Nigeria : Travel Information before you go!
6 hrs 25 mins London-Lagos.
Lagos international airport is located 13 miles from the city centre.
The taxi fare into town is roughly 1,500 nairas. It costs about 10 nairas by minibus.
Nigeria isn't really a holiday destination. A general feeling of insecurity reigns across the whole country. It is recommended not to go to the towns in the North or to the state of Bayelsa in the south. Nigeria has drawn attention to itself for an increasing number of armed attacks, which are rapidly spreading to all the country's large cities (Lagos, Apapa, Benin City, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, Warri). You must not go to the cities' isolated districts, by day or night. It is recommended not to carry objects likely to attract the attention, such as large amounts of money and identity papers. As a general rule, it is advisable not to trust offers for help. Corruption practices are, like crime, widespread. It is recommended to keep away from gatherings and to avoid taking pictures in public places.
English is the official language. There are two hundred and fifty different ethnic groups. Hausa (in the North), Yoruba (in the South-West), Ibo (in the South-East) and Fulani are the major dialects, out of the four thousand spoken in the country.
Required travel documents for
A passport valid for at least three months is required. A visa is mandatory. To get a visa, you must bring: two ID photos, a visa request form (two sides), a document from your travel agency certifying the number of days in the country and the exact dates of your stay, and your return plane ticket (the original and a photocopy). The visa is issued in 48 hours.
The Muslim faith is predominant (50 %). There are 40 % Christians and 10 % Animists.
The currency is the Nigerian Naira (NGN). £1 Sterling = 224 Nairas. Few banks will exchange travellers cheques, and credit cards are accepted only in the larger hotels in Lagos and Abuja (MasterCard).
You will find ATM machines in the cities only. Banks are open from 8:30am to 12:30pm and from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, Monday to Friday. Certain branches are also open on Saturdays.
The country's road infrastructure is in a very poor condition, except for some major roads in the north and the south-east, around Lagos. It is recommended not to drive your vehicle yourself, because the roads are extremely dangerous with frequent accidents. In case of an accident, it is best not to linger around and we advise you never to travel alone, especially if you are driving your vehicle yourself.
Note that a petrol supply is by no means guaranteed everywhere. An international driver's license is required for renting a car which you can do from one of the major international car rental agencies present in Nigeria. It is possible and preferable to hire a car with driver. Public transport is of very poor quality; however bus lines go to all cities.
A bush-taxi is also possible (mini-bus or Peugeot 504), they run on fixed times, but they are more expensive than buses. The railway network is badly damaged and travelling by train should be avoided. Many accidents were reported the past few years in air transport, but flights are low cost. You are advised to use the services of private companies linking up the main cities of the country.
Vaccinations against hepatitises A and B are recommended, as well as the vaccine against typhoid. Vaccines against meningitises A and C are also recommended. Check that your DTP vaccine is up to date. The yellow fever vaccine is required if you are coming from an area affected by the disease. You must be vaccinated against rabies for long-term stays. The vaccine against cholera is not necessary. Sanitary conditions are very basic across the whole country, be careful of the water (for consumption and swimming) and of food that can carry diarrheal diseases. Tap water here is not drinkable and you must make sure that the water in your bottle is not impure. Vegetables and fruit must be washed in a permanganate solution and the meat must be well cooked. An anti-malaria chemoprophylaxy must be taken (savarine) as the country is listed in zone 3. It is recommended to subscribe to insurance covering medical expenses and sanitary repatriation.
Abuja Clinic: 09.413.70.20
Saint François Medical Centre: 09 523 62 82
Dr Graig Dean: 09.413.00.86/87
Dr. Maurice Hobeiche (cardiology): 01.262.09.53
Dr. Denise Birault-Semaan (pediatrician): 01.269.23.05
Dr. Luba Aayinde (pediatrician): 01.688.190
Voltage is 220 V. 50 Hertz. Adapter not needed.
Taxes and tips
To call Nigeria from the UK, dial 00 + 234 (country code) + city code (Lagos: 1 ; Abuja : 09 ; Ife : 036 ; Kano : 064) + number you are trying to reach.
To call the UK from Nigeria, dial 00 + 44 + number without the initial 0.