Lonely Planet issues the following warning:Travel Warning: Militants Active - Foreigners Targeted. Kidnappings and attacks on foreign oil workers are an ongoing threat in Nigeria. In July, the UK government offered military training to Nigerian troops in an attempt to ight militants and oil smugglers - a move condemned by human rights activists who believe the violence would escalate. An American was held hostage during a raid by militants on an offshore oilfield in June. Reports claimed he was released within hours. The Bakassi Peninsula and the riverine areas in Bayelsa, Rivers, and Delta are considered very dangerous. Travellers should avoid these regions. Religious tensions bubble under the surface in Nigeria, and mass unrest isn't uncommon - keep your ear to local news sources. Lagos has a poor reputation for street crime and carjackings.
Lagos is a city build on the mainland and an island: Victoria Island. The two are connected with a long bridge. The drive along the coast is impressive and beautiful. It is the capital of Nigeria.
A little background to Nigeria: In fact, I would never like to go back to Nigeria, no matter how beautiful it is. It is corrupt. Everywhere. There are constant threats of the military. If you're on the road, you will definitely be stopped by heavily armed military patrols, who demand your passport and won't return it without a payment of a substantial amount of money. Some of these "soldiers" are children, hardly 15 years old. And this goes on and on. Not so much within the cities themselves, but definitely outside of it. Between the airport of Port Harcourt and the location where I had to work, I was held up like that six times. The distance we had to go? 25 Kilometers. It took us 2 hours to get there....
Some of my colleagues made a trip to the coast and were held up by the police. All their papers, including passports were confiscated. They could have them back immediately for the dear sum of 5000 US dollars!!! The men didn't pay off course and sat in front of the police station nearly three hours, on the doorsteps, until the police got fed up and returned the papers without the required payment. But remember, we were there on the invitation of the government. If they had persisted, the police would have been at fault and they couldn't take the risk to keep them longer than a few hours. There are however cases, where people didn't come back from a trip for days and weeks. Simply thrown in jail and nobody knew where they were. Be warned! Stay within the city if you can and make sure you have a good and trustworthy guide to accompany you everywhere and outside the town. Don't go frolicking along on your own anywhere! Not unless you're tired of living!
- Money: Naira
- Call to Holland (if it works!): 00931 -
- Voltage: 220
- Time compared to GMT: Summer +1, Winter 0
Health: Malaria is everywhere and you MUST have protection, besides all the other required injections. Check, if you can have it done safely, for your Malaria status every week, by having your blood checked. Please, don't trust the hospitals. Or the doctors. I always brought my own kit with syringes, scalpel blades, etc. Most hospitals in your country will be able to supply you with such a tropical kit. Do NOT have blood administered if you can help it.. Aids is everywhere around you and the blood banks do NOT check their blood stock's for the virus adequately or at all.
Activities and tips: If you can, visit a church meeting on Sundays. Visit the local market, wooden statuettes, bags, fruit. Make a guided tour to Korodu, Makoko, Isheri. it might be arranged through Marieliese Shonubi if she is still there, at the Sheraton hotel. Oh, remember: coming out of the Murtala Mohamed International Airport, you will probably be bothered by neatly uniformed men, claiming to be Airport officials, saying you have forgotten to pay airport tax or such stories. They are NOT airport officials. They do this with all Europeans, who pay rather than have any problems. Just remember: once outside the airport buildings, you have fulfilled all requirements to get into the country. These guys are only after your money with a smart ruse in a make believe uniform, which they had made specifically for the purpose to pull the wool over YOUR eyes!. Forget them. If possible, arrange to be met by a trustworthy person who guides you to your destination in Lagos or elsewhere in Nigeria. Right from the terminal at the airport onwards, It's the best way to stay clear of these persons..
Weather in Lagos!
Info from Lonely Planet
Info from traveldocs
Copyright © 1998-2010 Luuk Francken
Map Nigeria: permission for use granted by www.graphicmaps.com
Created: April 14, 1998. Updated: januari 24 2010