If you desire to travel to Africa, Nigeria cannot be missed. Not only is it the giant country of this continent, but its local color and impressive beauty offer you unforgettable experiences that you wouldn’t have thought of- due to the fact that Nigeria is often misinterpreted and misunderstood by the rest of the world.
The fact that this country has so many things to offer to its tourist does not mean that extra caution should not be taken before embarking on this journey or during your stay there. Depending on the areas you plan to visit, governments advise people to exercise extra caution when travelling to Nigeria, as many threats can be encountered during their stay.
Because safety is one of the most important things to consider while planning a perfect trip, we provide you the Nigeria safety guide you need in order for you and your travel partners to avoid unpleasant events that could ruin your holiday.
Is Nigeria safe to visit? The decision is only up to you, so make sure safety is one of your priorities before embarking on this African experience!
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Nigeria
Overall Risks in Nigeria: MEDIUM to HIGH
Without being well acquainted with the local laws and customs and the dangers that could harm your health or ruin your holiday, it is not advisable to go to Nigeria. Most of the areas in Nigeria come with a high crime risk: robbery, assaults, piracy, kidnapping and race are only some of the risks you can expose yourself and your loved ones to when visiting this country. Apart from that, the very high risk of terrorism is a danger you need to take into consideration very carefully. Authorities do not advise people to visit Nigeria due to these registered acts of violence, but the decision is always up to you.
- How to Avoid Trouble in Nigeria?
There is a set of basic rules you can follow in order to stay safe in Nigeria. From taking the main precaution before embarking on this journey, such as taking the right vaccines, having a proper health insurance and be very well informed about this country’s profile, to the precautions you need to take during your stay, like avoid isolated areas and walking at night, and proper measures to be taken in case such unfortunate events happen: not resisting the attacker and calling the authorities.
Crime Risks in Nigeria: HIGH
Outbreaks of violence happening in Nigeria have made authorities such as FCO advise against all but essential travel to this country. Armed robbery and assaults, as well as carjacking have occurred lately in some parts of the country, including Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, and Yobe, as well as terrorist attacks that are indiscriminate and can occur without any warning.
The target victims of criminals seem to be foreigners, especially British nationals, as they are usually perceived as wealthy. These potential attacks can be carried out by armed gangs or individual criminals in cases in which you carry large amounts of money or valuable goods that can be noticed by the others. What is more, criminals can approach their victims on different reasons, which will prove to be scams in the end.
- How to Avoid Crime in Nigeria?
In order not to ruin your holiday by encountering such unpleasant events, you should know some simple Nigeria safety tips that could save you a lot of trouble. First of all, do not trust people you’ve just met, as they can turn out to be scammers who pretend to be someone they are not: local guides or business men. What is more, do not keep your valuable goods at sight and do not display any riches: jewelry, money or expensive gadgets. You must stay vigilant at all times and not lose sight of your travel companions.
In case you are a victim of such crimes, try not to resist the attacker and call the authorities as soon as possible. Comply with the attackers’ demands and do not get involved in violent acts.
Violence Risk in Nigeria: HIGH
Related to crime, violence is a consequence of the unfortunate events mentioned above and therefore, it can erupt quickly and sometimes- without warning. If you travel alone, the risks of being a target victim is even higher, especially at night or in isolated areas, where other people cannot help you defend yourself. Violence can follow after robbery, carjacking and is one of the most dangerous events that you can encounter in Nigeria. Read on to find out how can you avoid being the victim of violence in Nigeria.
- How to Avoid Violence in Nigeria?
The most important tip when it comes to avoiding violence in Nigeria is to follow local news and reports, in order to be informed about the gatherings and civil unrests that could turn into violence abruptly. You are advised not to travel alone, especially as a woman, as the attackers can see you as a potential victim. Being accompanied by a tour guide or other people that surround you can diminish significantly the chances of encountering violence. If such unpleasant incidents still happen to you, do not resist the attacker and do not hesitate to call the authorities. Make sure you are prepared to face any unfortunate event with common sense, precaution and a good set of rules.
Risks of Women Travelling Alone in Nigeria: HIGH
Since crime is a common threat here, travelling solo in Nigeria might not be the best idea, especially if you are a woman. In case you carry large amounts of money or display any riches such as jewelry or expensive gadgets, attackers can perceive you as weak and you can become a target victim very easily. Unfortunately, kidnaps, violent assaults and rape have been directed towards the women visitors travelling solo in Nigeria.
- How to Avoid Risks as A Woman Travelling Solo in Nigeria?
Try not to carry large amounts of money or display any riches such as jewelry or expensive gadgets and dress decently every time you walk on the streets of Nigeria. Avoiding isolated areas and walking at night is advisable if you’re a woman travelling solo in Nigeria. Whenever you feel danger is close, try to walk away.
How to Avoid Terrorist Attacks in Nigeria?
A perfect recipe to avoid terrorist attacks does not exist, unfortunately. Nevertheless, in order to stay safe in Nigeria, try to avoid public places where large gatherings can be spotted and remain alert during your trips in cities. You need to keep up with the news and avoid affected areas in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.
Road Travel Risk in Nigeria: MEDIUM to HIGH
Extra caution needs to be taken when travelling from one place to another in Nigeria as well. Using the public transportation is not advisable, as it poses many dangers, from attackers that could perceive you as a target victim to the poor conditions of the roads that may cause road accidents. Most of the means of transport are in such poor condition that using them can turn into an unpleasant experience. Taxis are not an exception to the rule.
- How to Avoid Road Travel Risks in Nigeria?
Try to schedule your trip very well, as for you not to be forced to use the public transport in order to see everything you’ve planned. Apart from Lagos and Abuja, you should not venture in visiting some other areas. A good tip would be to fly between the cities, in order to avoid any risks that this country can pose. With these travel tips, you should be safe in Nigeria and avoid any possible risk that the giant of Africa may pose.
Natural Disasters Risk in Nigeria: MEDIUM
From flooding to droughts, Nigeria has been the country to host many natural disasters in time. You can expect sudden climate changes and dust storms that could make your trip to Nigeria a difficult challenge. Depending on the period in which you decide to schedule your trip to Nigeria, you could expect sudden rainfalls and unforeseen changes of weather. Therefore, extra caution must be taken when planning a trip here.
- How to Avoid Natural Disasters in Nigeria?
In order for your trip to go smoothly, the first step to be taken is keeping up with the news and plan your trip in the right period. These all can be done only through being equipped with the right set of Nigeria safety tips that we provide here.
Areas to Avoid When Travelling to Nigeria
With the exception of Lagos and Abuja, which are the most peaceful areas in this country, authorities have issued warnings about travelling to the rest of the country, as most of them seem very risky, due to the terrorist attacks registered, robberies and violent attacks, but also political gatherings and other such risks. Here’s a list with the most notorious places you might want to avoid or visit accompanied by a local guide or other safety precautions taken:
- Northern Nigeria: Borno State, Yobe State, Adamawa State and Gombe State, due to many violent attacks registered here and terrorist groups. Bauchi State, Zamfara State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Jigawa State, Katsina State and Kogi State are other places you might want to avoid, as they are characterized by inter-communal tensions which can turn into violence.
- Riverine areas: Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States are notorious for political rallies and violent demonstrations that can occur instantly and without notice.
- Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Zaria are also commonly known for the often protests happening quite often.
Dangers can peek at any corner in Nigeria, so make sure you establish a well-organized plan before going there and do not expose yourself and your loved ones to any of the unfortunate events these notorious areas can bring.
Vaccines You Need When Travelling to Nigeria
Travelling to the African continent comes with many health risks that can be avoided if you take the right measures before embarking on this journey. Because medical facilities are limited in this part of the continent, you must take extra caution and pay a visit to your medical care provider. Also, do not forget to be equipped with the right health assurance and have the right vaccination. Diseases such as Malaria, Meningococcus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A&B, Yellow fever and Filiariasis are common here and therefore you should make sure the risk of encountering them is low by taking the right precautions.
You’ve read about how safe is Nigeria for tourists and now you’re the only one who can decide whether you are ready to take the risk. With our Nigeria safety travel tips, you’re already half equipped to enjoy this experience. Keep your common sense along the journey, and do not forget to:
- Be aware of your surroundings;
- Never leave your valuable goods unsupervised;
- Stay alert in locations frequented by westerners;
- Monitor local media and keep up with the news;
- Do not physically resist the attackers;
- Be skeptical about the people you’ve just met;
- Have a proper travel insurance and the right vaccines;
- Avoid isolated areas, especially at night;
- Be equipped with the right telephone numbers of the authorities.
Follow these instructions and your stay in Nigeria will for sure be trouble-free. Experiencing the African adventure in Nigeria can be amazing if you are equipped with the right Nigeria safety tips.