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How To Plan A Trip To Nigeria From USA


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Katie Mcauley



Planning a trip to Nigeria from the USA can be an exciting and enriching experience. Nigeria, located in West Africa, is a country known for its vibrant culture, bustling cities, breathtaking landscapes, and diverse wildlife. Whether you are interested in exploring ancient historical sites, enjoying the stunning beaches, or immersing yourself in the vibrant local music and cuisine, Nigeria has something to offer for every traveler.


However, planning a trip to Nigeria can seem daunting at first, especially if it’s your first time visiting. That’s why this comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate through the trip-planning process. From researching Nigeria’s attractions to obtaining a visa, booking flights, and finding suitable accommodations, this article will provide you with all the information you need to plan a memorable trip.


So, if you’re ready to embark on an adventure to Nigeria, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of planning your trip. From conducting research to packing essentials, our guide will ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable journey through “The Giant of Africa.”


Step 1: Researching Nigeria

Before embarking on your trip to Nigeria, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research to ensure that you have a well-rounded understanding of the country. Nigeria is a diverse nation with a rich cultural heritage, and taking the time to learn about its history, geography, customs, and traditions will greatly enhance your travel experience.


Start by exploring Nigeria’s top attractions and destinations. From exploring the bustling city life in Lagos to visiting the ancient city of Ibadan or the stunning natural landscapes of Jos Plateau, Nigeria offers a wide range of experiences for every type of traveler. Make a list of the places you are most interested in visiting and prioritize them based on your preferences.


Additionally, familiarize yourself with Nigeria’s climate and seasons. The country generally experiences a tropical climate, but it is important to know when the rainy season or harmattan (dry, dusty wind) season occurs to plan your visit accordingly. This will help you pack appropriate clothing and plan activities that align with the weather conditions.


Researching Nigerian culture and etiquette is also essential. Nigerians are known for their warmth and hospitality, and understanding their customs can help ensure that you have respectful interactions with the local community. Learn about Nigerian greetings, gestures, and dining etiquette, as well as any cultural norms or traditions specific to the regions you plan to visit.


Furthermore, it is crucial to research the safety situation in Nigeria. While Nigeria is generally a safe country, there are areas with certain security concerns. Stay updated on the latest travel advisories and consider registering with your country’s embassy or consulate for additional support and information during your stay. Taking necessary precautions will help you have a safe and memorable trip.


By thoroughly researching Nigeria before your trip, you will have a solid foundation of knowledge that will make your travel planning process smoother and more enjoyable. So grab your notebook or open your browser and start gathering information about the fascinating country that is Nigeria!


Step 2: Obtaining a Nigerian Visa

When planning a trip to Nigeria from the USA, one of the first and most important steps is to obtain a Nigerian visa. Unless you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country, you will need a valid visa to enter Nigeria.


The visa application process may vary depending on your nationality, so it’s important to check the specific requirements for US citizens. Typically, the Nigerian visa application process involves several steps:

  1. Complete the visa application form online: Visit the official website of the Nigerian Immigration Service and fill out the online application form. Provide accurate and up-to-date information to avoid any delays or complications in the visa processing.
  2. Pay the visa application fee: Once you have completed the application form, you will need to pay the visa application fee. This can usually be done online through the designated payment portal.
  3. Submit supporting documents: Along with your application form, you will need to submit certain supporting documents. These may include a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining, a recent passport-sized photograph, proof of accommodation in Nigeria, proof of financial means to support your stay, a copy of your flight itinerary, and a letter of invitation (if applicable).
  4. Visit the Nigerian Embassy or Consulate: Depending on your location, you may need to visit the Nigerian Embassy or Consulate to submit your application and provide biometric data (such as fingerprints). Check the specific requirements for your jurisdiction and make an appointment if necessary.
  5. Wait for visa processing: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the visa to be processed. This typically takes a few weeks, so it’s important to apply well in advance of your planned travel dates.
  6. Collect your visa: Once your visa application is approved, you can collect your visa from the Nigerian Embassy or Consulate. Make sure to check the designated collection times and bring the necessary documents for verification.

Remember to carefully review all the requirements and guidelines provided by the Nigerian immigration authorities to ensure a smooth visa application process. It’s also a good idea to contact the Nigerian Embassy or Consulate in your jurisdiction for any specific questions or concerns you may have.


Obtaining a Nigerian visa may require some time and effort, but it’s a necessary step to gain entry into the country. Make sure to start the visa application process well in advance of your intended travel dates to avoid any last-minute complications.


Step 3: Booking Flights to Nigeria

Once you have obtained your Nigerian visa, it’s time to book your flights to Nigeria. Finding the right flights that suit your travel dates, budget, and preferences is essential for a smooth and comfortable journey.


Start by researching airlines that offer flights from the USA to Nigeria. There are several major airlines that operate direct flights or have connecting flights to Nigeria, such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, and Ethiopian Airlines. Use flight comparison websites or travel search engines to compare prices and find the best deals.


Consider the following factors when booking your flights:

  • Travel Dates: Flexibility with your travel dates can help you find cheaper fares. If possible, try to be flexible with your departure and return dates to take advantage of any discounts or promotions.
  • Flight Duration: Take into account the duration of the flights and any layovers. Direct flights may be more convenient, but they can also be more expensive. If you don’t mind a layover, it might be worth considering a connecting flight to save some money.
  • Baggage Allowance: Check the baggage policies of the airlines you are considering. Some airlines may have restrictions on the number and weight of bags allowed, so make sure it aligns with your needs.
  • Airport Selection: Consider the airports you will be departing from and arriving at. Depending on your location, you may have multiple airport options. Compare prices and choose the one that offers the most convenient and affordable options for you.
  • Frequent Flyer Programs: If you are a frequent flyer with a particular airline or part of a loyalty program, be sure to provide your membership number while booking to earn miles or enjoy other benefits.

Once you have selected your flights, proceed with the booking process. Make sure to triple-check all the details, including your personal information, travel dates, and flight times, before making the final payment. It’s also advisable to consider travel insurance to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances or flight cancellations.


Note that when booking flights to Nigeria, it’s recommended to arrive at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, as it’s the main international gateway into the country. However, if you have specific destinations in Nigeria in mind, you may consider booking domestic flights within the country to reach your desired location.


By carefully considering your travel dates, flight options, and airline policies, you can book flights to Nigeria that meet your needs and ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey.


Step 4: Accommodation Options in Nigeria

When planning a trip to Nigeria, finding the right accommodation is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Nigeria offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit different budgets, preferences, and travel styles.


Here are some popular accommodation options in Nigeria:

  • Hotels: Nigeria is home to a variety of hotels, ranging from luxurious five-star establishments to budget-friendly options. Major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt have a wide selection of hotels that cater to both business and leisure travelers. Look for hotels that are centrally located, have good reviews, and offer amenities that align with your needs.
  • Guesthouses: Guesthouses are a more affordable alternative to hotels. They offer a homely atmosphere and often have fewer rooms, providing a more intimate experience. Guesthouses can be found in various cities and towns across Nigeria and are a great option for travelers seeking a more personalized and cozy stay.
  • Serviced Apartments: If you’re planning an extended stay or prefer a self-catering option, serviced apartments can be a convenient choice. These apartments are fully furnished and equipped with kitchen facilities, allowing you to cook your own meals and enjoy a more independent accommodation experience.
  • Lodges and Safari Camps: If you’re planning to explore Nigeria’s wildlife reserves or remote areas, consider staying in lodges or safari camps. These accommodations blend comfort with a natural setting, providing an immersive experience in the heart of nature.

When searching for accommodation, consider the following factors:

  • Location: Take into account the proximity of the accommodation to the places you plan to visit. Being centrally located can save you both time and transportation costs.
  • Amenities: Consider the amenities offered by the accommodation, such as Wi-Fi, parking, complimentary breakfast, swimming pool, fitness center, and 24-hour reception. Prioritize the amenities that are important to you.
  • Reviews and Ratings: Read reviews and ratings from previous guests to get a better understanding of the quality and service provided by the accommodation. Websites like Tripadvisor or Booking.com are helpful resources for reading honest guest reviews.
  • Price: Set a budget for your accommodation and search for options within your price range. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the location and season.

Booking accommodation in advance is recommended, especially during peak travel seasons. Use reliable booking platforms and websites to secure your reservation and ensure availability. It’s also advisable to contact the accommodation directly if you have any specific requests or special requirements.


By considering your budget, preferred location, and desired amenities, you can find the perfect accommodation in Nigeria that suits your needs and enhances your overall travel experience.


Step 5: Transportation within Nigeria

Once you arrive in Nigeria, it’s important to have a plan for getting around the country efficiently and safely. Nigeria has a variety of transportation options to suit different needs and budgets.


Here are some common ways to navigate within Nigeria:

  • Taxis: Taxis are a convenient mode of transportation within Nigerian cities. They can be easily hailed on the street or at designated taxi stands. It’s recommended to negotiate the fare before starting your journey or use ride-hailing apps that operate in Nigeria, such as Uber or Bolt.
  • Car Rental: If you prefer the flexibility of having your own vehicle, car rental services are available in major Nigerian cities. Make sure you have a valid international driving license and familiarize yourself with Nigerian traffic rules and regulations before driving.
  • Public Buses: Nigeria has a wide network of public buses that operate within and between cities. These buses can be crowded, but they offer an affordable way to travel. It’s important to note that routes and schedules may not always be consistent, so it’s advisable to ask locals or use a reliable transport app for guidance.
  • Keke Napep/Okada: In some cities and towns, motorized tricycles known as “Keke Napep” or motorcycles, known as “Okadas,” are commonly used for short-distance travel. They are a convenient option for navigating through crowded areas or exploring local neighborhoods.
  • Domestic Flights: If you plan to visit different regions within Nigeria, domestic flights are a time-saving option. Local airlines such as Arik Air, Air Peace, and Dana Air operate flights between major cities. Be sure to book in advance and check for any baggage restrictions or requirements.

When using public transportation in Nigeria, it’s important to remain vigilant and keep an eye on your belongings. Avoid displaying expensive items and be cautious in crowded areas. If you prefer a more personalized and guided experience, consider hiring a private driver or booking tours with reputable local travel agencies.


It’s also worth noting that traffic congestion can be an issue in major Nigerian cities, so plan your trips accordingly and allow for extra travel time during peak hours.


Lastly, if you are planning to explore remote areas or national parks, hiring a guide or joining organized tours may be necessary. This ensures your safety and allows you to fully enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife Nigeria has to offer.


By considering the transportation options available and planning your routes in advance, you can navigate Nigeria with ease and make the most of your travel experience.


Step 6: Planning Activities and Sightseeing

One of the most exciting parts of planning a trip to Nigeria is deciding on the activities and sights you want to experience. Nigeria is a country rich in culture, history, natural beauty, and vibrant city life, offering a wide range of attractions to explore.


Here are some popular activities and sightseeing options in Nigeria:

  • Cultural Exploration: Immerse yourself in Nigeria’s diverse culture by visiting historical sites, museums, and art galleries. Explore the ancient city of Benin, home to the famous Benin Bronzes, or discover the fascinating history of the Nok Terracotta sculptures in Jos. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience traditional music, dance, and cuisine.
  • City Exploration: Nigeria’s major cities, such as Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt, offer a vibrant urban experience. Explore the bustling markets, vibrant nightlife, and architectural landmarks. Visit popular sites such as Tafawa Balewa Square, Aso Rock, or the National Mosque.
  • Nature and Wildlife: Nigeria is blessed with beautiful natural landscapes and diverse wildlife. Explore the stunning mountains of Obudu or the idyllic beaches of Lagos. Visit national parks like Yankari or Cross River National Park to observe wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, and monkeys.
  • Beach Relaxation: Nigeria has a coastline stretching over 800 kilometers, offering some breathtaking beaches. From the bustling Tarkwa Bay in Lagos to the serene Eleko Beach or the pristine sandy shores of the Niger Delta region, there are plenty of beach options to relax, swim, or engage in water sports.
  • Festivals and Events: Plan your trip around Nigerian festivals and events to experience the vibrant and colorful celebrations. From the Lagos Carnival to the Osun-Osogbo Festival or the Durbar festivals in northern Nigeria, attending these events will provide a unique cultural experience.

When planning your activities and sightseeing, consider the duration of your trip and the locations you will be visiting. Create a rough itinerary and allocate enough time for each activity or attraction. Keep in mind that Nigeria is a vast country, so it may not be possible to visit everything in one trip. Prioritize the sights and activities that interest you the most.


Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the opening hours and any entry requirements for attractions and sites you plan to visit. Some may have specific visiting times or require advance bookings.


Make use of travel guidebooks, online resources, and local recommendations to gather information about the best sights and activities in the specific locations you will be visiting. This will help you make the most of your time in Nigeria and ensure a memorable travel experience.


Step 7: Safety and Health Considerations in Nigeria

When traveling to Nigeria, it’s important to prioritize your safety and well-being. Being aware of safety and health considerations can help ensure a smooth and worry-free trip. Here are some key considerations:


1. Safety Precautions:

  • Stay updated on the latest travel advisories and security alerts for Nigeria. Check the websites of your country’s embassy or consulate for any information or warnings specific to your nationality.
  • Avoid traveling to areas with known security concerns or unrest. Stay informed about the current situation in the regions you plan to visit and make adjustments to your itinerary if necessary.
  • Be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep your personal belongings secure and avoid displaying expensive items.
  • Use reliable transportation options, such as registered taxis or reputable car rental services. If using ride-hailing apps, double-check the driver’s details before getting in the vehicle.
  • Share your travel itinerary and contact details with a trusted friend or family member. Regularly check in with them during your trip.

2. Health Considerations:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic before your trip to ensure you have the necessary vaccinations and medications for Nigeria.
  • Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical expenses in case of illness or accidents.
  • Drink bottled or purified water to avoid water-borne illnesses. Avoid consuming raw or undercooked food, and stick to reputable restaurants and food establishments.
  • Protect yourself from insect bites by using insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and pants, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Consider taking anti-malarial medication as recommended by your healthcare provider.
  • Be cautious of the sun and stay hydrated, as Nigeria can have a hot climate. Use sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from excessive sun exposure.

It’s always a good idea to stay informed about the local customs and cultural norms in Nigeria. Respect the traditions and practices of the local people, and dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas.


In case of any emergency situations, familiarize yourself with the local emergency contact numbers and the location of nearby medical facilities.


By taking necessary safety and health precautions, you can enjoy a safe and worry-free trip to Nigeria, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture and vibrant atmosphere.


Step 8: Currency and Money Matters

When traveling to Nigeria, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local currency and understand how to manage your money effectively. Here are some key considerations:


1. Currency:


The official currency of Nigeria is the Nigerian Naira (NGN). It is best to exchange your currency into Nigerian Naira upon arrival in Nigeria. Currency exchange services are available at the airport, banks, and authorized exchange offices. It’s advisable to compare exchange rates and fees to get the best value for your money.


2. Cash and Cards:

  • While cash is widely accepted in Nigeria, it’s important to carry a mix of cash and cards for convenience and security.
  • ATMs are common in major cities and towns, providing easy access to cash. However, be cautious when using ATMs located in isolated or less secure areas.
  • Major credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard are accepted in many hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments. However, it’s recommended to have cash on hand for smaller businesses or in more remote areas where cards may not be accepted.

3. Budgeting and Expenses:

  • Create a budget for your trip, taking into account accommodation, transportation, meals, activities, and miscellaneous expenses.
  • Research the average costs of goods and services in Nigeria to help you plan your budget effectively.
  • It’s advisable to carry small denominations of cash for day-to-day expenses and to break larger bills.
  • Keep track of your spending and monitor your expenses to ensure you stay within your budget.

4. Safety and Security:

  • Take necessary precautions to keep your money and valuables safe. Use secure ATMs, carry a money belt or pouch, and avoid displaying large sums of cash in public.
  • Consider notifying your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions in a foreign country.
  • It’s advisable to have a backup plan in case of emergencies, such as carrying a spare debit or credit card or keeping emergency cash in a secure location.

5. Currency Exchange Regulations:


Be aware of any currency exchange regulations that may apply when entering or leaving Nigeria. Familiarize yourself with the allowable limits for currency import and export to avoid any issues at customs.


By understanding the currency, managing your money effectively, and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth financial experience during your trip to Nigeria.


Step 9: Language and Communication

When visiting Nigeria, it’s helpful to have some understanding of the local language and communication practices. Nigeria is a diverse country with over 500 different languages spoken, but English is widely spoken and serves as the official language.


Here are some key considerations for language and communication in Nigeria:


1. English Language:

  • English is the lingua franca in Nigeria and is used for official purposes, education, and business.
  • Most Nigerians, especially in urban areas, have a good command of English. You should be able to communicate in English with ease.
  • However, keep in mind that some rural areas may have limited English proficiency, and local languages may be more prevalent.

2. Local Languages:

  • Nigeria is a multilingual country with various local languages spoken across different regions.
  • Learning a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language can be appreciated by the locals and help you connect with them on a deeper level.
  • If you are visiting a specific region with a dominant local language, consider learning some key phrases to enhance your cultural experience.

3. Modes of Communication:

  • Mobile phones are widely used in Nigeria, and you can easily purchase a local SIM card and data plan upon arrival for convenient communication.
  • Internet access is available in urban areas, but it may be limited in more remote locations.
  • Messaging apps and social media platforms are popular for communication, so it’s helpful to have them installed on your phone for easy connectivity.
  • Landline phones and public payphones are not as common, so rely on mobile phones for communication needs.

4. Cultural Etiquette:

  • Nigerians are generally warm, friendly, and hospitable. Use polite greetings and show respect when interacting with locals.
  • Be attentive to non-verbal communication, such as body language and gestures, as they may vary across cultures.
  • Engage in conversations and show interest in Nigerian culture and traditions. Nigerians appreciate visitors who take the time to learn and understand their country.

Remember, even if language barriers exist, a friendly smile and a positive attitude can go a long way in bridging communication gaps and creating meaningful connections during your trip to Nigeria.


Step 10: Packing Essentials for Nigeria

When preparing for your trip to Nigeria, it’s essential to pack smartly and bring the necessary items that will ensure your comfort and convenience throughout your stay. Here are some packing essentials to consider:


1. Clothing:

  • Lightweight and breathable clothing is recommended, as Nigeria has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity. Pack loose-fitting tops, shorts, skirts, dresses, and lightweight pants.
  • Include a few modest outfits for visits to religious sites or more conservative areas.
  • Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit if you plan to enjoy Nigeria’s beautiful beaches or swimming pools.
  • Bring a lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler evenings or if you plan to visit higher altitude areas.
  • Remember to pack comfortable walking shoes, as you may be doing a lot of walking and exploring.

2. Travel Documents:

  • Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity from your planned date of departure.
  • Carry a printed or electronic copy of your visa, travel insurance, and any other important travel documents.
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in a separate place as a backup.

3. Health and Hygiene:

  • Bring necessary prescriptions and medications, along with a small first-aid kit that includes band-aids, antiseptic ointment, diarrhea medication, and any other personal medical supplies.
  • Pack mosquito repellent, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun and insect bites.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for maintaining hygiene on the go.

4. Electronics and Accessories:

  • Don’t forget to bring your mobile phone, charger, and a universal adapter for charging your devices.
  • If you plan to use your laptop or tablet, bring the necessary accessories and chargers.
  • A portable power bank can come in handy for charging devices when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet.
  • Consider bringing a travel adapter to plug in your electronic devices.

5. Other Essentials:

  • Carry a small backpack or daypack for daily excursions and sightseeing.
  • Include a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Don’t forget to pack sunglasses, a hat, and a lightweight scarf for sun protection and to cover up in more conservative areas.
  • Bring a small pocket-size umbrella or rain jacket, especially if you’re visiting during Nigeria’s rainy season.

Remember to check the baggage allowance and restrictions set by your airline before packing to avoid any surprises or additional fees at the airport.


Packing essentials for Nigeria should be tailored to your specific needs and the activities you plan to engage in during your trip. Be mindful of the weather conditions and local cultural practices, and pack accordingly. With a well-prepared suitcase, you’ll be ready to make the most of your adventure in Nigeria.



Planning a trip to Nigeria from the USA can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By following these ten steps, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey to this diverse and culturally rich country.


From researching Nigeria’s attractions and obtaining the necessary visa, to booking flights, finding suitable accommodations, and planning activities, this comprehensive guide has provided you with the essential information to make your trip to Nigeria a success.


Remember to prioritize your safety and health during your travels by staying informed about local security concerns, taking necessary precautions, and consulting with healthcare professionals before your trip.


Embrace the cultural diversity of Nigeria by learning a few phrases in the local languages and respecting local customs. Engage with locals and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, traditions, and cuisine that Nigeria has to offer.


Lastly, pack wisely by considering the climate, local traditions, and the activities you plan to engage in. Bring the necessary travel documents, clothing, and essentials to ensure your comfort and convenience throughout your stay.


With careful planning and preparation, your trip to Nigeria is sure to be a memorable and enriching experience. So, get ready to explore ancient historical sites, admire stunning natural landscapes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of “The Giant of Africa”.