Is Nigeria Safe? Travel Do's and Don'ts

By Remitbee - May 12, 2022

When tourists travel to the African continent, Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa are the top three most visited countries in Africa Often, tourists have second thoughts when they are encouraged to visit Nigeria due to terrorism, crime, scams, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks, and kidnappings.

Nigeria may not be the safest country you can visit in Africa, but it is not the most dangerous country either. With proper knowledge and application of safe travel practices, you can enjoy the underrated beauty of the most populous country in entire Africa.

Reasons Why Nigeria Should Be Part of Your Travel Destination Bucket List

Home to over 212 million people, Nigeria is an assortment of languages, cultures, and stories. Every day is a brand new day when you visit Nigeria because chances are, you get to meet new people each day and see its fantastic tourist attractions that not all travellers have gone to yet.

Here are other reasons why you should pack your bags and go to Nigeria for a travel experience:

1. English is widely spoken.

Nigeria is the third most multilingual country in the world, with 521 languages. There’s no need to learn all these 521 languages when you visit this country. Many people speak English fluently, and everyone speaks Pidgin English, a local variant of the language that combines local dialects, slang, and English words. Best of all, if you try your best to learn few Pidgin English words at least, you will win the hearts of the locals.

2. Nigerians are friendly, warm, and loud.

Nigerians are very vocal, and if you are fair-skinned or Caucasian looking, locals will most probably call out ‘oyinbo,’ meaning Caucasian. Since tourists are few in the country, they often say hello or wave to foreigners. When Nigerians tell stories, they are very animated and loud. It may look like they’re arguing at first, but they are just that passionate when telling a story.

3. Nigeria offers plenty of flavorful meats.

Nigerian food is often composed of meats (lots of it), starches, and spicy food. If you love deliciously cooked meat, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the foods offered in this country that give off a rich symphony of flavours.

4. Big and colourful parties.

Nigerians are flamboyant people. They like to flaunt what they have, so expect that big houses are enormous, parties are loud, and wedding celebrations are extravagant. So when you are invited to a party or get together in Nigeria, expect that you will be treated well with warm hospitality and generosity.

If your scheduled visit falls on December 1, expect to experience the Calabar Carnival, or “Africa’s Biggest Street Party.” This month-long celebration includes parades, beauty pageants, fashion shows, and concerts. Famous artists like Akon, Nelly, and Fat Joe have performed for this festivity.

5. Be amazed at Nigeria’s natural wonders.

Nigeria takes pride in its natural beauty. This country has the largest diversity of butterflies, so if you are a butterfly enthusiast, this should be on top of your travel destinations. Other nature lover destinations in Nigeria include Yankari National Park, Kainji Lake National Park, Erin-Ijesha, Edumanom National Forest, and Okomu National Park.

UNESCO Heritage Sites in Nigeria include Sukur Cultural Landscape, Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove, Alok Ikom Stone Monoliths, Ancient Kano City Walls and Associated Sites, Arochkwu Long Juju Slave Route, Benin Iya/Sungbo’s Eredo, Gashaki-Gumpti National Park, Kwiambana/Ningi, Lake Chad Cultural Landscape, Niger Delta Mangroves, Oban Hills/Korup, Ogbunike Caves, Oke Idanre (Idanre Hill), and Surame Cultural Landscape.

How to Be Safe During Your Travel in Nigeria

True, there are crimes in Nigeria that are the same throughout the world, including the USA and other countries. But its police and military systems are there to keep the citizens and their tourists safe.

Of course, your safety also depends on you. To be safe and enjoy your travel in Nigeria, here are some tips you can follow:

  1. Avoid the regions of Northern and Central Nigeria because they have a higher threat for security. Kogi, Abia, and Edo are hotspots for robberies and kidnappings, so it is best to limit your travel to these states. Places such as Lagos and Abuja are among the recommended places to stay in the country during your visit, but it is best still to exercise a degree of caution during your stay. Enugu is a city located in the Eastern part of Nigeria where most Ibos ranked as the safest state in the country. Ibos are mostly business people who are calm and enjoy minding their businesses.

  2. Avoid bringing with you large amounts of cash and a credit card when you go out in the busy streets of Nigeria so that thieves might not get them from you should you be a target by these criminals.

When arriving in Nigeria, make sure that you get a hold of the nearest police station’s emergency phone number.

  1. Avoid going out at night alone.

Know when to flaunt what you have. Nigeria is home to wealthy and poor people. If affluent locals invite you for parties, it is safe to flash your bling and gadgets. However, it is best to remove your valuables if you are visiting the local public places or public transportation packed with people.

To avoid being scammed, it is best if a local Nigerian friend joins you during your excursion.

Final Thoughts

Other countries, including those frequented by tourists, also have crime and terrorism incidents similar to Nigeria, so don’t let these things hinder you from seeing the best things this country has to offer: its people, culture, and attractions.

Follow the tips mentioned above to safely enjoy your travel in Nigeria, whether alone, with family, or with friends. If you are going to Nigeria anytime soon, skip the lines at Nigerian foreign exchange centers. Use RemitBee’s currency exchange service. With just a few taps on your phone, you can convert your Canadian Dollars to Nigerian Naira.

If you are a Nigerian working in Canada, you can also use RemitBee to send money to your loved ones back home safely and fast.

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