sure you lose a little bit on the exchange but its worth it for the security benefit.

    Have you know this friend a while? You didn't meet him on a dating website I hope because there have been quite a few stories on this forum of scammers operating that way.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Yep I think so too but it might be a bit late for travellers cheques as the bank needs to order those in. But I will ask otherwise I think that I will load my travel card with British pounds and then wire those to myself the day before I go to lagos.

    I have known him for about a year and at 1st he did try to scam me but I picked up on it straight away and since then we have become friends. It took awhile to even thing about believing him but over time we have gotten to know each other and we have spoken about out different lives and I have seen his. In fact I think I know more about scamming than most ppl and understand why they don't answer calls on weekends and how they organize UK and US numbers, and he has told me about life in Lagos and it's pretty much what ppl (that live in Lagos) have been saying on the forums.

    We chat on cam, so I have seen him we and have linked up on face book, where I have seen pictures of his friends and family. We also have common business interests.....and he is keen to make a better life for himself which doesn't involve scamming, so we have discussed study options for him. So thx for the concern but I am thinking more with my head than my heart......

    Africa and China are 2 places I didn't get to during my 1 year away and I think it would be cool seeing these places with a local and I believe that it's also the safest way to see Africa.

    Thx for you speedy reply!!!....I better shoot off to the bank.....THX AGAIN
  • edited 1:58PM
    Guys I live in Nigeria it is a wonderfull place with warm friendly people. sure there are a few bad eggs like in any country but the overwhelming majority are nice hardworking hospitable people. reading theough the posts i can tell that some of these people (eg Bewarned) have never been to nigeria .. like I said I live in Nigeria ironically the only time a bullet hit my residence was when I was outside this country. As for the scams, if you do not expect to get something for notthing then you have noting to worry about. If you are white most people will assume you are rich and you may nor be able to get good bargains all by your self which happens to visitors any where aside from that you will be terated very well if and I assure you of a wonderfull tine
  • edited 1:58PM
    Found this all to be very informative. I too am planning to live and work in Nigeria after working in China for 15 years many years ago.

    Some concerns but I am looking forward to forming my own opinion after arrival. Safety is my major concern - but this bias is based on wha I have read, not what I have experienced.

    There were several State Department travel warnings in 1989 when I live in China - but that was the best year of my life there - go figure.
  • edited 1:58PM
    I have lived in US, UK, South Africa and visited many places in Africa, the caribbean and Asia but nowhere to me is like Nigeria. It is an organizational hell hole. It is chaos defined, a place where the typical inefficiencies you see in third world countries has reached a crescendo and hits you over and over again.

    Nigeria is an experience if you want to see how dysfunctional a place can become with terrible government. No electricity at times, bad roads, lawless motorcycle riders all over the place, overpriced hotels, ugly buildings and corruption everywhere. Nigeria tests your endurance and your imagination and a lot of the scams you see coming out of there is what people have been reduced to doing in order to survive and get around the madness of the place.

    Nigeria is worth visiting but just not worth living in.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Awka - interesting comments, thanks! You say Nigeria is worth visiting but based on your feedback it doesnt sound great! Have you done the tourist things in the city? Or in the coutrnyside away from the urban madness?
  • edited 1:58PM
    Hello all,

    My company has asked me to make a trip to Lagos sometime next year. Looking at this forum and other people's opinion, I'm still a little confused as to what to expect of it. I'm a white American, and it seems all I've heard (from other Americans who have visited) are horror stories. I'm definitly going to be travelling with other Westerners, and will hopefully be successful in my mission to help out some of the local areas by cleaning oil slicks. I've also heard that there are some big conflicts between oil companies and locals there; much of it kidnapping and violence. Would I be a prime target out there from these locals? Or do you think they would be able to distiguish us from oil companies in that we're trying to clean things up?

    Just wondering, please let me know what opinions you have of Americans in Nigeria.
  • Roxy are you stupid or something? At first he tried to scam you but now you have become friends? And now you want to bring over 3k to the most corrupt place on earth? I have had to visit Nigeria 3 times for business and it is a SHITHOLE. The police, the people and the tribes all consider you responsible for the slave trade that took place (with great help from Nigerians who sold tribes they conquered) 200 years ago. They all want bribes and you will be robbed if you are stupid enough to walk around alone. How can you even consider going there to meet a man who first tried to scam you? You can find other ways to apologize for slavery without being a victim of a crime yourself Roxy. MANY MANY people have gone to Nigeria to meet somebody they met online only to be kidnapped and held for ransom. Find a man in your area who will not try and scam you FIRST. You are stupid if you go there to meet this scammer and there is NO WAY you will return with anything if you even return at all. OEPN YOUR EYES AND CANCEL YOUR TRIP. Only a complete fool would go there with 3k and meet a scammer she met online.
  • edited 1:58PM
    Hi Roxy

    Please be careful with this guy; how are you sure he will not try to scam you again? You know a leopard never changes color. I am a nigerian woman and don't want to see you fall victim to this guy and his scams; once a scammer, always a scammer. If you insist on going to Nigeria, take a friend with you- if this guy is genuine, he will respect you for it.
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