Is Nigeria somewhere to visit as a tourist?



  • edited 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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 12:21PM
    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.
  • edited 12:21PM
    DavidF Nigeria is worth visiting from an anthropological level or business angle. It has 150 million people and some of the oldest settled cultures in Africa. At a base level it is innately the most sophisticated African culture out there whether its the feudal Hausa whose rules still live like Medieval Arab princes or the Yoruba whose nouveau riche know how to splurge or the Igbo whose republicanism village and towns are almost set out like English villages and towns. Its advanced from that social angle. But governance is a complete disaster in Nigeria and it shows with the way everyone is hustling in order to survive and get around all the obstacles to human well being the Nigerian govt are experts at setting up.

    Its an interesting country to visit but living? Nigeria will quickly make you realize that life can be a lot easier.
  • edited 12:21PM
    Hi Guys

    I am a guest user here. I am from India. I have a query and am not quite sure what to do about it,I received a job offer from Superlative Tower Hotel in Abuja they want me to join asap however since am from India i am not quite sue but the work culture,people,cultural diversity,cost of living in Nigeria. Can someone also suggest the monthly expenses even if I am provided with an accommodation? Can someone suggest as to what to do. Some articles in this forum is making me a bit too scared though. I am not quite scared of diseases like Malaria I can take proper vaccines for that and host of others if required apart from that what are the problems in the job and city life can I face?Please send me a reply to
  • edited 12:21PM
    hi I am traveling to lagos negeria in December 2010 I already purchase my ticket on sale round trip. I was told from the traveling clinic that I need yellow fever, Typhiol, hepatitis A hepatitis B menegitis, Tenus, polio and Malaria to travel to the city part of lagos for one week. I will be traveling alone and visting a friend as well as staying in a hotel. at first I was so scared be he reassured me that he would be with me every day. can someone pleasegive me some information on what I just stated. thanks Chrissty
  • edited 12:21PM
    My friend will be picking me up at the airport thank God.. so I wont be rob also I was told to take only cash no credit cards. last but not least every where I go I will be taking and sleeping with my pass port for sure. In the begining I was so scared it was crazy but now I'm a little relaxe someone anyone please let me know why is it so unsafe to travel to Lagos thanks Chrissty..
  • edited 12:21PM
    Interesting comments about Lagos and Nigeria, everyone! I couldn't help but laugh at some of them. I am Nigerian and lived in Nigeria a long time before I moved to the UK and even I don't like Lagos at all. Travelling to Lagos as a lone tourist might seem very adventurous but not the best thing to do if you don't have to. Nevertheless, most Nigerians are good people and if you know anyone you can trust make sure they go with you as opposed to going alone. If you must go alone go to Abuja instead of Lagos. It's cleaner, saner and safer but no less hot than Lagos. It is also a more expensive city to stay in. There are also many foreign tourists and wealthy Nigerians there and you should be able to cope much better. If you stay in a good hotel, you would most probably be spared the frequent power outages and you would also have air conditioning which would make your life easier. Keep an open mind and a good sense of humour and you would have a cracking good time there.
  • edited 12:21PM
    I have been reading this thread with great interest. I have previously lived in Nigeria as a European for over 15 years until the mid 80's. We had to leave because it became too dangerous for us to stay. From the comments I have read this seems to have only become worse over the years. Please believe what these people are saying... the negative stories they tell I believe. In fact, much of what they have said I have experienced too and worse (if that's possible).

    Roxy, please listen to Joel... sadly, I could also tell you stories about Nigeria that are unbelievably true too.
  • edited 12:21PM
    hahahaha all lies, there is no africa country as peaceful and fun to be like nigeria.

    half of our population are white and the keep coming in by the sec.

    they are all still alive and making there cool money. some of them are so conversant with the routes that they drive themself thas to show how long they have lived there.

    nigeria is over populated today thanks to the the white.

    nigeria is the best place to be and the best people to migle with.

    so come have fun this dec. in NIGER where the real fun lives
  • edited 12:21PM
    Wow! I dunno what to think or how to feel! Im a Nigerian, born in Aba schooled in FGGC Umuahia and family in Onitsha. Im currently in the Uk and havent gone back since I moved here 8yrs ago...
    Im quite homely, only ever went to Lagos once to visit my Aunty when I was 12 but then she wudnt even let me leave the house to buy sweets and told me all these horror stories which I believed then.
    Now Im 23 I met an amazing Australian guy who after showing me his life in Oz I want nothing more than to take him to Nigeria plus I miss my family.
    He is white and we love travelling.we are thinking of going in the summer but Im most scared for his safety esp with all the kidnap stories! I dont care about anything else. Ive had malaria so much that I know to take precautions etc
    Also I worry that I may not know the ropes, were to take him (aside visiting family). I feel a necessity for this but need help. We will prob fly to Porthacourt and then perhaps car hire or Taxi to Aba, then Onitsha bus or Taxi with him in it? Is security ie bodyguards accesible and how much might it cost? and obv Abuja, Lagos and maybe somewhere else to do the tourist thing.
  • edited 12:21PM
    Hi everyone l juz happened to come across this forum which l can relate 2. l am a white Australian woman. l met a man through facebook l friend requested him and we have been chatting for around 8 months he is from Abuja Nigeria. ln about the 1 month he said he loved me then in about the 3 month he said he wanted to marry me and l guess that is where the issues started. We would chat through facebook and msn and we would webcam but his of course did not work so l naver saw him only photos on his facebook. He wanted to meet me but l had heard so many unsafe stories about that area l was to scared to travel over there so l thought it would be better if he came here but 2months before we decided to set a date for him to come out the contact was suddenly reduced to a phonecall once a week but l had to call him. He told me he had fallen on hard times that he had to sell his computer which l believe it is hard to get work in Abuja. l did send a letter of invitation for him to come here on a tourist visa but then l asked him not to come because l thoght there was not anough contact between us and l was scared he was only using me to get over here. My question is how do l know if he is tellin me the truth that he loves me or if he is scamming me after l asked him not to come here he said he wants me to go over there is it safe for me????? ls there any other options in meeting him????
  • edited 12:21PM
    Hi all,
    I have been asked to take a trip to Lagos sometime next year by my company. Right now, i live in Texas. After reading all these comments and opinions, i'm little bit confused to take up my assignment in Lagos. Plz let me know that how safe is Lagos to travel.One more thing, I work for some oil company and i 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?
    I'm worrying about this,please let me know what opinions you have in this regard.

  • edited 12:21PM
    Once was blind but now can see. For what the eyez sees and the ear hears make the mind to believe. In this case many people have heard many negatives about Nigeria but haven't seen it. It takes a free mind to find. Give it a try & you will testify.
  • edited 12:21PM
    at sam, lagos and Abuja is fine. No kidnapping or sort. u can walk and dine like any other person out there esp in Abuja but note this:
    MOST PART OF LAGOS OUTSIDE V.I., IKOYI AND LEKKI area (these are where ur company wud house u anyway) IS UNBELIEVABLY INSANE - nt in the sense of dangerous bt in disorganise and rowdy, tho most company wud provide a local driver for u. I REPEAT NEVER, NEVER ATTEMPT TO DRIVE UR SEF- U WILL NEVER B ABLE TO HANDLE IT. U COULD EVEN FIND UR SEF CRYING ON THE STEERING.

    the life as an expat is cool, where u wud be house is the high end, expensive , classy (african standard, nt too far from western tho). the atmosphere is free and care free. NOTHING is ever taken too serious. Nigerian don't take things too personal. saying a sorry moves mountains over there.

    u re expected to say sorry to instances u wud say its a pity, or what a shame in the western world.
    eg if someone fall around u, u re expected to say sorry ( nt just -- are u ok?, lol). if u don't say sorry u wud be seen as insensitive.

    THEN, if ur company takes u to the south- portharcourt or warri. my dear it use to b grim out there ( its calm now, since the amnesty. there has nt been any kidnapping for the past 8 - 12 months).

    there is a large EXPAT community in Nigerian, i believe u will b fine. they will show u the way.

    surprisingly, after 2 months u wont want to leave. its quite addictive.

    u wud learn to stand ur ground in the most sarcastic, charade acting.

    learn to speak the street English -- pigin. locals like it when a foreigner speaks it even if its just a phrase.
    easiest to grasp is: NO WAHALA --- meaning no problems.
    seeing a local and saying == "i want NO WAHALA " is always a catchy line. lol

    enjoy ur stay.
    endeavour to get a friend take u to the downtown market and experience rowdiness in its purest form. its unbelievable bt surprising weird FUN. u wud find ursef upset yet laughing all thru.
  • edited 12:21PM
    Wow! I have been reading all the comments. It's always the same. It's either good or bad. I have some Nigerian friends here in the U.S. and I chat with alot of them on Facebook and Yahoo. A few i talk to on phone. Some of them are from Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, etc. I would'nt mind seeing Naija for myself but i'm scared of what i'm hearing. Some of my Nigerian friends tell me that its not all that great living there at the same time some say that it is a nice place to visit.I also have friends that have gotten sick with malaria there. I've seen many pictures that was sent to me via email and multimedia msgs and it looks like they are havin a good time. At this point it's really confusing. I've been asked to come for a visit but i'm havin mixed feelings about it. For now i think it's bestvfor me to wait and be more informed.
  • edited 12:21PM
    The volunteer organisation VSO has about 50 international volunteers in Nigeria at any time and many of them (including myself before I left in October 2010) keep blogs which will give you great insights into the non-expat (i.e. poor white person's) lifestyle in Nigeria.

    Mine is at but there are many others.

    If you're not an adventurer and haven't travelled much, Nigeria may be a bit of a challenge, but rather for its organisation than anything else. The electricity hardly works however something I learned: it is possible for humans to live without constant electricity. If that thought horrifies you - stay away!

    Go around looking like the rich foreigner you probably are and you may be robbed but that's no different to most of the places you come from. I was there 2 years in a semi rural area and never paid a bribe, never got sick and never had a car accident. It is possible.

    I've lived in London for 20 years and been within 10 miles of 6 bomb explosions and 5 young men have been stabbed in separate incidents across the capital in the last month.

    Think of Nigeria as an adventure: take every precaution, and follow the advice of where to and not to travel and don't put yourself in danger and you'll have a fantastic time: you, like most of my VSO colleagues, will not be surprised that Nigerians come out as the happiest people in the world, time and time again.
  • edited 12:21PM
    my dad lived in Lagos,Nigeria most of his life, it is a warm and comforting place in some areas, but very dangerous in others. If you dont live there, and you are just a tourist, i advice that you dont go there all by yourself. other than that the beaches are relaxing and not very loud. There are a lot of people there, so try not to get lost! And dont ever give anybody there your credit card number or open a bank account if you arent goinq to permately stay there because they will indeed scam you in the snap of a finger. They are very clever, but you can be more clever then them!(:
  • edited 12:21PM
    Ray can you tell me the rest of the story as im interested to see what happen
    did you go to him or did you let him come here
    Please let me know

  • edited 12:21PM
    I met someone through facebook who says she went to Lagos to invest in coben investments and never got her product. She saya that she is now eating leftover food from a nieghbor, she now wants to have me help her. There is more to this story that made me Question if she was telling me the truth so I set up another email account under anther name to see what would happen. I got the same story almost word for word. I am wondering if this is typical of the Nigerian people to give some kind of sob story to try and get north american people to send money there. Does this sound like some kind of scam to you? I could give this persons name if asked, as well as alittle more of the story I was told
  • edited 12:21PM
    Hi Marty

    No this is not what Im going through, but it could well be a scam there are few website out there that talk about these scam and many scams from nigeria.
    Type in the name into one of the search engines and see what you find.
    Chances are if it is a scam and others have reported it you'll find more out about it.
    On these forums the is a law trying to stop the scams. I can remember which one but tell the full story there so other people know and might contacted you . Once if find it I will let you know which one and the sign in name.

  • edited 12:21PM
    ok Marty
    go to search and type in lagos
    and then go to "Scams in Lagos Africa"
    hopefully this helps as I know it hard to follow the stories and different forums on this site.
    I found if I type Nigeria or Lagos in the search there is a lot of info out there on scams
  • edited 12:21PM
    Hey all, just figured I would share a little more info on the potetial scamm I came across. The name this person gave is Coker Mirrella Adams. This person said she was originally from San antonio Texas and went to Lagos Nigeria to by diamons from coban investments and got scammed out of everything. She(maybe a he, not sure anymore) started to talk obout love right away(figured that this was too soon and set of an alarm bell) then went on to say ashe was eating moldy leftover food from a neighbor and was using that persons computer. This really made me wonder, that is why I created another email account too see what would happen. When this Coker Millera Adams responed too the other email, it was almost exactly the same, nearly word for word. Even started to talk about being in love from the second email. This person would not even give personal information know matter how hard I tried to get it. Even said I would not send money if she would not share personal info if she was in love. Got very angry when I did this and said something about not being a good or smart person if I would not help someone who was in love. Anyone who comes across this Coker Mirrella Adams, be careful, chances are this person is a scammer. Take care, everyone and be carefull. Thanks for your time. P.S. if anyone has info on this person, Would you be willing to share it?
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