Tips for first-time travelers to Nigeria
Doing something for the first time can make you nervous, more so when traveling to a new country for the first time. Flying for the first time is an unforgettable experience that leaves one awestruck. The anxiousness comes about because you do not know what to expect when you arrive. However, there are a few tips to make your journey an enjoyable one.
Nigeria is a tourist delight for anyone coming to Africa as there is a lot to see and enjoy. However, before traveling to Nigeria or any country, you must consider the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As more new variants of COVID-19 are detected worldwide, it has led to more changes to the entry requirements for Nigeria. You need to check the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control website to know the latest changes and restrictions about travel.
Nigeria is a country in West Africa, considered one of the most populous in the world. It is a country filled with mineral and human resources. It has a lot of sights to see and places to explore. There are interesting local cultures and many different delicacies to eat and drink. Before we explore the tips, let’s understand some of the things you can see when you come to Nigeria.
The beauty of Nigeria
Nigeria is the most populous country in West Africa, and it has a lot of tourist attractions for any visitor. When you come to Nigeria, you can visit the Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi, Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Zuma Rock in Abuja, the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos, and the Agodi Gardens in Oyo. You can see:
Aso Rock in the nation's capital city
Kajuru Castle in Kaduna
Agbokim Waterfall in Cross river state
Nike Art Gallery in Lagos
Obudu Mountain Resort in Cross River state
Osun Sacred Grove in Osun state.
If you want natural sites that are awe-inspiring, there are many of them. You will find waterfalls, rivers, streams, mountains, valleys, lakes, rocks, beaches, and more. There are also man-made structures that are a tourist delight. Most of these places showcase the cultural, historical, and religious beliefs of the people. They are aesthetic beauties that span the length and breadth of the country and will wow any visitor. There are many places to see and take pictures and lots of food to taste.
When you come to Nigeria, make sure you go to Tarkwa Bay beach in Lagos, and go see the Kano city walls, Oniru beach resort, Oguta Lake, and New Afrika shrine. If you are coming with kids, then go to Dream World Africana for maximum fun and relaxation. Lagos is the most popular city and has most of the attraction sites. However, you can also go to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Osun, Kaduna, Oyo, and other cities.
If you are visiting the country for the first time, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
Preparation: Before you embark on your journey, you need to prepare adequately for the trip. Check the immigration laws of the country you plan to visit to make sure that you comply with all of them. Book your accommodation in comfortable and safe places well ahead of time. This ensures that you don’t become stranded when you land in Nigeria.
Book a ticket: As a first-time traveler, you should book your flight ticket from your country to Nigeria. It is usually best to book your ticket ahead of time as it often has many advantages. For example, you might not get the ticket on the date you want to travel if you buy it the day you plan to leave. In fact, you might get a discount or other special offers if you book on time. Also, it is good to book your flights through the airline’s website and call one hour ahead before you leave your house to confirm your flight.
Get ready for the flight: After booking your flight, the next thing is to have your flight documents ready, get all the documents you need, and get to the airport on time. Check your luggage to make sure that they are the acceptable weights. If not, you will pay some extra fees/charges. Pack appropriate clothing for your trip. Nigeria does not have a strict dress code, so bring clothes that will be comfortable for you and suit the weather at the time of your trip.
Check-in time: On the day you are traveling, you have to show your documents (example, passport, travel visa, medical insurance, etc) at the airport. Once you get to the airport, they will ask for your flight ticket and other documents. When you have presented them, you will be given a boarding pass and a receipt for your luggage. Don’t forget to pack extra snacks, since you might get hungry during the journey, especially if you are coming to Nigeria from far away.
Learn the language: Nigeria's official language is English. This means most of the people you will meet there speak the English language. So if you are coming into Nigeria from a country that doesn’t speak English, you need to learn it. At least learn the basics that will help you communicate with the locals and get directions to where you want to go. You can learn English with ReDefiners World Languages here.
Boarding: You will go through security checks and some scrutiny at the departure lounge before you can board an airplane. Follow all the instructions given by the security at the airport, and once you are confirmed, you will be allowed to board. Do not give your luggage to anyone who claims they want to help you. Only talk to the porters at the airport or use a travel agency, as they will send you help at the airport.
On flight: Make sure you check the airline luggage requirements as you pack so you don’t over-pack. You can sit anywhere you want in an airplane, as long as you buy a ticket for your desired seat. Once you’re on the plane, the seat number has to match your ticket. So if you want to sit near the aisle or the window, you have to choose it when you are booking your ticket. Once you have been cleared, you can enter the airplane and sit in the place indicated by your seat number. Once you get to your destination, the plane will land, and you will be taken to a terminal.
Landing: If you booked your trip through a travel agency, they will help at this point. But if you didn’t, no problem. Find a local telecom shop so you can buy a sim card that will help you communicate with your loved ones back home. Register the sim card and put data so you can browse the internet. Also, while booking a hotel, use one that has internet access.
Bring a power bank: This is a must-have for any traveler. Your phone is an important travel instrument, and it must always be on so you can communicate with your loved ones. Even though some parts of Nigeria have steady electricity, other areas are not so fortunate, so always have your power bank with you.
Weather and temperature check: Nigeria has favorable weather conditions, and it varies depending on the time of the year. Again, the northern part of Nigeria has mostly dry and hot weather, while the southern part has some wet weather conditions. So depending on the part of Nigeria you are traveling to, be sure to check the weather conditions and prepare for it.
Carry extra cash: It is always a wise idea for any traveler to carry some cash when they are traveling. This is more important if you are traveling for the first time or you are traveling alone. Again, you are coming to Nigeria, which has a different culture and tradition from yours, so you may need to spend more money while on your trip. You can also bring your credit cards with you to help you make transactions smoothly and easily. Most stores in Nigeria accept MasterCard and Visa cards, so you are good to go if you have these cards.
Health insurance: No matter the country you are visiting, make sure you have travel health insurance in place. “Your health is your wealth” is an important and true saying. It is even more important now that you are traveling. So take good care of yourself and get that health insurance.
Vaccination: You must get the necessary vaccinations before you travel to Nigeria. Yellow fever vaccination is especially needed. Then you can get drugs for malaria and make sure you are following all COVID-19 protocols. Also, you can take some analgesics and other first-aid medicines with you. It helps every first-time traveler.
Security: As a first-time traveler, you should be security conscious. Ensure that you read up on the dangerous spots and avoid such places. Also, learn how to get a hold of security officials fast and when you need them. In Nigeria, there have been reports of violence towards the north-eastern part of the country, so visitors and tourists usually avoid going to those areas. The rest of the country is relatively okay and safe for tourists to move around.
Tourist attractions: Plan places to see and visit while in the country. Nigeria is a great country with so many places to see and visit. Plan your visits to these places and get a tour guide to ease your movement. Also, try the local cuisine and dishes. There are a lot of foods and drinks that you will enjoy when you visit Nigeria. Find a good restaurant and order one of Nigeria's special delicacies. English is the main language of Nigeria, so you will have an easy time communicating with the locals.
Landmarks: Whenever you visit a new country, it is always a good idea to interact with the locals and visit their landmarks. This way, you can learn more about the culture and have some amazing stories to tell when you get back home. In Nigeria, there are lots of amazing landmarks you can visit depending on the particular place you visit. You can visit Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, or any of the major cities in Nigeria and see their great landmarks and attractions.
Whether this is your first time traveling to Nigeria or you are a seasoned traveler, these tips will help you. For frequent travelers, there is always something you miss out on each time you travel so be sure to review these tips anytime you are planning a trip anywhere, especially to Nigeria.
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