Nigeria Warnings and Dangers
The economic powerhouse of Africa, Nigeria has the largest population on the continent. Visiting will expose a traveler to a diverse demographic with territorial ethnicities and religions but a few precautions must be taken.
Before You Go
Almost everyone needs a visa to visit Nigeria and the process is long and laborious taking up to three months. At least six weeks before you go you’ll need a series of vaccines. Courses/boosters advised: diphtheria; hepatitis A; poliomyelitis; tetanus; typhoid; yellow fever. Bring proof with you. You can be denied entry if you don’t have your vaccine certificate especially for yellow fever. Make sure you take out full health insurance policy that provides evacuation to the closest hospital that has reciprocal acceptance with the country of your passport. Make sure all prescription drugs are in your carryon.
While You Are in Nigeria
NOTE: There are current travel bans to Northern and Central Nigeria, with the exception of the capital Abuja, due to ethnic tensions and the activities of Boko Haram.
If you stick to the coastal cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt, other than petty crimes that happen in all large cities worldwide, you should be fairly safe.
Always drink bottled water. Nigeria is a country that runs on cash. Exchange money only at banks. There are many ATMs throughout the main cities but know that even some hotels don’t accept credit cards. Under no circumstances have unprotected sex, but this should be the norm not the exception. English is the national language but there is a second language spoken, a patois that is a mix of English and Yoruban. Just politely tell them you need a further explanation. Unless you ask permission, do not photograph people on the streets. Ask and have a small token tip ready. If someone asks you to get married, don’t. Visiting church groups should remain inconspicuous. LGBT travelers: Homosexuality is a high crime in Nigeria so be aware of this and for anyone traveling, no public displays of affection.
Be sure to check with the CDC and the State Department website for the latest updates before leaving for Nigeria.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Nigeria.