Nigeria Discovery


Nigeria Discovery

Style: PioneerGroundbreaking tours to unique destinations
Duration: 12 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Notes

Group Tour Essentials

Visas
Visitors from most countries, including UK, EU and US visitors require a visa for entering Nigeria. In addition to this, the embassy may ask for recent bank statements and a copy of your air tickets. If an invitation letter is required, we will provide this for you.

Visa regulations can frequently change, therefore we recommend that you check with your nearest embassy for the most up to date details.

Passport

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, valid for at least six months after the date of return to the UK. We strongly advise that your passport contains a minimum of two blank pages, as this may be a requirement of the local immigration authorities. In addition certain countries will stipulate that the two blank pages are opposite each other. If you are unable to meet these requirements you may be refused boarding by your airline or denied entry by the immigration authorities.

For specific information about the requirements for your destination please check with the country’s embassy or consulate. Alternatively UK citizens can visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Airport Tax
Currently no departure tax is payable when flying out of Nigeria.

Health and Immunisations
As with travel to most parts of Africa, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor’s surgery or a specialist travel clinic for up-to-date information, advice and the necessary vaccinations. For a visit of less than one month, almost certainly you will be advised to have immunisations against the following: Diphtheria and Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis.

Vaccination against yellow fever is a compulsory requirement for entry into Nigeria, and you must bring your certificate with you. This may or may not be checked when you enter the country, but we strongly advise that you do not risk being denied entry.

Insurance
What should my travel insurance policy cover?

• medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad

• 24 hour emergency service and assistance

• personal liability cover in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property

• lost and stolen possessions cover

• cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover

• Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as certain sports

The policy should cover the whole time that you are away.

Your policy may also have:

• personal accident cover

• legal expenses cover

Common travel insurance policy exclusions
Always check the conditions and exclusions of your policy:

• most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents

You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you.

Practical information

Local Currency
The local currency in Nigeria is the naira. For current exchange rates visit www.xe.com. We recommend that you bring US dollars to Nigeria. It is also possible to change British pound sterling and less so, Euros, but US dollars are by far the easiest to change.

Where currency can be exchanged
The best place to change money in Nigeria is at private exchange booths – your guide will be able to advise you where best to do this.

Credit cards and travellers cheques
Cashing travellers’ cheques can be very difficult in Nigeria, if not impossible and we do not recommend that you bring them. Cameroon does have ATMs in larger towns, but these are often unreliable. Credit cards are not widely accepted and due to the high incidence of fraud in Nigeria you should think very carefully before using them.

Best time to go
Nigeria experiences a fair amount of variation in its weather patterns, with north and south having slightly different seasons. Generally speaking, the best time to visit southern Nigeria is between November and March, while in the north October to April is better. The weather throughout the country is warm throughout the year, but it is during the summer months that Nigeria receives the most rainfall, therefore most travellers prefer to visit during the winter.

Main Language
Nigeria is made up of numerous different ethnic groups and this is reflected in the languages spoken. The official language is English however there are over five hundred different languages spoken in the country. The main ones are Hausa, Igbo, Fulfulde, Yoruba, Kanuri and Ibibio.

Main Religion
Nigeria is a country that can often seem divided along religious lines, with the majority of the people in the north following Islam, while Christianity is far more prevalent in the south. In addition to this around 20% of Nigerians follow indigenous beliefs.

Food and drink
Nigeria’s cuisine is unlikely to have you rushing to find a recipe book when you get home, but it is generally inexpensive and wholesome. Yams, plantains and rice make up the staple diet of most Nigerians and come in various forms, often pounded and rolled into balls. Kebabs are fairly common, and are often made with goat meat, and bean fritters known as akara can be found in many street stalls. Chicken and fish are also available, and there is a wide variety of soups. If Nigerian food doesn’t do it for you – and it can be an acquired taste – there are European, Asian and Lebanese restaurants to be found in the larger towns, and hotels tend to offer more variety.

Nigeria is not as cheap as you might expect though – for basic meals you might pay $4-5 but in hotels and good restaurants you’re looking at around $20-25.

If you have any special dietary requirements you must notify us at the time of booking. While we will make every effort to cater for you, we cannot guarantee that this will be possible.

Transport

Our tour in Nigeria uses private vehicles – depending upon the group size they are likely to be either cars or minibuses.

Local conditions
Travelling in the destinations that we visit requires a good deal of understanding that often standards simply won’t be as they are at home. While we aim to make your trip as comfortable as possible, please be aware that we are often visiting remote or less developed regions that may have little infrastructure. While we aim to make your trip run as smoothly as possible there may be times when we need to ask for your patience while we rectify any problems.

Nigeria is not a normal tourist destination, and is very different from others you may have visited, even neighbouring countries in West Africa. It is important that you are prepared for this. Some people find it intimidating – others fall in love with the country, for all its problems. Scheduled sightseeing may not always go as planned – traffic jams and other factors, especially around major cities such as Lagos, can hinder this. Hotel staff may deny that the rooms have been reserved, even though they have been. Nigerian people may appear aggressive – but beneath the exterior are usually very friendly.

In short, Nigeria is an adventure, more so than most other countries, and it’s important to bear in mind that issues may arise while there – but they can be resolved.

We emphatically do not recommend this trip for first time visitors to Africa.

What to take with you

First Aid Kit
The first thing on your list should be a first aid kit. Whilst there is no undue cause for alarm, travellers are best advised to travel well-prepared: adequately immunized, with sufficient supplies of prescription drugs, along with a medical kit.

Clothing
Nigeria is warm and tropical so light clothes are generally a good idea. You should ensure that you bring warmer clothes for evenings in the north. Please remember that northern Nigeria has a large Moslem population and conservative attitudes towards dress, and so women should bear this in mind and ensure that clothing is appropriate, especially at any religious sites. You should also bring a hat to protect yourself from the strong sun.

Footwear
Footwear is a main priority on our tours. Comfortable walking shoes/boots are recommended, as well as a pair of sandals.

Luggage
Your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable.

Other
Suncream/sunblock is a must. Insect repellent, including a bite spray will also be useful to have.

Fitness
This tour does not require any special degree of fitness but you will find it more enjoyable if you are reasonably fit.

Cultural and environmental guidelines

You may come across beggars while on tour. Every traveller has different perspectives on this and ultimately the choice is up to you. Many sources recommend that you watch to see if local people give, and then follow their lead with genuine beggars. We do not recommend giving money, sweets, pens etc to children as this can encourage a begging mentality and can lead to children choosing to beg rather than go to school.

Haggling is a way of life in Nigeria when making many purchases, especially with tourist souvenirs. Usually, but not always, the vendor will start with a price that is higher than they are prepared to accept, and the buyer is expected to haggle. There are no hard and fast rules with this – some vendors may initially quote a vastly overinflated price, others may start with a price close to the true value, while others may just present you with one price and not be prepared to discuss it. Although many tourists may feel uncomfortable with this, it’s important to remember that this is best entered into in a relaxed manner. Once you have agreed upon a price, it is extremely bad form to then not pay this. Please also bear in mind that a small amount of money to you can be a relatively large amount for the vendor, and that it is not necessarily best practice to ‘beat the vendor down’ to the lowest possible price. Remember that they also have a living to make.

Please make sure that you take any rubbish back to the hotels with you where they can be properly disposed of – this includes cigarette butts as well.

Please do not buy any products made from endangered species – this is not sustainable and hastens the species’ decline.

We also advise against eating any bushmeat – although this is fairly common in Nigeria, the hunting of wild animals for bushmeat is responsible for large scale depletions of local populations.

Photography
You should always ask permission before taking anyone's photograph and respect their decision if they say no. In more remote areas women and older people often do not want to be photographed. Some people may also ask for some money – sometimes a little, sometimes a lot - in return for a photo. Taking photos of military installations, state buildings, and airports can lead to problems with local authorities. If you are unsure about whether it is acceptable to take a photo, please ask your tour leader or guide.

Tipping
Tipping is commonly recognised as a way of rewarding guides and drivers for good service. If you are happy with your guide and driver, please consider leaving a tip for them.

Tipping is generally only common in the better restaurants, rather than the smaller streetside ones.

Foreign Office Advice
We constantly monitor the advice posted by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. It is likely travel warnings will remain in place for some time to come, and we are only able to accept a booking on the basis that you are aware this is the case and are still happy to travel irrespective ofthe FCO advice.

Furthermore, it is the clients’ responsibility to ensure that they hold full travel insurance which includes medical repatriation.

You should check the validity of your insurance with your provider, given the travel warnings in place. We can however, help you organise insurance which will continue to be valid.

It should be noted that this information applies to British citizens. Other nationals are asked to check the current position of their respective government.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns or would like to know in detail what measures are being taken to ensure visits remain trouble free and without incident.

Further Information

Public Holidays in Nigeria:
1 Jan New Year
1 May Labour Day
1 Oct Independence Day
25 Dec Christmas Day

Other holidays such as those associated with Ramadan are Islamic holidays and as such follow the lunar calendar, varying year to year. Easter Good Friday and Monday also vary annually.

Dates are for guidance only and may vary year to year

Electrical Supply
Electrical supply is 240V/50 Hz and plugs have three square pins like the United Kingdom. You may also come across sockets with three round holes. Adapters are widely available in Nigeria should you need one.

Recommended Reading

Nigeria – The Bradt Guide
Lizzie Williams

This House Has Fallen
Karl Maier

The State of Africa
Martin Meredith

The Scramble for Africa
Thomas Pakenham

The Trouble with Nigeria
Chinua Achebe

Looking for TransWonderland
Noo Saro-Wiwa

IMPORTANT NOTES – PLEASE READ

Please note that the information provided is correct at the time of writing but may change. It is intended as a guide only. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health visit www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk or contact your local healthcare provider.

In addition we strongly advise you to check the information and any travel advice provided by your government. For British citizens you should visit the Foreign Office website www.fco.gov.uk.

Furthermore, you should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.

Issue Date – 16/4/13

For possible changes to this dossier please visit www.undiscovered-destinations.com or call +44 (0)191 296 2674