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Flag Source: CIA World Factbook
Getting In and Around
: All foreigners require a visa to enter Nigeria regardless of the length of the stay. Fees may vary depending on country, the length of stay, and the purpose of the trip. We advise allowing ample time to arrange for your visa in order to prevent confusion or delay. Visa application requirements vary depending on country; for requirements for a specific country, visit the official Nigerian immigration website.
: Traveling by car is the best mode of transportation in Abuja. The drivers usually know the best routes, so it is wise to have green taxis (also known as “el rufai” cabs), which can be booked prior to your arrival. Taxis in Abuja are fairly cheap compared to most other capitals. “Drop” any of the honking taxis and they will take you to any destina
tion in Abuja for roughly 200 naira, which is about $1. If in your price range, it would also be wise to rent a car and a driver, which is available at all hotels and runs for about $45-$50 a day.
: The major network providers in Nigeria are MTN, GLO, and Etisalat. You can buy a cheap phone or a SIM card upon arrival.
Safety and Security
When traveling between cities in Nigeria, it is best to start the journey early and arrive before nightfall, especially if you are traveling by bus or car. Late-night travel can be dangerous, especially when it’s between states. As always when you’re traveling to a foreign country, it is important to be street smart and aware of your surroundings. Petty theft is common in Nigeria, so keep belongings such as cell phones close to you at all times. The U.S. Department of State’s travel page on Nigeria has more details on safety and security.
Nigeria is infamous for being a hub for credit card fraud. We strongly suggest that you use only cash during your stay in Nigeria.
The Top 4: Local Advice
1. It is important to have some knowledge of the local language. In Abuja, Hausa is the most commonly spoken native language. People will be able to better to relate to you when you show that you have some knowledge of Hausa.
2. The Hausa tribe (the dominant tribe in Abuja) is extremely friendly. People typically assume that they are close-minded in regards to foreigners and other tribes, but it is actually the contrary. They are open-minded and friendly people, so if you reciprocate, you will have a great time. Keep in mind that Islam is a dominant religion here, so dress appropriately and respectfully.
3. There are signs around the city that instruct not to smoke publicly, although people do not strictly adhere to it: you won’t see people smoking unless you are in a club or restaurant. Other than that, you will rarely see people smoking in buildings.
4. Haggle and hustle! When you are at the market, make sure you always haggle with them because they will go lower. Just be firm, smooth, and sweet!