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Nigeria Driving Guide

Nigeria is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-08-02 · 9mins

Situated in West Africa, Nigeria is one of the most diverse nations on the continent. From the vast plains of the north to the long stretches of exotic beaches on the south, Nigeria is packed with tourist attractions that would keep your body and mind engaged. Lagos, the most populous city in the country, has been called “Africa's Big Apple” due to its sheer size and wide range of activities it offers for every tourist.

Nigeria is home to 201 million people, making it the most populous country in Africa. In every four Africans, one would be a Nigerian. The official language of Nigeria is English, so you would not have a problem communicating with the locals. With that said, English is just one of the 520 languages spoken in the country. Nigeria is a multiethnic nation where tourists can experience well-preserved traditions and culture.

How Can This Guide Help You?

Although it can be exciting to visit a foreign place, you must know several things before traveling to a new country. Doing so will prevent unforeseen disasters during your trip. In this guide, you will find essential travel information about Nigeria, such as things to do, top destinations to see, and other interesting facts. If you want to rent a car or find a driving opportunity in Nigeria, this guide also includes everything you need to know about driving in the country.

General Information

Nigeria is a West African nation with diverse geography and population. It is the most populous nation in Africa and the 7th most populous country in the world. Lagos, the former capital of Nigeria, is a megacity home to almost 15 million individuals. Abuja is the capital city situated within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Outside the cities, one can find beautiful valleys, lush plains, and rolling landscapes.

Geographic Location

Due to its immense size, Nigeria shares perimeters with several countries. It borders Niger in the north, Chad in the northeast, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. The Gulf of Guinea is located on the southern coast of the country. Nigeria has a diverse geography, which divides the nation into three distinct geographic regions: the north, the central region, and the south or the Guinea coastlands.

The northern region consists of grasslands, such as the Sokoto Plains and the Borno Plains. On the other hand, the central region features plateaus, hills, numerous extinct volcanoes, and degraded forests. The most mountainous area is located along the southeastern border with Cameroon. The southern region also includes coastal plains covered by swamp and mangrove forests. The climate in Nigeria varies, but it is seasonally damp and very humid, with monsoons frequently affecting the southern part of the country.

Languages Spoken

Over 525 native languages are spoken in Nigeria, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in Africa. Nigeria’s languages are classified into three broad African language families: Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic. English is the official language of the nation, which is widely spoken in urban communities. It has other variations, such as Nigerian English and Nigerian Pidgin. Other languages used in Nigeria are Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo.

Land Area

Nigeria features a total land area of 923,769 square kilometers. In comparison, the country is slightly more than twice the size of California. It is separated into 36 states and one Federal Capital Territory, where Abuja, the capital city, is located.

History

The history of Nigeria dates back to 1100 BC, when ancient African civilizations settled in the area. Kanem and Borno were the first imperial states in the region that brought Islam to Nigeria. In the 15th century, Portuguese monks came to the region and introduced Christianity. By the 19th century, British forces conquered and formally annexed Lagos. Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901.

Nigeria achieved full independence and became a republic in 1963. However, a separatist movement later claimed the eastern part of Nigeria, formed the Republic of Biafra, and attempted to secede. This led to the three-year Nigerian Civil War, resulting in between 500,000 to 2 million Biafran civilian deaths. After the defeat of the secessionists, a series of coups and failed republics followed. Until finally, a fourth republic was established in 1999.

Government

According to the 1999 constitution, a president who exercises executive power serves as both the head of state and the chief executive in Nigeria for four years. He also appoints the vice president and members of the cabinet. As for the government’s legislative branch, a bicameral National Assembly consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. All members of these assemblies are elected to four-year terms.

Under the federal government, a state and local government exists. Each of Nigeria’s 36 states is a semi-autonomous political unit with the power to structure their individual governments based on the constitution. Each state is further separated into Local Government Areas (LGAs). Currently, there are 774 LGAs in Nigeria.

Tourism

In 2016, Nigeria recorded 5 million tourist arrivals, ranking 59th in the world in absolute terms during that time. In that same year, the country’s tourism sector generated around $1.98 billion. It comprises 0.44% of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Nigeria’s tourism mainly focuses on events and festivals, whether cultural or entertainment. But the country is also abundant with natural attractions such as rainforests, valleys, and waterfalls. Stunning beaches and lush mountains can also be found in the country’s southern region. Lastly, the cities are known for their bustling vibe, flourishing arts scene, and nightlife entertainment, which leaves excitement to every visitor.

IDP FAQs in Nigeria

Driving in Nigeria is among the best and easiest ways to explore this multifaceted African nation. For a hassle-free trip, it is essential to bring all requirements, such as an International Driver's Permit. Your IDP serves as a translation of your local driver’s license, which prevents misunderstandings between you and the authorities. Here are several things you need to know about an International Driver's Permit, including how to get a driving license in Nigeria.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Nigeria?

Tourists with a valid local driver’s license and an IDP can self drive in Nigeria for 30 days. Do note that your IDP does not replace your native driving license as it only translates your driver information. You must always bring your local driver’s license when driving in Nigeria. Without a valid driving license, you can be fined, or worse, imprisoned.

However, if you’re planning to stay and self drive in Nigeria for more than 30 days, you also have to obtain a Nigerian driver’s license. If you’re asking about how to apply for a driving license in Nigeria, the process is simple. You must be 18 years old, attend an accredited driving school in Nigeria, and pass the Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) driving test.

Do I Need an IDP in Nigeria?

Tourists are allowed to self drive in Nigeria with an International Driver's Permit for up to 30 days. When applying for an IDP online, you do not have to take any test or worry about the cost of driving school in Nigeria. Here at the International Driver’s Association (IDA), we only require you to submit your valid local driver’s license and personal information. Expect to receive a digital copy of your IDP at your email address. You can visit our application page to learn more.

When driving in Nigeria, always carry your local driving license and International Driver's Permit. You may encounter checkpoints outside the cities where Nigerian police would ask for these documents. An IDP is also a requirement when your native driving license is not written in the English language. It helps solve language differences between you and the authorities. Furthermore, an IDP is needed by car rental companies when leasing a vehicle in Nigeria.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?

Although an IDP contains your personal details and driver information, it is not a valid replacement for your native driver’s license. It only acts as a translation of your driver’s license so that it can be accepted in over 150 countries worldwide, including Nigeria. Therefore, you cannot use an IDP alone when driving in the country. Always bring your driver’s license with you to avoid trouble with the authorities.

Renting A Car in Nigeria

Renting a car in Nigeria can be stressful, especially for first-time travelers. You must consider several factors, such as car type, rental fees, and road conditions, before leasing a vehicle. Fortunately, driving in Nigeria can be an enjoyable experience with the help of car rental companies. These rental agencies offer excellent services and well-kept vehicles to make your driving experience around the country pleasant.

Car Rental Companies

International car rental companies, such as Avis Rent A Car, Hertz, and Sixt, have branches in Nigeria. It is recommended to book your rental car online before arriving in the country. Online booking is more convenient and more comfortable for first-time travelers. But you can also opt for a walk-in booking from local car rental companies in Nigeria. Established rental agencies include Jautos Car Rentals, Kings Car Rental Nigeria, and Kunle Lawal Car Rental Service.

These car rental companies offer a variety of well-maintained vehicles that suit your travel purpose and budget. They also provide upgrades such as GPS navigation, Wi-Fi, and child seats for more comfortable travel. Furthermore, they offer special services like airport pick-up, chauffeur assistance, and more.

Documents Required

Renting a car in Nigeria is easy as long as you present the necessary documents to car rental companies. These include a valid local driving license and another government-issued identification card such as your passport. If your local driving license is not written in English, you also have to carry an International Driver's Permit. It translates your driver’s license into 12 languages to help eliminate any misunderstanding between you and car rental agencies.

Visit our application page to obtain an IDP within the next two hours. Other information regarding the international driving licence cost in Nigeria and the global renewal of a driving license in Nigeria is covered on our FAQ page.

Vehicle Types

Car rental companies offer a wide range of vehicles suitable for driving in Nigeria. Whether you need compact, midsize, or full-size automobiles, you can lease these types of cars in the country. The most common vehicles rented in Nigeria are compact cars like Ford Focus because they are easy to drive in cities.

If you plan to travel to different states, it is recommended to rent 4x4 cars such as Jeep Wrangler and Land Cruiser. It is easy to navigate roads in rural areas with these types of vehicles. For getting around the city in style, you can rent luxury cars like the Mercedes-Benz. It is among the most expensive cars when driving in Nigeria.

Car Rental Cost

A rental car in Nigeria starts at $84 a day. The rental fee depends on the kind of vehicle you rent, the size of the car, and insurance included. Optional car upgrades, such as child seats, GPS navigation, and Wi-Fi, also affect the total rental cost. Here are the average rental prices for each type of car in Nigeria:

  • Standard: $84/day
  • Economy: $117/day
  • Passenger Van: $147/day
  • Intermediate SUV: $178/day
  • Full-size SUV: $247/day
  • Premium SUV: $240/day
  • Standard SUV: $262/day
  • Luxury Car: $315/day

You can also rent supplier choice luxury sedans from major car companies like Sixt. These most expensive cars for driving in Nigeria can cost as much as $630/day. But they are worth the price considering the value you get from these types of vehicles.

Age Requirements

The minimum age to rent a vehicle in Nigeria is 21 years old. Most car rental companies usually do not allow drivers under 21 years old to rent a car because of reckless driving reports. Some agencies also impose an underage fee and limit the type of vehicles available for drivers under 25 years old.

Car Insurance Cost

Driving in a foreign country, such as Nigeria, may seem daunting at first due to unfamiliar roads. Insurance provides a sense of security to drivers as they travel across the country. Most car rental companies in Nigeria already include insurance in the rental package. If you lease a car from a company that does not provide insurance, it is recommended to obtain one from a third-party provider before driving in Nigeria.

Car Insurance Policy

Car rental companies in Nigeria usually include policies such as a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), Additional Liability insurance (ALI), Emergency Sickness Plan, and Extended Roadside Assistance. If your car is damaged or stolen, an LDW relieves you of financial responsibility. Meanwhile, the PAI covers medical bills if you and your passengers got involved in case of an accident. You can even add optional insurance if you feel like the included policies are not enough to protect you.

Other Facts

Besides the car rental information above, you must also know several important things before driving a car in Nigeria. These can help avoid delays on your trip and unwanted confrontations with Nigerian authorities. Here are other facts to keep in mind when renting a car in Nigeria.

Can you drive the rental vehicle outside the state?

It would depend on the car rental company. But in general, tourists can travel out of the state with the rental vehicle at an extra charge. The amount of the additional fee is determined by the location you plan to visit.

Is the car rental rate inclusive of fuel?

Most car rental companies only cover the cost of the first full tank. After you have depleted the fuel, you are responsible for filling it up for the rest of your trip. You can find several fuel stations along major highways in cities and provinces.

Would it be possible to drive your vehicle?

If you decide that renting a car is not for you, consider using your car in Nigeria. You are allowed to drive your own vehicle as long as you submit proof of ownership, permit to import your car into Nigeria, and roadworthiness validity tag. You can also use your country’s number plate for up to 90 days. After that, you must apply for a Nigeria number plate and obtain a Nigerian driver’s license. Below are the steps on how to get a driving license in Nigeria.

  1. Ensure that you are at least 18 years old.
  2. Attend an accredited driving school in Nigeria. Driving school prices in Nigeria vary depending on the state or region. For instance, a driving school in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, is more expensive than schools in other states because it is the most affluent neighborhood in the city.
  3. Take the Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) driving test, which includes practical driving and a written test. If you are wondering about the driving test questions in Nigeria, these cover road signs, traffic rules, and common knowledge of driving laws.
  4. After passing the VIO test, obtain a certificate of proficiency from the VIO.
  5. Submit your Application Form to the Driver’s License Centre (DLC). The form contains your personal information and the class of driving licence in Nigeria you intend to obtain. There are ten different classes of driving licences in Nigeria.
  6. Pay the fees online or at a local bank. If you want to know how much is a driving license in Nigeria, the answer will depend on the validity. The cost of a driving licence in Nigeria valid for three years is around 6,350 Nigerian naira (NGN). Meanwhile, the driving licence cost in Nigeria with a validity of five years is approximately NGN 10,450.
  7. Submit your Application Form to the Board of Internal Revenue Officer and the VIO and have it endorsed.
  8. Proceed to the DLC for biometric data capture.
  9. Obtain a temporary Nigerian driver’s license valid for 60 days.
  10. After 60 days, get your original driver’s license in Nigeria and continue driving legally in the country.
City in Nigeria photo

Road Rules in Nigeria

Driving in a foreign country can be scary due to different road rules, but it is easy to get used to them. Before driving in Nigeria, you must be familiar with essential driving rules to prevent accidents or unpleasant situations with authorities. Read on to learn about the important road rules to follow in Nigeria.

Important Regulations

Before taking your car on the road, you must know the essential road regulations in Nigeria. If you fail to follow these rules, you can face serious consequences such as fines, imprisonment, or worse, injury and death. Make sure to comply with these regulations when driving in Nigeria.

Drunk Driving is Prohibited

Nigeria strictly prohibits driving under the influence of an alcoholic drink. The country imposes a 0.05% legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) for the general population, including novice and professional drivers. However, some states have a lower or higher BAC. Nevertheless, the general rule is to never drink and drive. Alcohol impairs your ability to drive and focus on the road, which can lead to injury, or worse, death.

Random breath testing and police checkpoints are common in Nigeria. Any person caught driving under the influence of alcohol may be fined by the Nigerian authorities. You may also be imprisoned for two years, depending on the severity of the violation. Avoid drunk driving to prevent serious consequences and devastating accidents.

Do Not Text and Drive

Distracted driving is prohibited in Nigeria. Do not use your cellphone while driving because it is dangerous and can lead to fatal car crashes. If you are caught making phone calls, you will be penalized by the authorities. However, the law allows the use of hands-free mobile phones. As a general rule, keep your eyes on the road ahead to prevent accidents.

Always Bring Your Documents

Similar to other countries, Nigeria requires you to bring your passport, valid local driver’s license, IDP, and insurance papers when driving in the country. Always carry these documents to avoid unwanted confrontations with the police. If you fail to present a valid driving license, you can get fined for unlicensed driving. Lastly, get enough sleep and avoid fatigue before getting around the country.

Ensure Your Vehicle is in Good Condition

Before driving in Nigeria, you must also check if your vehicle is in good condition. Ensure that the mirrors and windows are in proper shape. You should also inspect if the brakes, locks, and tires are working. If you are renting a car in Nigeria, ask the rental company for the permit and registration papers. You can get fined for driving an unregistered vehicle.

You must also carry certain safety gadgets before taking your car on the road. These include a warning triangle, fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, jack, spare tire, water, transmission fluid, torchlight, and spare fan belt. Fortunately, most car rental companies already include these items in the vehicle, so you can focus on exploring the diverse beauty of Nigeria.

Park at Designated Areas

You must not park wherever you see a No Parking sign in Nigeria. You should also avoid parking on or within fifteen meters of an intersection. The general rule is to not park in areas where you can obstruct other drivers and passersby on the road. These areas include bus stops, pedestrian crossings, school and other establishment entrances, emergency pathways, and road bends. If you do not follow these rules, you can get fined with your vehicle suspended.

Before leaving the vehicle, switch off the engine and engage your parking brake. You should also check the road for pedestrians or cyclists before opening your car door. Always lock your vehicle and keep your valuables hidden to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

General Standards

You must know the driving standards in Nigeria to learn what practices are common and avoid unwanted problems with the authorities and fellow drivers. Nigerians drive in either manual or automatic cars, depending on their preferences. Each transmission offers its own pros and cons, so it is entirely up to you which one you would choose. If you are not confident to drive a manual car in Nigeria, you can use an automatic car and vice versa.

Speed Limits

There is a national seat belt law in Nigeria. All occupants in the car, including front-seat and rear passengers, must buckle up when getting around the country. Failure to wear a seat belt can lead to fines and unwanted confrontations with the traffic police.

There are different speed limits for various vehicle types and roads. The maximum speed limit in urban or built-up areas is 50 Kph. For private cars on any highway or expressway in Nigeria, the maximum speed limit is 100 Kph. When the weather is bad, or the roads are defective, drivers must use common sense and lower their speeds accordingly.

Seatbelt Laws

There is a national seat belt law in Nigeria. All occupants in the car, including front-seat and rear passengers, must buckle up when getting around the country. Failure to wear seatbelts can lead to fines and unwanted confrontations with the traffic police.

Unlike other countries, Nigeria does not have a child-restraint law. You are not required to fasten toddlers and children in car seats when driving in Nigeria. However, if you are traveling with children less than 135 centimeters in height, it is best to have car seats to reduce the risk of injury in case of accidents.

Driving Directions

When approaching a junction, slow down and be ready to stop. Before crossing or turning in an intersection, look left, then right, then left again. Do not proceed until you are certain it is safe. In cities where traffic jams are common, you must follow the signals given by a police officer. Although the green light permits you to go, do not go forward if other vehicles are held up at the junction because you will further block the road. Wait for the signals of the officers before moving.

If you plan to travel to other states in Nigeria, you may come across expressways. When entering the expressway, yield to the cars already on the highway before accelerating in the extra lane. Follow the prescribed speed limit for that highway. If you missed your exit, proceed to the next one and never reverse. Also, unless necessary, do not stop on an expressway. If you must stop, pull out to the hard shoulder and use your hazard lights to prevent collisions.

Traffic Road Signs

Like most countries worldwide, Nigeria has road signs to ensure smooth and safe traffic flow. Traffic signs also inform drivers about traffic regulations, special hazards, and other road conditions. You must familiarize yourself with these signs to prevent accidents and other mishaps on the road. There are different types of road signs you need to follow in Nigeria: regulatory, informative, and warning signs.

Regulatory signs in Nigeria give orders to drivers. They are usually circular in shape and are further divided into two: prohibitive signs and mandatory signs. Prohibitive signs are often yellow with a red border. Here are the following regulatory (prohibitive) signs:

  • Stop sign
  • Stop, Police Ahead sign
  • No Left and No Right Turn signs
  • No U-Turn sign
  • Overtaking Prohibited sign
  • Give Way sign
  • No Entry sign
  • No Stopping Sign
  • Close to All Vehicles in Both Directions sign
  • No Entry for Vehicles with Axle Load Exceeding 8 Metric Tonnes sign
  • No Entry for Vehicles with Maximum Width Exceeding 2M sign
  • No Entry for Lorries sign
  • No Horn sign
  • Speed Limit (Maximum) sign
  • Derestriction sign
  • Parking Prohibited sign
  • Litter Prohibited sign

In contrast, mandatory signs are blue without a red border. They usually give positive instructions. Below are the regulatory (mandatory) signs:

  • Direction sign
  • Diversion sign
  • One Way sign
  • Roundabout sign
  • Pedestrian sign
  • Two Lanes Two-Way Ahead sign
  • Undivided Four Lanes Two-Way Ahead sign
  • Divided Four Lanes Two-Way Ahead sign
  • Priority to Approaching Vehicle sign
  • Two Way sign
  • Keep Right and Keep Left signs
  • Pass Either Side sign
  • Speed Limit (Minimum) sign
  • End Diversion sign

As their name suggests, information signs provide drivers with guidance information about the road. These signs are usually green and rectangular. The following signs are informative:

  • Parking sign
  • Motor parking sign
  • Hospital sign
  • Mechanical Help sign
  • Telephone sign
  • Filling Station sign
  • Rest Area sign
  • Advance Direction sign
  • Airport Direction sign
  • Train Station Direction sign
  • Route sign
  • Place Name sign
  • Restaurant sign
  • Construction Zone Sign

Lastly, warning signs warn drivers of the road situation ahead. They are usually triangular with a red perimeter. Here are the warning signs in Nigeria:

  • Railway Level Crossing with Gate sign
  • Railway Level Crossing without Gate sign
  • General Danger sign
  • Y Junction sign
  • T Junction sign
  • Carriageway Narrows sign
  • Carriageway Widens sign
  • Narrow Bridge sign
  • Dangerous Double Bend sign
  • Pedestrian Crossing sign
  • Children Crossing sign
  • Blinde People, Drive Carefully sign
  • Beware of Animals sign
  • Road Work sign
  • Give Way sign
  • Crossroad sign
  • Long Grade Dangerous Hill sign
  • Dangerous Bend Right and Dangerous Bend Left signs
  • Slippery Surface sign
  • Falling Rocks sign
  • Uneven Road sign

Right of Way

When driving in Nigeria, you must know the right-of-way rules to avoid arguments with other local drivers. Any car inside a roundabout has the right of way. Once you reach the roundabout, you need to stop and let the vehicles inside pass first before. At an intersection with a Give Way sign, you must yield to the cars on the other road. If there are no road markings or signs, give way to vehicles coming from the right. In an expressway, any car traversing the highway has the right of way.

The minimum driving age in Nigeria is 18 years old. However, most car rental companies do not allow drivers under 21 years of age to rent a car. Some rental agencies also impose an underage surcharge fee and even restrict younger drivers in renting certain vehicles.

Laws on Overtaking

Although overtaking is allowed in Nigeria, it can be dangerous because of overspeeding vehicles and blind spots, especially in the cities. Avoid overtaking unless necessary. If you must overtake, do it on the left. You must also signal to other drivers to let them know about your intent. You should only overtake if there is enough space for you and the vehicle you are overtaking. Unless traffic is moving slowly in all lanes, stay in your current lane.

Do not overtake when approaching a junction, bend, narrow roads, and any situation when you cannot see clearly ahead. Never overtake on your right. Hard shoulders are reserved for broken-down cars and emergency services vehicles.

Driving Side

Despite being a former British colony, Nigeria’s traffic moves on the right side. Thus, you will be driving on the right side of the road, like most countries worldwide. If you come from right-side driving nations such as the US, you would not have a hard time navigating Nigerian roads.

For tourists who come from the UK and other left-hand driving countries, driving in Nigeria can seem daunting at first. It takes some time to get used to the different driving sides, but with practice, you can navigate the roads like a local. Always remember to drive on the right side to prevent traffic and road accidents.

Other Road Rules

Aside from the regulations listed above, you must also learn about other important road rules in Nigeria. These rules further help prevent accidents and unwanted encounters with the police. Read on to learn about the other road rules enforced in Nigeria.

Is driving with one hand prohibited?

Driving with one hand is prohibited in Nigeria because it does not give you full control over steering, making it dangerous. Distracted driving with one hand is even riskier as you may inadvertently steer the wheel in another direction. This results in driving over into the other lane or off the side of the road, leading to fatal accidents.

Always keep both your hands firmly planted on the steering wheel to ensure your safety. Place your hands at the 9 and 3 o clock positions. With your hands in this position, you can have more control over the vehicle. Avoid wrapping your thumbs around the wheel to prevent injuries if your airbag deploys.

Is it allowed to eat or smoke while driving?

You are strictly prohibited from eating or smoking while driving in Nigeria. It takes your hands off of the steering wheel, which can be unsafe. You have to unwrap food packaging, hold the food with at least one hand, and use napkins when eating, making it a dangerous activity. Avoid these distractions to operate your vehicle safely and avoid car crashes.

Driving Etiquette in Nigeria

You cannot prevent unfortunate circumstances from occurring when driving in a foreign country. Whether it is a minor misunderstanding with a local driver of a motor vehicle or a major car accident, anything can happen on the road. It is important to know what to do in any situation to avoid these disasters during your trip to Nigeria.

Car Breakdown

Car breakdowns can happen anytime, especially to vehicles that are not well-maintained. Although car rental companies regularly take care of their vehicles, there is no telling when a car breakdown will occur. It is best to be prepared if the situation occurs. If your car breaks down, move it away from the road to prevent obstruction. If this is not possible, get the vehicle close to the road’s left-hand edge and away from intersections and bends.

Turn on your hazard warning lights to inform other drivers of your situation. You must also place a reflective warning triangle not less than 10 feet behind the vehicle and another warning triangle in front of the car. After ensuring that the vehicle is away from moving traffic, call a roadside assistance provider or a towing service company for assistance. Wait for help at a safe place away from other passing vehicles to prevent being hit.

Police Stops

When driving in Nigeria, the police can ask you to stop at any time. Follow the direction of the authorities and slow down to prevent unwanted problems with the police. If they ask for your documents, present them your passport, and you must be a holder of a valid licence, IDP, and car insurance papers. Address the authorities with respect and show the officer nothing is wrong. If you got pulled over while night driving in Nigeria, turn on your interior light and communicate politely with the officer.

If the police suspect that you committed a traffic violation, they can impose fines as little as NGN 2,000 (road obstruction) or up to NGN 50,000 (dangerous or reckless driving). If you think that you have not violated any traffic rules, go to the Police Public Complaints Bureau and report the incident. Always follow road regulations for a stress-free driving experience in Nigeria.

Do not try to bribe your way out of the violation because it is illegal. If an officer insists, do not get annoyed and politely decline. Take note of the name tags, Force or Service numbers, and patrol vehicle of the security officer and report it to the nearest police station. You can also call your car rental company to solve the issue with the police officer.

Asking Directions

If you get lost when driving around the country, you can always ask the locals for directions. Nigerians are friendly and can speak English, so it is easy to communicate with them. When asking for directions, pull over at the roadside and politely speak with the person. Like most African countries, pointing with the index finger is disrespectful. Using your left hand to gesture to an individual is also considered rude. By avoiding doing these things, you can ensure that you do not offend Nigerians.

Greetings are an important aspect of social interactions in Nigeria. It is recommended to exchange greetings first before asking for directions. Most locals will greet you in Pidgin (English-based creole) so make sure to know basic phrases to avoid confusion. Common greetings include “How far?” (Hello/Hi), “How you dey?” (How are you doing today?) and “You do well” (Thank you).

Checkpoints

You may encounter checkpoints when driving in Nigeria, especially outside the cities. Some involve random breath testing or security checks. Regardless of the type of checkpoint, you must slow down, acknowledge the presence of the police, and follow their instructions. When night driving in Nigeria, turn on the interior lights of the car and keep your hands visible.

If you think it is an unofficial checkpoint, avoid panicking but remain alert. Do not surrender your documents to non-uniformed personnel at the checkpoint. Report the incident to the nearest police station. Avoid arguments and wait for the authorities to handle the situation.

Other Tips

Besides the driving situations mentioned, you must also know what to do in case of a car crash or someone following you. It can be terrifying to think about these things, but preparing yourself can help you effectively handle the situation. Read on to learn more about other driving tips in Nigeria.

What to do if you get involved in a car crash?

If you are involved in a car crash, stop at the scene of the accident. Check if you or somebody else is hurt or injured. Call an ambulance as soon as possible. If not hurt, move away from the crash site and stay at a safe location. You should report the incident to the nearest Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Office. You must also contact your car insurance provider or lawyer for further assistance.

What to do if you are being followed?

If you suspect that a vehicle is following you, do not attempt to speed up. This can lead to accidents and more aggressive behavior from your pursuer. Instead, take note of the vehicle’s plate number through your rearview mirror. Head to the nearest police station and report your concern. You can also drive to a shopping mall, bus station, or any public place and ask for help. Do not drive to your hotel or any place where there are no other people.

Driving Conditions in Nigeria

Alongside the driving rules and etiquette practiced in Nigeria, you must also familiarize yourself with the country’s driving situations and conditions. It can help you prepare for possible issues you may come across the road. Here are the driving conditions in Nigeria that you must be aware of when traveling in the country.

Accident Statistics

According to the 2018 Global Road Safety Status from WHO, Nigeria ranks 41sth globally for the highest death rate of road accidents. Traffic accidents are the 16th leading cause of death in Nigeria, with a 29.50 death rate per 100,000 population. In 2020 reports, Nigeria had reported 2,656 road crashes with at least 1,076 deaths from July to September 2020. Accidents are becoming more common as authorities try to encourage drivers to obey traffic rules.

The major causes of road crashes in Nigeria are overspeeding, reckless driving, and overloading. Although there are maximum speed limit signs across the country, most drivers merely take them as suggestions and still drive at fast speeds. There is also a lack of strict implementation of traffic regulations on the part of the police. Moreover, the poor condition of rural roads contributes to the increasing number of traffic accidents.

Common Vehicles

According to the National Bureau of Statistics 2018 Road Transport Data, around 11,826,033 cars are registered in Nigeria. The same data reveals that 57.50% of these vehicles are for commercial use. Meanwhile, 41.17% are privately owned. Government and diplomatic cars amount to 1.28% and 0.05% of the total vehicle population, respectively.

The standard vehicles in Nigeria are sedans and SUVs, particularly in urban areas. Motorcycles or tricycles are also common in cities, which are often used for commuting. Moreover, slightly expensive cars owned by celebrities or government officials can be found in Abuja and Lagos. Outside the cities, you will often find trucks and 4x4 vehicles as they can easily navigate rough roads. Effective truck driving training in Nigeria contributes to the increasing number of trucks.

Toll Roads

Although Nigeria has long stretches of expressways and transnational highways, the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo suspended the use of tollgates and roads across the country. The current government of Muhammadu Buhari plans to reintroduce tollgates. The funds collected from the toll roads will be used in the development of new roads and maintenance of other highways in the country.

Cross-border movement is common in West Africa, but entry to Nigeria can be challenging due to border security issues. You can enter the country from Algeria or Niger via the Trans-Sahara Highway. If you are coming from Mali, you can drive to Nigeria via the Trans-Sahelian Highway. For tourists coming from West African coastal nations such as the Ivory Coast and Ghana, you can reach Nigeria via the Trans-West African Coastal Highway.

Road Situations

Nigeria is considered to have the largest road network in West Africa, with around about 108,000 km of surfaced roads. Major highways and roads in urban areas are in good condition so driving in cities would be easy. However, poorly maintained roads are common in rural areas and small towns. You may notice that the road quality further deteriorates after rain. You also need to be alert for stray animals roaming the streets, especially in the countryside.

Traffic is notorious in Nigeria’s major cities, especially in Lagos, where traffic jams can last for hours. When driving in traffic, watch out for blind spots as most two and three-wheeled riders will move past you in tight spaces. Always keep doors and windows locked. If possible, try to leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front, so you can escape danger if needed.

Driving Culture

In general, Nigerians are relatively safe and polite drivers. But you may encounter fast and aggressive drivers in cities where the traffic is chaotic. Some drivers will ignore traffic rules and regulations if that means they can reach their destination quicker. Make sure to drive defensively and be alert for unpredictable driving habits. Always use your turning signals to communicate with other drivers on the road.

Other Tips

There are other factors to consider when driving in Nigeria, such as the unit used in speed limit signs and night driving. Read on to know the other tips related to driving conditions in Nigeria.

Does Nigeria Use Kph or Mph to Display Speed Limits?

Like most counties around the world, Nigeria uses kilometers per hour to measure speed. For tourists coming from the US, UK, and its dependencies, the Kph measurement can be confusing because these countries use miles per hour to display speed limits. It might take some time to get used to the Kph measurement. The speedometer of your rented car will help remind you that your speed is in Kph to prevent excessive speeding.

Always remember that Nigeria uses Kph, so the numbers on signs are quite larger than what is displayed in your country. When you see a speed limit sign with only a number displayed, you should automatically assume it is in Kph.

Is Driving at Night Allowed in Nigeria?

Although night driving in Nigeria is possible, it is not advisable because of poor road conditions. Stray animals also roam freely on the streets, especially in rural areas. Furthermore, local drivers usually turn off their headlights and park illegally at the roadside, which prove to be hazards. Do not drive at night unless necessary.

But if you must drive at night in Nigeria, you should reduce your speed by half. Driving at lower speeds allows you to have enough reaction time to stop the car in case of obstructions ahead. You should also turn on your headlamps, so you see clearly for more than 100 meters ahead. Dim your light while meeting an oncoming vehicle to prevent blinding other drivers.

Things To Do in Nigeria

You will find that driving in Nigeria as a tourist gives you the freedom to roam the country and have as much fun as possible. If you decide to drive in the country for an extended period, you must know several important factors before finalizing your decision. You need to consider if there is a driving opportunity in Nigeria or if there are current driving jobs in Nigeria when moving permanently to the country.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists can drive in Nigeria with a valid local driver’s license and International Driver's Permit for a period of 30 days. An IDP is essential if you are planning to rent a car in Nigeria or have a driver’s license that is not written in the Roman alphabet. Having an IDP also helps avoid delays in your trip in case the authorities need to check your documents. Visit our application page today and fill-up the necessary forms to receive your IDP within the next two hours.

For tourists planning to drive in Nigeria for over 30 days, you also need to obtain a Nigerian driver’s license. If you are curious about how to apply for a driving license in Nigeria, the process is simple. You must attend a driving school in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, or any accredited school in the country. You must also pass the Vehicle Inspection Officer’s driving test questions in Nigeria to qualify for a driving license. The renewal of a driving license in Nigeria is every 3 or 5 years.

Work as a Driver

Foreigners can apply to current driving jobs in Nigeria as long as they submit certain requirements. You must present a Subject to Regularization (STR) Visa and Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card, or CERPAC, to be allowed residency and work in the country. These documents are only valid for three months. After that period, you must submit another application to the Comptroller-General of Immigration to regularize your stay. See below for a full list of requirements.

  • A formal application for STR visa from the employer in Nigeria accepting Immigration Responsibility
  • A valid passport with a minimum of two blank pages and six months of validity
  • Two valid passport-size photos
  • Accomplished visa application form
  • Proof of sufficient financial means
  • A job offer from a company in Nigeria and an acceptance letter from the employee
  • Employee’s CV and educational qualifications
  • Expatriate quota approval

Besides these basic work requirements, you must also possess a valid Nigerian driving license if you want to apply for a driving job in Nigeria. You are only qualified for the license if you attended an accredited driving school and passed the Vehicle Inspection Officer (VIO) driving test. Then, you must accomplish the application form and submit it at the Driver’s Licence Centre (DLC). After 60 days, you can receive your Nigerian driving license.

The most common driving job in Nigeria is a transportation services driver. The average salary for this position is NGN 101,000 per month. You can also try for current NGO driving jobs in Nigeria. If you want to be self-employed, you can even work for ride-hailing service companies like Uber. To find the latest driving jobs in Nigeria, visit job websites such as Jobberman and Ngcareers. You are bound to find the latest driving job in Lagos, Nigeria, and other cities there.

Work as a Travel Guide

Besides working as a driver in Nigeria, you can also apply as a travel guide if you are confident that you know the country like a local. Do note that job openings for this position are few and competitive as most employers prefer to hire locals. Nevertheless, you can find the latest tour guide and driving jobs in Lagos, Nigeria, and other major cities in the country.

Like applying for the latest driving jobs in Nigeria, you need to obtain an STR Visa and CERPAC before working as a travel guide in the country. You must also present your native driver’s license, IDP (if your license is not written in Roman characters), and a Nigerian driving license if you will be driving a car as a tour guide.

Apply for Residency

Foreigners can temporarily reside in Nigeria if they apply for an Expatriate Residence Permit or ECOWAS Residence Card (visitors from West African states). Both permits grant the holder certain privileges and access to the country for a period of 2 years. After that, you must renew the permit to continue residing in Nigeria.

The requirements vary depending on the type of permit you wish to obtain. You can visit the Nigeria Immigration Service for the full list of requirements. On their website, you can also apply for the residency permits and fill-up the online application forms required.

Other Things to Do

There are plenty of activities to do in Nigeria if you are planning a long-term stay in the country. Nigeria is known for its diversity, which can keep you engaged and convince you to live in the country.

Is it possible to convert your driving license in Nigeria?

Foreigners who want to stay in Nigeria for more than 30 days should secure a Nigerian driving license to drive in the country. Always bring your local driving license and IDP, and you must be at least 18 years old for both a vehicle or motor license.

You must also enroll in driving lessons in an accredited driving school in Nigeria. The cost of driving school in Nigeria varies depending on the state. Driving school prices in Nigeria start at NGN 38,500 for beginner training. If you wish to drive a truck, you need to undergo specialized truck driving training in Nigeria which will cost you more.

After completing your lessons, you need to take an eye test and the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) test. Once you pass, you can now obtain a Nigerian driving license. If you are curious how much is a driving license in Nigeria, the answer varies. The total cost of a driving licence in Nigeria, including application fees and test certificates, can cost you NGN 16,000 to NGN 20,000.

Are there other job opportunities in Nigeria?

If you are not fortunate enough to secure current private and NGO driving jobs in Nigeria, do not worry. You can still find other work opportunities in the country. Popular jobs for foreigners in Nigeria include business and sales, finance and banking, and engineering. You can find most of these career openings in cities where business is booming.

Top Destinations in Nigeria

Nigeria has various attractions that will keep tourists engaged. Whether you want to experience the rich culture of the people or go on a safari adventure, Nigeria offers these and more. This diverse nation features bustling cityscapes, breathtaking valleys, stunning beaches, vast plains, and verdant rainforests. Below are the following destinations you should visit in Nigeria.

Lagos photo

Lagos

Home to almost 15 million people, Lagos is the most populous and largest city in Nigeria. This sprawling megacity is the commercial nerve of the country. As such, endless sights and activities await tourists visiting the former capital city of Nigeria. From museums and art galleries to bars and restaurants, Lagos offers these attractions and more.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Murtala Muhammed International Airport, head north on Int'l Airport Rd and continue straight ahead.
  2. Take the ramp to Apapa Oworonshoki Expy/Oshodi - Oworonshoki Express Way.
  3. Keep left and merge onto Apapa Oworonshoki Expy/Oshodi - Oworonshoki Express Way.
  4. Turn right onto Ikorodu Rd.
  5. Take the Ikorodu Road exit and merge onto Ikorodu Rd.
  6. Continue straight ahead until you reach Lagos. It takes approximately 40 minutes to arrive at your destination in moderate traffic.

Things to Do

Lagos is packed with different activities for every kind of traveler. There are so many exciting things to see in the city, so read on below for a list of the things to do.

  1. Relax on the beaches

    Lagos lies near the Atlantic Ocean, which offers tourists long stretches of beaches. The city is home to a number of beach resorts where you can go relax. Feel free to swim in the crystal-clear waters and play in the fine sand. You can even try various watersports like diving, surfing, and wind sailing. Popular beaches in Lagos include Elegushi Royal Beach, La Campagne Tropicana Resort, Oniru Beach Resort, and Tarkwa Bay.
  2. Visit the Lekki Conservation Center

    It is easy to get overwhelmed when visiting the bustling city of Lagos. Fortunately, you can escape to the Lekki Conservation Centre. This 78-hectare nature reserve is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the peace of nature. Hidden inside the park are fauna and flora endemic to the area. You can see different species of birds, crocodiles, fish, monkeys, and snakes. Lekki Conservation Centre also features the longest canopy walkway in Africa. Do not leave the nature reserve without braving this suspended canopy. It promises a view of the forest and wildlife from a different angle!
  3. Learn Nigeria’s history in the town of Badagry

    A tour of the historic town of Badagry will offer a glimpse of the colonial past of Nigeria. It also teaches you the tragic history of the slave trade in the country. When visiting the town, drop by the numerous museums to learn more about the country’s history. For a more upbeat tour, you can opt to visit the beaches in Badagry.
  4. Attend a concert at the New Afrika Shrine

    If you are a music lover, you must visit the New Afrika Shrine. This open-air entertainment center pays homage to Fela Kuti, a popular Nigerian Afrobeat musician. At night, the place comes alive with music and concerts. You can also partake in drinking and smoking. You should not miss a concert at the New Afrika Shrine if you are in the city. It is one of the best night-outs you can experience in Lagos. For an even better experience, visit New Afrika Shrine in Lagos during the annual Felabration festival held in October. Arts, music, and the legacy of Fela Kuti are celebrated on his birthday week. You can expect art contests, dancing competitions, and of course, pulsing Afrobeat music.
  5. Ride a keke

    If Thailand has tuk tuk, then Nigeria has keke. Also known as keke napep, this commercial vehicle serves as a means of public transport in Lagos. You will find drivers of keke all over the city, and it is a must to ride these yellow rickshaws when visiting Lagos. It is one of the best ways to experience the culture of Nigerians.

Calabar

Situated in Southern Nigeria, Calabar is the capital city of Cross River State. The city lies between the rivers of Calabar and Great Kwa, with access to the creeks of the Cross River. Regarded as a tourist haven in Southern Nigeria, Calabar features historic national parks, museums, and scenic landscapes. You will surely find a lot of beautiful sights to explore in this city.

Driving Directions:

From Margaret Ekpo International Airport, head southwest and continue straight ahead.

  1. Turn right onto Calabar - Ikang Rd/New Ikang Road.
  2. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Calabar - Ikang Rd/IBB Way.
  3. Turn right onto Ekong Eta St.
  4. Make a right onto Ndidem Usang Iso Rd.
  5. Turn right onto Obame Ikoya St and continue straight ahead until you reach Calabar. It takes approximately 10 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

There are several activities to enjoy in Calabar. Below are several things you can do to ensure a memorable trip to this city.

  1. Visit museums

    Calabar is home to several museums that display ancient artifacts dating back to the pre-colonial and colonial era. When visiting the city, drop by the National Museum Calabar. Here, you can see a collection of relics from the slave trade and palm oil era. You can even view constitutional documents in their original forms in the museum’s large library. Besides the National Museum, another building worthy you must visit is the Slave History Museum. It stands at the former site of a fifteenth-century slave-trading warehouse in Marina Beach. You will learn more about the city’s dark past regarding the slave trade in the 15th century.
  2. Watch wildlife

    After touring the museums, you must visit the wildlife sanctuaries in Calabar. Drill Rehabilitation Center is among the most popular parks to visit as tourists. Originally built to preserve the endangered African drill, it now provides a safe haven for different species of primates, including orphaned chimpanzees. The Drill Rehabilitation Center’s mission to safeguard drills was successful, with over 250 births recorded. If you want to see a variety of animals, go to the Cross River National Park. As one of the richest tropical rain forests in West Africa, it is the perfect place to watch wildlife in their natural habitat. It is divided into two divisions, Okwangwo and Oban. The national park is home to various endemic species of fauna and flora such as forest elephants, leopards, and red foxes.
  3. Marvel at the Kwa Falls

    When visiting Calabar, you should not miss the Kwa Falls. This spectacular waterfall is unique for its narrow, steep gorge from top to bottom. Its waters cascade down to form a pool ideal for swimming and various water sports. Feel free to take a dip in the waters or marvel at the Kwa Falls.
  4. Try different activities at Tinapa Resort

    If you want to experience a world-class resort adventure, visit the Tinapa Resort. It features a luxury hotel, water-themed park, mini-amphitheater, night clubs, state-of-the-art movie production house, and a children's arcade. You will surely find a lot of fun activities to do while staying in the resort. Plus, Tinapa Free Zone is one of the best places to buy duty-free goods in the area.
  5. Join the Calabar Carnival

    Known as Africa’s Biggest Street, Calabar Carnival is the grandest tourism event in West Africa. Every December, it attracts millions of visitors and features international participants from over 25 countries. The Carnival hosts various events, such as boat regattas, football matches, and traditional festivals, to offer a fun and unforgettable experience for everyone. Calabar Carnival is a must-see attraction if you are visiting Nigeria.

Ibadan

Ibadan is the capital city of Oyo State and the third most populous city in Nigeria. It was the center of administration of the old Western Region during British colonial rule. Now, the city is home to more than 3 million people and boasts a rich cultural heritage and fascinating history. From historical buildings to forest reserves, there are a lot of interesting places to visit in Ibadan.

Driving Directions:

From Ibadan Airport, head north toward Airport Road and continue straight.

  1. Turn left onto Ife Olu St.
  2. Take a left onto Ogbere-Idi Obi Road.
  3. Continue straight ahead for 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles) until you reach Ibadan. It takes approximately 22 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

Visiting Ibadan offers not only fun activities but also meaningful insights for every tourist. Here is a list of things you can do while in the city.

  1. Visit Nigeria’s first skyscraper

    Established in 1965, Cocoa House is the first skyscraper in Nigeria. Featuring 26 floors, it was also the tallest building in Africa at that time. The construction of the building was mainly paid for through the proceeds of the Cocoa trade, hence the name. Cocoa House also hosted several social and political events in the city. It is a must to see this landmark when visiting Ibadan.
  2. Be one with nature at Agodi Gardens

    Also known as the Agodi Botanical Gardens, this nature park in the middle of the city offers serenity for residents and tourists alike. Here, you can see lush gardens with different types of plants, water parks, and a mini zoo. There are also swimming pools and play areas for children. You can even have a picnic in the wide-open spaces in the garden. Agodi Gardens is open to visitors throughout the week, so make sure to drop by.
  3. Enjoy the nightlife scene

    Ibadan is also known for its lively nightlife scene. The city features several nightclubs where you can dance and drink the night away. Popular places include the Kokodome Plus, Option 24/7, and GQ Lounge.
  4. Try amala, a Nigerian delicacy

    A trip to Ibadan is not complete without eating amala. This popular Yoruba and Ibadan food is made out of yam and cassava flour. It is a must-try cuisine when visiting the city. You can order delicious Amala at Ose Olorun Food Canteen, Iyadunni Food Canteen, and Inastrait Food Canteen.

Port Harcourt

Port Harcourt, also known as Pitakwa or PHC, is the capital and largest city of Rivers State in Nigeria. Situated along the Bonny River, it was the central port used by the British colonial government to export coal and petroleum. Today, the economy of the city continues to rely on crude oil. Despite its industrial activities, Port Harcourt is filled with tourist destinations, such as beaches, parks, and zoos, that would entice any kind of traveler.

Driving Directions:

From Port Harcourt International Airport, head southwest and continue straight.

  1. Turn right onto Airport Rd and continue straight for approximately 3.8 kilometers (2.3 miles).
  2. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Airport Rd/Ogrila-Agwa Rd/A231.
  3. By the next roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Airport Rd/A231.
  4. At another roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto G U Ake Road/Obasanjo Bypass.
  5. Sharp left onto Ken Saro-Wiwa Rd/Liberation Stadium Road/Stadium Rd.
  6. Slight right at Air Force onto Port Harcourt - Aba Expy/A3.
  7. Turn right at Beebeejump Solar Electricity International onto Old Aba Rd.
  8. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Old Aba Rd.
  9. Turn right onto Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout Rd until you reach Port Hartcourt. It takes approximately 47 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

Port Harcourt offers various activities ranging from active to relaxing. Below are the things to do in the city.

  1. Visit the Rivers State Cultural Center

    The Rivers State Cultural Center is the perfect place to learn and appreciate the culture of Port Harcourt. It displays ancient artifacts, like African figurines and pottery, which date back to pre-colonial times. The cultural center also houses a theater that hosts cultural dances and plays. You should definitely drop by Rivers State Cultural Center if you are in town.
  2. Lounge at the Isaac Boro Park

    Isaac Boro Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Rivers State, Nigeria. It commemorates Isaac Boro, one of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria, who died during the civil war. Here, you can see his monument alongside statues of military personnel. It is also the ideal place to relax, thanks to its lush gardens and vast green spaces. You can even have a picnic with friends or read a book by yourself.
  3. Play golf at the Port Harcourt Golf Club

    If you are the active kind of traveler, you should definitely visit Port Harcourt Golf Club. Established in 1928, this 18-hole golf club is open to the public all year round. Make sure to play golf when visiting the city. Besides golf, there are other activities to enjoy. You can play tennis or football, swim at the pool, or lounge at the clubhouse. Feel free to spend the whole day at this golf club.
  4. Ride a ferry to Bonny Island

    To cap off your tour in Port Harcourt, you must see the famous Bonny Island. Ride a ferry along Bonny River to reach the beautiful island. Bonny Island features stunning beaches that attract thousands of tourists every year. For a real treat, go to the island during Christmas to experience the lively beach carnivals. It is one of the best attractions to visit in Port Harcourt.
Abuja Photo by Ovinuchi Ejiohuo

Abuja

No trip to Nigeria is complete without seeing its capital city. Abuja may not be as large as Lagos, but it is one of the most diverse cities in the country, owing to its central location. Originally inhabited by numerous tribes, it is now a melting pot of all the different cultures in Nigeria. Malls, monuments, parks, and other attractions sprawl across Abuja. The city is also one of the easiest places to navigate in Nigeria, thanks to its planned and laid-out roads.

Driving Directions:

From Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, head southeast and turn left.

  1. Keep right to continue toward Bill Clinton Dr.
  2. Continue onto Airport Rd for approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles).
  3. Merge onto Airport Rd/Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Road.
  4. Continue onto Constitution Ave.
  5. Keep left to stay on Constitution Ave.
  6. Take the exit toward 7th Street/Tafawa Balewa Way until you reach Abuja. It takes approximately 34 minutes to arrive at your destination.

Things to Do

Abuja features different kinds of activities, from cultural sights to relaxing parks. Here is a list of things you can do in the city.

  1. Take in the fantastic architecture of the city

    Abuja features stunning architectural buildings that would leave visitors in awe. Among the most popular tourist attractions is the Abuja National Mosque. The mosque stands out in the city with its 60-meter tall central dome and 120-meter high four minarets. Inside, you can find a library and a conference room with a capacity of 500 people for church activities. The mosque is open to the public except during prayer times. Other striking buildings in Abuja include the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre, the Ministry of Defence, and the National Ecumenical Center. Feel free to take pictures of these architectural wonders when visiting Nigeria’s capital city.
  2. Experience the arts scene

    Abuja is also known for its multitudes of arts which tourists can admire or purchase. The city features several art galleries that houses well-curated installations, paintings, and sculptures. Make sure to visit the Omega Gallery, Nike Art Gallery, and Thought Pyramid Art Centre. To see a different kind of art, drop by the Bwari Pottery Village. As its name implies, the place is dedicated to the art of pottery making. Here, you can watch local potters at work. You can even buy souvenirs such as casserole dishes, pitchers, and teapots. Heading to these places allows you to experience the arts scene Abuja is famous for.
  3. Relax at the Millenium Park

    If you are tired of touring the city, you can escape to Millenium Park. This sprawling park is one of the largest in Abuja and is home to native wildlife. You can also find vast green spaces, fountains, and a river in this nature park. So whether you want to ride a bicycle, play football, or simply relax, Millenium Park offers these fun activities and more.
  4. Marvel at the Zuma Rock

    When driving to Abuja, it is hard to miss the large natural monolith that seems to watch over the city. Zuma Rock stands at about 725 feet above sea level, which is twice as high as the Uluru Rock in Australia and four times as high as NECOM House, Nigeria’s tallest building. It lies along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway, earning its nickname "Gateway to Abuja from Suleja.” Zuma Rock has contours depicting the human face and is believed to be protecting the community. During the wet season between April and October, it often catches fire under heavy rainfall. Natives believe it is one of the wonders of the monolith. The sight will surely leave any tourist in awe.

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