Nigeria might not be your first choice when it comes to travelling, this West African country is not even one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. But that’s part of the charm; tourism in Nigeria is only starting to take off, and it might be ideal for you who would love to discover something truly off the beaten path.

Whether you’re an experienced traveller or just starting out to discover Africa, here are some tips that will hopefully make your future trip to Nigeria smoother!

Check COVID-19 restrictions

Possibly the biggest question for those who travel internationally, the answer for this changes from time to time. It isn’t just about what tests or vaccines you must take either, so be ready to take various nuances in mind.

Currently, Abuja and Lagos allow international arrivals. Travellers must have taken a PCR test and tested negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of their departure to Nigeria and be able to show the results. Prior to departure, you must also register and complete the online health declaration at the Nigeria International Travel Portal.

You must also book another PCR test for day 2 of their arrival in Nigeria at the Nigeria International Travel Portal (exception for minors under the age of 10). You will also have to present the proof of this booking

If you’re unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated, you will have to self-isolate for 7 days upon arrival in Nigeria. Before departure, you also must also book a day 7 post-arrival exit PCR test. If the result of this test is negative, you will be able to leave quarantine.

If you develop symptoms of COVID, measures like quarantine will be taken according to local policies, you might have to self-isolate in government-controlled facilities.

The usual travel health advice applies: make sure you have appropriate health insurance. Have arrangements in place in case you will need to stay longer than planned (for example, due to quarantine).

COVID restrictions may change from time to time, so be ready to be flexible and agile.

Take organized tours

As we mentioned above, Nigeria is not exactly a tourist destination for beginners. In this case, organized tours can be very useful.

The major cities like Lagos and Abuja already have hotels used to serving international guests, but they cater to business guests who generally don’t tend to venture beyond their, well, business. For tourists who want to explore the city and beyond, planning is challenging, as Nigeria doesn’t really have the infrastructure for tourism yet.

However, the country is vibrant and full of life, so it would indeed be a waste to not explore as much as possible. This is where the professionals come in, so you can adventure in both urban centres and rural areas.

Know which regions to avoid

While we do advise you to trust the professionals in your travels to Nigeria, it doesn’t take a pro to know that you should avoid dangerous areas.

Avoid travels to the northeast regions of the country. In these areas, terrorist and kidnapping threats are unfortunately common and it’s better to not risk coming here.

Understand the climate (and when to go)

Nigeria is a major African country and the climate varies as you go along the latitudes. It’s all tropical, though, so if you’re trying to avoid snow: congrats! You won’t find it in Nigeria.

In general, it is best to visit the country in the dry season, especially just after the rainy season, in November and December. During these months, the rains have refreshed the land and Nigerians get ready for the hot festive season. March and May may be too uncomfortably hot, especially if you go to desert areas.

Understand the visa application process (and get professional help if you need it)

To enter Nigeria, citizens of most countries must apply for a visa, so make sure you learn about its Nigerian visa application. To make the process less of a hassle and focus on planning your travel itinerary, you may consider getting professional help for Nigeria visa photos, as it can be tricky to fulfil the requirements.

Immerse yourself in the culture responsibly

Saying that Nigeria has a long history and is steeped in a long history is an understatement. There are many ways to discover and immerse yourself in Nigerian culture.

Lagos is an icon of Nigeria, and it’s no wonder. The city’s National Museum and quaint Afro-Brazilian quarter are some of the reasons the city’s a cultural centre known worldwide.

However, don’t just focus on the cities! Go to the rural areas, interact with locals, and sleep under the dazzling African sky.

It’s important to do so responsibly, though. For example, don’t engage in trades of endangered animals. Some souvenirs are made from feathers of endangered animals, and you may even encounter dishes made from meats of endangered species. Be mindful not to fuel these harmful practices.

This is yet another reason why organized tours may be beneficial, because they may help you to be more respectful in your travels, especially when engaging with more sensitive parts of the local culture.

Good luck, go on and explore!