Nigeria Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Abuja tourist information, Nigeria food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Abuja Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Nigeria Travel Guide

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Full country name: Federal Republic of Nigeria
Area: 923,768 sq km
Population: 154,729,000
Capital City: Abuja
Language: English
Religion: 50,5% Islam, 48,2% Christianity, 1,4% Other
Government: Presidential Federal Republic
Time Zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour (Standard time zone)
Dialing Code: +234
Electricity: 240V, 50Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
Currency: Naira (NGN)

Money & Costs:
Average yearly salary: USD 2,300

Budget: $10
Mid-range: $25
High: $40+
Budget: $120
Mid-range: $300
High: $500

Geography: Nigeria, 32nd largest country in the world, is located in western Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. The country has a varied landscape. There are "rugged" highlands to the southwest of the Niger, and hills and mountains, forming the Mambilla plateu, to the southeast of the Benue. Everything in between is Savannah. Nigeria has coastal plains in the southwest and the southeast. The greatest valleys of Nigeria are those of Niger and Benue River.

Climate: Nigeria has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The wet season lasts from April till October. In November March the weather is dry and very hot. The far south is defined by its tropical rain forest climate, whereas the hot Harmattan wind from the Sahara sweeps across the northeastern areas. The average yearly temperature ranges from 23 C to 32 C.

Food: Each region has its own favorite dishes, depending on customs, religion and traditions, in Nigeria. There are namely two seasons with different foods available. One is known as the 'hungry season' in March, and the other is called the 'season of surplus' in October-November. Since a large part of Nigeria lies in the tropics, there is a variety of fruits enjoyed all year-round. Some of the most popular fruits are: pineapples, melons, limes, mangoes, grapefruits, bananas and oranges. In the northern region, people (mostly Muslim) eat beans, sorghum (grain) and brown rice. The Hausa people of the same region mostly eat kebabs. People from eastern part of Nigeria (Igbo/Ibo) usually eat gari (cassava powder) dumplings, pumpkins and yams, the later being an important food of all the Nigerians.

Drink: The most popular drink in Nigeria is beer. Nigeria is actually one of the places where Guinness bear is brewed outside of Ireland and they do it pretty well. Such brands as Heineken, Star, Harp, Gulder and other international beers are widely available. Other drinks you should try include: palm wine, zobo (a tea of dried roselle flowers), kunun, kai kai (also called ogogoro). Water sold in plastic bags should be avoided. Buy bottled water instead.

Health: Health care facilities are of poor standard in Nigeria (except a few private clinics) Medical institutions are subject to shortages of equipment, drugs and even electricity. It is advisable to take sufficient supply of prescribed medicine. Vaccinations against meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.

Recommended clothing: Lightweight and cotton clothes are recommended when visiting Nigeria. Avoid wearing shorts or dresses above knees, as this is not tolerated by the locals. Pack a lightweight jacket for cooler evenings. Comfortable footwear, such as sandals or good quality walking shoes are essential.

Money: You are advised to use US dollars only, when in Nigeria. Avoid using credit cards because of fraud, and because of the shortage of ATMs. The banks do not offer money exchange, therefore you will have to change your money on the streets.

Business Hours: Shops are open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Government offices are open from 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday and 7.30am to 1pm Saturday.
Banking hours are from 8am to 3pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 1pm Friday.
Sanitation days are held on the last Saturday of the month and traffic is not allowed before 10.30am for the streets to be cleaned.

Public Holidays:
1 Jan New Year's Day
26 Feb Mouloud (Birth of the Prophet)
2 Apr- 5 Apr Easter
1 May Workers' Day
11 Sep Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
1 Oct Independence Day
17 Nov Eid al-Kabir (Feast of the Sacrifice)
25 Dec- 26 Dec Christmas

Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Many restaurants are closed during the day and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Kabir (Eid al-Adha) may last anything from two to 10 days, depending on the region.

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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