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10 Things To Avoid When Traveling In Northern Nigeria

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Photo by Macdavis Johnson on Unsplash

Northern Nigeria is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and diverse cultures, it’s a destination that one may want to visit regularly. From the beautiful state of Kaduna to the breathtaking beauty of Jos, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this part of Nigeria.

Travelers planning a trip to Northern Nigeria, however, should be aware of certain crucial things peculiar to that part of the country. This goes all the way from food to culture and even financial expenses. When travelers are not properly informed of these things, they may end up not having an enjoyable experience, especially in a place like Northern Nigeria. So before packing those bags and hitting the road, here are some things to avoid when traveling to the Northern parts of Nigeria.

10. Flaunting the Local Customs and Traditions

When traveling in Northern Nigeria, it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection. Flaunting these customs can offend local communities and potentially put you in a fiasco with the locals.

9. Overpacking

Northern Nigeria is generally warm and windy almost all year round. However, it can be very hot and dusty at certain periods of the year than at other times. Also, sometimes, it can be extremely cold. So, the clothing items travelers carry should be clothing materials that are necessary for the season.

In other words, travelers should avoid overstocking their luggage with heavy, bulky items when the season is windy and extremely hot. Rather they should stick to light clothing and only bring what they need for their trip.

Travelers should simply travel with what they need for their stay there as they can always purchase needed items when they need to in the destination they are headed.

8. Ignoring Safety Precautions

Northern Nigeria is a relatively safe place to travel, but it’s still important to be aware of potential dangers and take precautions. This includes avoiding walking alone at night, keeping valuables close, and being mindful of one’s surroundings.

7. Not Learning Basic Phrases

Knowing a few basic phrases in Hausa, the most widely spoken language in Northern Nigeria can go a long way in making the trip more enjoyable. It shows respect for local customs and can also help travelers navigate their way around easily.

6. Not Trying Local Cuisine

Northern Nigeria is home to a rich and diverse cuisine, and trying new foods is a big part of the travel experience. Travelers should not be afraid to try local dishes like suya, tuwo, and fura da nono. They are delicious and a great way to immerse oneself in the local culture.

Related: 7 Delicious Dishes You Must Try Out When You Visit Nigeria

5. Not Researching Your Destination

Before you travel to Northern Nigeria, it’s important to research the destination and create an itinerary accordingly. This includes finding out about local attractions, events, and customs, as well as determining the best time to visit.

4. Not Having Adequate Insurance

Make sure you have adequate travel insurance before your trip to Northern Nigeria. This will protect you in the event of illness, theft, or other unexpected incidents.

3. Not Being Prepared for Transportation Challenges

Getting around Northern Nigeria can be a challenge, especially on the first visit. So, it’s important to be prepared. This includes having a map or GPS app, devise, etc. with you, knowing the best modes of transportation, and being prepared for potential roadblocks or delays.

2. Not Being Respectful of Wildlife

Northern Nigeria is home to rich and diverse wildlife some of which include elephants, lions, and monkeys. When visiting, it’s important to be respectful of the region’s wildlife and avoid disturbing or harassing them as this can draw too much attention and even kindle the wrath of the members of the community.

In some places, it is taboo to hurt wildlife. So, whenever you see them, treat them with courtesy and respect. Besides helping you avoid paying excessive fines, being mindful of wildlife helps ensure the preservation of these creatures for future generations.

1. Not Being a Responsible Tourist

Finally, it’s important to be a responsible tourist when traveling in Northern Nigeria. This includes being respectful of local customs, supporting local businesses, and being mindful of the impact your travel may have on the environment. By being a responsible tourist, you can help ensure a positive impact on the communities you visit.

Tips for A Memorable Experience In Northern Nigeria

Here are three things you should do before and during your stay in Northern Nigeria and any place at all that you’re new to:

1. Be Certain About What You Want

To achieve this, do extensive research on the area you’re going to and/or will be staying in before booking your trip. You can check online platforms like Google, YouTube, Social media sites, etc. for reviews from real travelers.

Also, if you know someone who has been to Northern Nigeria before, especially the area you wish to visit, that’s a big plus. Humbly ask the person to give you a clue or a roadmap on how to navigate the area, do’s and don’ts, and fun facts. This will give you an idea of what to expect, how to avoid terrible tourist traps, and how to enjoy every moment of your stay there.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask The Locals For Recommendations

They know the best and worst spots in town and will be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

3. Always Trust Your Gut.

If a situation or place feels sketchy, it probably is. So, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move on. Your safety should always come first. Every other thing should come secondary.

Thus, when traveling in Northern Nigeria, it is important to be mindful of local customs and safety precautions, while also making the most of your trip. Don’t be afraid to try new foods, learn some basic phrases, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Just remember to pack light, have adequate insurance, and be a responsible tourist.

With careful planning and preparation, your trip to Northern Nigeria can be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure full of amazing sights, delicious food, and unforgettable memories. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure! Just don’t forget to bring your sense of humor and an open mind, because Northern Nigeria is sure to provide plenty of surprises along the way.

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