Nigeria, my home away from home. Though I’ve never travelled the country as an adult some of my best childhood memories were in Nigeria. Nigeria, also known as ‘Naija’ is situated in west Africa. Its neighbouring countries are Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The capital city is Abuja, but the most populous city is Lagos on the coast of the country. The country’s currency is the Naira (NGN).
Fun Fact: Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa!
If you’d like to know more interesting facts about this African country, click here.
So, let’s break this country up into PARTS.
With the largest population in Africa it’s no surprise that Nigerians are very diverse with over 250 ethnic groups with over 520 languages spoken. The main ethnic groups are the Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani and Kanuri. Though English is the official languages, the majority of Nigerians speak pidgin English (a dialect of English). Other native language commonly spoken are Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa and Fulani.
With such a populous country, there’s also an abundance of activities.
Lagos; The country’s largest city. Why not start at the national museum to explore Nigerian art, archaeology, and history. KalaKuta museum is also a great way to learn about the Nigerian music scene through one of the most notorious African musicians Fela Kuti. Badagry Slave Museum is an amazing place to understand the west African slave trade.
Hop off. If you get tired of the mainland, why not head to Lagos island. With some amazing beaches like Tarwa Bay and Elegusi, these beaches are notorious for their tranquil waters in the day and amazing parties at night.
Lekki Conservation centre is an amazing nature reserve in Lagos. With the largest canopy walk in Africa and home to hundreds of plants and animals. This is a picturesque place to get lost in.
Get sprayed. Nigerian parties are notorious for meaning a guaranteed good time. Nigerian powerhouse the now popular music genre ‘Afrobeats’ with hundreds of African dancing originating from Nigeria. No matter the city, if you attend a big party and dance well you are sure to be sprayed (given money).
Agodi Gardens in Ibadan is a beautiful botanical garden home to hundreds of plant species just outside Lagos is Olumo Rock, for all you hikers this ancient rock is a mountain, so why not give it a hike. I promise the view is worth it.
Close to the Cameroonian border is the Sukur Cultural Landscape a UNESCO World Heritage site. This site has houses and a palace dating back to the 16th century.
Yankari Game Reserve is Nigeria’s largest Nigerian park with hot springs and an amazing savanna. Why not book a tour to see some amazing animals in their natural habitat.
Osun-Osogbo Sacred grove located in Southern Nigeria is a sacred and religious ground built to worship the God Osun. Why not visit the site to understand more about Nigerian mythology.
Rituals and Culture
Islam is the country’s largest religion with Christianity being the second largest religion. Traditional Nigerian deities are also worshipped in rural areas.
Nollywood is one of the largest film industries in the world and cultural symbol. I’ve found Nollywood to be popular all over Africa.
Nigerian parties are notorious for meaning a guaranteed good time. Nigerian powerhouse the now popular music genre ‘afrobeat’s’ with hundreds of African dancing originating from Nigeria.
Some staple Nigerian foods are: yam, cassava, meat and plantain. Some Nigerian specialties are; Pounded yam (pounded yam or yam powder made into a dough like ball and eaten with a stew), Jollof Rice (Rice cooked with tomato sauce and red palm oil), Moi Moi (blended beans, stemed in leaves) and Suya (spiced and grilled meat) . Palm wine is a popular drink and can be found at local bars.
– Eating with the left hand is seen as highly improper.
– Be Careful! They say America is the land of opportunities and I say Nigeria is the land of opportunists. Whilst most people are nice and helpful, petty crime and kidnapping are common in a lot of big cities.
– Boko Haram (An Islamic extremist group) still operate in the north of the country. Please read your country’s travel advice carefully before planning your trip to Nigeria.
For more travel advice check out; FCO: Travel Advice
Outside of the UK: Please check your government’s travel advice carefully.