Travel to Nigeria, like much of Africa, isn't for the novice traveler. No, you'll need some travel seasoning under your belt to make your way around the exotic, and often misunderstood, country.
First off, there's a travel advisory regarding travel to Nigeria (doesn't mean you can't go, just be extra cautious). Hidden within some disputed borders are rainforests, national parks with big game, and remnants of Nigeria's British colonial days. Add the hundreds of miles of coastline along the Gulf of Guinea--and you've sure picked one of Africa's most remarkable countries.
It certainly is one of the most populated, some 170 million people. Almost half the country is Muslim, and the official language is English but there are more than 400 other languages being spoken by a myriad of local tribes.
One of the best ways to get around in Nigeria is via Bush Taxis or buses, which run between big towns. Daily rail service (with sleeper cars and 3-classes of service) runs on two rail routes. While often cheaper than the bus, it is a slower mode of transportation.
Whether bus or train, you must see Nigeria's Lagos Island with its National Museum at the Onikan Craft Center, or, the waterfalls at Akure. The Gashaka Game Reserve is a must if you're looking for endangered animals, while the Cross River National Park is both a rainforest conservation area and full of chimps, gorillas, baboons, elephant and buffalo.
Keep a look out for the Drill Monkey, found only in Nigeria and parts of Cameroon.
The Yoruba Empire isn't about the animals, it's about colonial architecture and the Oshun Festivl, a fertility festival at the end of August. You need special permission to visit the Oba Palace, but thankfully not the Benin art at the National Museum.
You will need special precautions from your doctor before coming. Vaccinations for Yellow Fever, Hepititis A & B, Meningitis, Tuberculosis, Diptheria, Tetanus, and Typhoid are necessary.
Make sure you've gotten your visa before arriving too. Otherwise you'll miss out on shopping for ceramic masks and other locally made good at Nigeria's markets. Worse, you'll miss out on the medieval city and Emir's Palace in the town of Kano.
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