Is it safe to travel to Nigeria?
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is home to some of the most endearing individuals.
The country is located in West Africa. It shares boarders with countries like Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Nigeria seats among the leading countries in Africa in terms of economic strength.
Nigeria is incredibly diverse, having over 250 ethnic groups with three dominant tribes which include; Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. This giant of Africa might not always be at the top of the list of safe travel destinations, but the nation can be quite an experience that will give you many memorable moments. ‘. Below are things you might want to know before exploring this fascinating country.
Are Nigerians friendly towards foreigners?
Nigeria is home to some of the most outspoken and social individuals. The population is the highest in Africa, and seventh highest in the world. Furthermore, the majority of the population are children under 17 years of age. With the kids dominating the population, there never seems to be a dull moment, and they love to party.
Nigerians love it when foreigners interact with them. They can be very hospitable, and they would always try to teach a thing or two. Nigerians are very curious by nature, and being dominated by extroverts, they tend to communicate very freely. You will especially love Nigerians if you can communicate in the local English popularly known as “Pidgin English”.
Although the nation can be quite chaotic in its daily activities, and the people tend to be stressed out. Nevertheless, Nigerians never seem to lose their charisma and can be quite playful in whatever situation they find themselves. Nigerians usually tend to crack jokes in seemingly impossible situations.
Where is it safe to go in Nigeria?
In recent times, there has been a lot of unrest and terrorism in the country. Petty crime, armed robbery, internet fraud and terrorism seem to be reported occasionally on the news. But guess what, these criminal acts are a common variable in any vibrant and populated country. You just need to know the right places to go. In fact, world renowned individuals like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have roamed the streets of Nigeria many times. They have interacted with the people freely without any harm coming to them.
Although Nigerians might be friendly, it isn’t advisable for a foreigner to move around on their own. It’s best to take along a guide who knows the streets very well when exploring. Just like in many other countries, there are petty thieves and local robbers that might want to get what they can from a foreigner. It’s best not to move around after dusk, and avoid being too carefree in an overcrowded space.
There are also a number of places you will want to avoid in Nigeria. Places with incessant terrorism like the North-Eastern States. Borno, Kaduna, Yobe, and Northern Adamawa, all run a high risk of terrorism.
But there are relatively safe places like Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan etc. Many foreigners freely walk the streets of these cities without any fear whatsoever. Such places can make you feel it is worth it to travel to Nigeria.
Should I be mindful of the culture?
Nigeria has a very rich cultural heritage. With more than 250 ethic groups in the country, Nigerian is one of the most culturally sensitive nations in Africa. It is important for any foreigner to learn and respect the culture of the nation. Some of the common cultural practices to be noted include the following:
- Communication: When people of same gender commune, they can be free to touch one another but are more reserved and respectful towards the opposite sex.
- Meal Serving: During meals, men are usually served first as a show of honor to them.
- Only Right hand: Passing objects, eating, and shaking of hands are to be done with the right hand as using the left hand could be a sign of disrespect
- Courtesy: Males bow or prostrate to elders, while females kneel or curtsy.
- Money Spraying: During celebrations, it’s a common practice to rain money on the dance floor, regardless of financial status.
Nigeria is a great nation and can give you a lot of wonderful experiences. Although, the country isn’t 100 percent safe, you can still always have a wonderful time. There are countless places you can visit for relaxation. Nigerians are friendly, the streets are lively, and there’s a rich cultural heritage. So the next time you make a travel list, you can consider placing Nigeria among the top countries to visit.