LivingTravelNigeria Travel Guide: Essential Facts and Information

Nigeria Travel Guide: Essential Facts and Information

As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria is often considered the powerhouse of the continent. Oil-rich and increasingly tech-savvy, it is also a top destination for business travelers, and its burgeoning economy is evident in the glittering megacity of Lagos. Here, world-class restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, and shopping malls compete for space with commercial skyscrapers. In other parts of Nigeria you will find rural towns, impressive nature reserves and golden beaches; But beware, political turmoil and terrorism make some areas of the country unsafe.

Check the latest travel advisories before booking your trip to Nigeria.


Part of West Africa, Nigeria borders the Gulf of Guinea at its southern tip. It also shares land borders with Benin to the west, Niger to the north, Chad to the northeast, and Cameroon to the east.


Nigeria has a total land area of 351,649 square miles / 910,768 square kilometers, making it slightly more than twice the size of California. It is the 14th largest country in Africa.

Capital city

The capital of Nigeria is Abuja.


According to a July 2017 estimate from the CIA World Factbook, Nigeria has a population of more than 190.6 million people, more than any other African nation. This includes more than 250 distinct ethnic groups of which the most populous are the Hausa and Fulani, the Yoruba and the Igbo.


There are more than 520 languages spoken in Nigeria (the third of most countries in the world). The official language and the lingua franca is English. Other major languages include Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, and Fulani.


Islam is the majority religion in Nigeria and represents 50% of the population. 40% of Nigerians identify as Christian and the remaining 10% have indigenous beliefs.


The naira is the official currency in Nigeria. To get accurate exchange rates, use this helpful online converter.


Nigeria has a tropical climate and temperatures remain consistently warm throughout the year. The large size of the country means that there are several different climate zones, each with its own unique climate pattern. However, the climate in Nigeria is generally defined by its wet and dry seasons. For most of the country, the wet season runs from April to October, although the rains begin in February in the south. The dry season runs from November to March and brings with it the dry and dusty wind of Harmattan .

When to go

There are pros and cons to traveling in any season, but most visitors agree that despite harmattan , the dry season is the most enjoyable time to experience Nigeria. Humidity is lower this time of year, there are fewer insects, and your trip is less likely to be delayed by floods in rural parts of the country.

Key attractions


Stretched out along the edge of the Lagos Lagoon, Lagos may no longer be the capital of Nigeria, but it is still the beating heart of the country. With a population of 21 million people, it is a hive of activity known for its vibrant music and arts scene. You can dance until dawn in the city’s nightclubs, shop for contemporary fashion, or learn about Nigerian history at the National Museum.

Yankari National Park

Yankari National Park preserves a large expanse of inland savanna and offers the best game viewing in the country. You can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, and lions. The birdlife is also spectacular with more than 350 registered species. After a busy day, don’t miss a dip in the picturesque hot springs of Wikki.


A center of Yoruba spirituality in the south of the country, Oshogbo is famous for the sacred grove Osun-Osugbo, a UNESCO protected cultural site located in its surroundings. This dense patch of primary forest is believed to be home to the Yoruba fertility goddess Osun. Sculptures, shrines and shrines can be found amid the ancient trees and along the meandering river.

Get there

Nigeria has several major airports. The most used by international visitors is Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), located on the outskirts of Lagos. Many airlines offer flights to Lagos, including Emirates, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways. Most visitors require a visa and must apply for it at the nearest Nigerian embassy prior to departure. For more information, visit the Nigerian Immigration Service website.

Medical requirements

In addition to making sure your routine vaccinations are up to date, the CDC recommends the following vaccinations for visitors to Nigeria: Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever. Proof of polio vaccination is an exit requirement for visitors spending more than four weeks in the country, and proof of yellow fever vaccination is an entry requirement for anyone traveling to Nigeria from a country with yellow fever.

Other vaccines, such as cholera and rabies, may be recommended, depending on the part of the country you are traveling to. Malaria is a risk at all times, and prophylactics should be taken to prevent infection. Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive are also advised not to visit Nigeria due to the risk of the Zika virus.

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