Travel to Nigeria

Nigeria is located in West Africa and has a sizable Atlantic Ocean coastline along the Gulf of Guinea. On its west is the small country of Benin. To the north and east are the countries of Niger and Chad, and Cameroon lies to the southeast. There are big chunks of the country where is not recommended that tourists travel at all because of a variety of security issues. Fortunately, this is a large country (and the most populous in all of Africa), so that there are also big chunks where there are many great attractions and where travel to Nigeria can be enjoyed by visitors who have done their research and stay abreast of current events while in the country.

The most secure and safe travel to Nigeria occurs from about the center of the country south to the Atlantic Ocean and west towards the border with Benin. Within this area is the lively (almost unbelievably crowded and seemingly chaotic) port city of Lagos. The country is known for its superb music, with a number of internationally known performing artists. The center of the country's music scene is Lagos. It sprawls across the mainland and two major urban islands, and boasts an international airport receiving flights from many cities in Europe, other cities in Africa, and even direct flights from Atlanta and Houston in the United States. Among the city's many attractions is Badagry Town, the fifteenth-century slave port known as the Point of No Return. Also popular are several wonderful beaches, including urban beaches and Akodo Beach, located a bit outside of town and home of the Eko Tourist Resort, a complex with restaurants and beach bungalows. There are numerous hotels in this large urban area, including five-star properties and beach resorts, budget hotels and guest houses.

Nigeria boasts some of the oldest cities in Africa. These are cities of the Yoruba Kingdoms that date to as early as the fourth century. The kingdoms spread across south central Nigeria into Benin and Togo. Among the ancient cities to visit when you travel to Nigeria are Ile-Ife, Oyo-Ile, and Owo. In addition to modern popular music that is centered in Lagos, another reason many tourists visit the country is its cultural heritage evident in many different festivals showcasing traditional music and dancing, colorful costumes, and elaborate tribal masks that date to the ancient caravan cities.

Paying attention to current events is not only a way to stay safe while visiting Nigeria—it can also provide unexpected bonuses. Situations in developing nations with pockets of instability are fluid and can change quickly to become stable enough to visit. These areas have some wonderful attractions that are well worth a visit, including the ancient caravan cities of the northern desert.

Kano is one of the most important of these cities, which was, like the caravan cities of Mauritania, a major crossroads of the trans-Sahara trade routes and a major center of Islamic learning and scholarship. In the northeast of the country is the country's best wildlife reserve, Yankari National Park. Here there are herds of buffalo and elephants, lions, baboons, a variety of antelope. and other species. There is also a popular hot springs called Wikki perfect for swimming. Lodging is at Wikki Camp that has more than 100 furnished chalets that range in standard from more upscale suites to hostel-type bunk rooms. Both of these two places are periodically on or off the "safe to travel" list.

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