How to Plan the Perfect Vacation in Nigeria: A Comprehensive Guide

Perfect vacation in Nigeria
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

To all fun-seeking tourists, diplomats and diverse visitors who intend to explore Nigeria, we say welcome to the conspicuous, multicultural West African giant. You may become so pleasantly surprised as you encounter the vast range of memorable sites, amiable people, and tasty cuisine the country has to offer. We offer you a comprehensive guide to help you plan the perfect vacation in Nigeria, devoid of any regret, in his article.


Nigeria is a land of diverse realities intermingled with one another.  Several variations of vegetation from the North to the South are interspersed with curious natural wonders and proud relics of history. There are calm rural settlements, lively cities, populous suburbs, and everything in-between. The country is a melting pot of hundreds of coexisting ethnic groups, with interesting customs that are worth studying. 

In all, a visit to Nigeria premises to be an exhilarating experience. By following some essential tips in our guide, planning and enjoying that perfect vacation to Nigeria will be more than fulfilling. And we assure you that Nigeria is generally a safe place to visit, if you follow the recommended tips below. 

Essential Steps to Undertake While Planning That Perfect Vacation in Nigeria 

Carry Out Detailed Research and Choose Your Destination(s)

The landscape of Nigeria is vast in many respects. Not merely in its cultural diversity, but in its locations of interest, languages, hospitality and several other factors. To avoid getting lost in a maze of options (and spending), doing a detailed online research into various locations in the country would help. Decide on which locations meet your need for a perfect vacation in Nigeria, and plan your travel around them. 

We can venture to recommend choice cities, towns and memorable sites to you. However, the final choice will depend on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you are targeting cities with a good mix of urban facilities, entertainment, and culture, look no further. Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Ibadan are amongst the top choices (in that order). 

Towns and cities linked to rich ancient history and tradition include Akure, Benin city, Ilorin, Kaduna, Badagry, Calabar and Enugu. For a thrilling visit to Nature, we recommend Calabar (and its surroundings), Jos, and Bauchi, to mention a few. 

Decide on a Budget

You should set a budget to cover your vacation expenses. The availability of funds and resources at your disposal may determine which locations you can go to (that fit into the budget). Surely there are travel destinations in Nigeria with the right options and facilities to match your budget, in any case. 

Your budget should cover expenses such as air and land transportation, accommodation, feeding, communication, and random buying of items. 

Find Out About the Local Customs and Tradition in Your Target Location 

For the best vacation experience, you need to investigate and get familiar with the local customs of the targeted locations you want to visit. You would not want to meddle with taboos, or violate important social norms and customs in that locality (to avoid trouble). Your goal is that nothing should interfere in making that perfect vacation in Nigeria remain as planned. 

And of course prepare to feast on traditional cuisine. You might get lucky to be invited as a guest to a local celebration or event. Otherwise, you should not miss the opportunity to sample local delicacies at restaurants and hotels in your targeted location. 

Investigate and Take Note of Local Guidelines 

Some of us have lived long enough in Nigeria to insist that Nigeria is generally a safe place for visitors. Notwithstanding, it is important to find out any existing local rules and guidelines that will contribute to your safety in your targeted destination. 

Learn Some Pidgin English (and the Relevant Local Language) While You Can

Nothing invokes a better welcome from local people like when they hear you speak their indigenous language. However, we understand it might be a bit challenging to learn a local language within a short time frame. If you can do so, it will be great. But at least learn to speak Pidgin English. 

You will encounter many people around town who can speak some passable English. But the vast majority of Nigerians are comfortable with speaking Nigerian Pidgin English. 

Make Arrangements for Suitable Accommodation/Lodging 

It is best to find out and book your accommodation ahead of time. There are many such options you will find online. Hotels, short-let apartments, or even resorts are often available within a short distance from your targeted vacation spot that fit into your budget and taste. Online travel and short-let accommodation platforms such as, Airbnb, and several others can assist you in this regard. 

As you choose your accommodation, also ensure it is situated in a convenient location. This will help you to easily navigate the area (and reduce transportation and other costs). 

Learn About Available Transportation Options (And Choose the Good Ones)

You will need to know your way around any location in Nigeria, and how fast (and safely) you can move from one point to another. This is where getting the help of a local guide or known indigene becomes very useful. In any case, it is good that you familiarize yourself with the available transportation options around the targeted location. 

Ensure you choose the safe and reliable transportation options. For extra security and convenience, we recommend that you get information about, and patronize trusted taxi/cab hailing services around town. And more of them keep springing up each year.

Do Not Forget to Pack Essential Items for Your Vacation

A key aspect of your vacation planning is to pen down a list of the essential items you should take along with you. It starts with top-priority items such as your travel documents, identification, medication, and a power bank (for emergency power to your phone). 

Next, you should understand that Nigeria is a tropical country. Find out about the seasons (which months fall in the rainy, dry and harmattan season respectively), as it affects the region you are visiting. Generally, you will need lightweight clothing, comfy shoes/sandals, hats and sunglasses to handle the hot, humid air of the dry season. You might throw in some waterproof jackets and other such covering to handle rainy and Harmattan days, if you are visiting during that time of the year. 

Additionally, get yourself protective items for your skin, such as sunscreen and anti-mosquito lotions. 

Before We Forget: You Will Need Bottled Water

The hot climate of Nigeria requires that you learn to rehydrate quite often while on the move. Luckily, there is an abundance of sellers of purified bottled water on the streets and everywhere – as there is no certified public water supply. Always ensure you have that indispensable bottled water with you to quench your thirst. 

On a Final Note: Important Travel Protocols and Visa Arrangements 

There will definitely be protocols you must observe before you are cleared, as you land at any major airport in Nigeria. It is important to stay informed about the latest protocols and rules you must obey, before you embark on the vacation trip. For instance, find out if Covid-19 PCR tests are mandatory or not. You can get this information from the NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) website.

For foreigners visiting Nigeria, ensure your international passport and other travel documents are up-to-date and ready before you travel. There is also a provision to apply for a Visa on Arrival at the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) with a maximum tenure of 90 days. This is applicable to a fairly broad range of visitors. They include citizens of the African Union, business people, tourists, and nationals of countries where Nigeria has no embassy or mission. 

But the application must be done online on your behalf by someone in Nigeria. And it must be completed within a minimum of 14 days before your departure date. Thus we encourage you to connect with a local guide or known person who is a Nigerian, to assist you with the visa application. Such a guide will also be of great assistance to you at the airport, to handle issues when they arise. 



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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.