Nigerian Tourism Development Corp
Block 2, Sefadu Street, Zone 4,
Wuse District P.M.B. 167
Garki - Abuja
Tel: 09-5230418/420; 09-5233191/193
Fax: 09-5230962

Physical geography

Nigeria lies wholly within the tropics along the Gulf of Guinea on the Western Coast of Africa. It is bounded to the West by the Republic of Benin, to the North by the Republic of Niger, to the East by the Republic of Cameroun and to the South by the Atlantic Ocean.

Nigeria with a total land mass of 923,768 square kilometres, is largest country in black Africa.


The varied geographical regions with their unique vegetation and climatic conditions make Nigeria a highly interesting place. There are two well marked seasons: the dry season lasting from November to March and the rainy season, from April to October. Temperatures at the coast seldom rise above 32°C to 12°C, but humidity can be as high as 95 per cent. The climate is drier further North where extremities of temperature are common, sometimes ranging from 36°C to 12°C. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Economic geography</H3> Nigeria is one of the most endowed countries in the world. The country has abundant land, water and human resources, and enjoys warm temperatures capable of supporting agricultural produce all year round. Even though Nigeria is an oil-rich country, over 70 per cent of its working population is engaged in agriculture. They produce yam, cassava, plantain, corn, rice, bean, sugar-cane and fruits for food; cash crops such as cocoa, palm produce, rubber, cotton and timber which provides raw materials for local industries also for the nation's agricultural export. Nigeria is also rich in other exploitable solid mineral resources, such as iron ore, tin, columbite, limestone and coal, etc. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Demography</H3> With a population of 88.5 million people (1991 population census), Nigeria's population is made up of about 250 ethnic groups with Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo as the major ones. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>A brief history</H3> The precolonial States of Nigeria include the Hausa - Fulani States of the North-East. The Western monarchies of the Yorubas, Benin empire and the gerontocracies of the Ibos. <P>Nigeria evolved from a collection of hike to ancient Kingdoms, autonomous empires and small independent communities and clans. The entity came under British Colonial Rule in the mid-19th century. British influence was consolidated, and by 1900 the Northern and Southern protectorates were proclaimed. The establishment and expansion of British influence resulted in the amalgamation of the protectorates in 1914.</P> <P>Between 1914 and 1960, a number of constitutional changes were effected, following the political agitation for the liberation of Nigeria from the British. Consequently, Nigeria became federated in 1954 and an independent nation on 1 October 1960. Three years later on 1 October 1963, Nigeria became a Republic thus severing all links with the British Crown but retaining her membership of the Commonwealth. Since then, the country has transformed into a 30 States Federal structure with the central administrative Federal Capital at Abuja.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Religions</H3> The major religions in Nigeria are: Christianity, Islam and traditional religion. Though there is freedom of worship entrenched in the country's constitution, Islam is predominantly based in the North, and the seat of Christianity gains firm footing in the South because of the early missionaries who penetrated the country from the South. <P>Traditional religion followers are scattered all over the country.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Languages spoken by nationals</H3> English is the official language and versions of 'broken' and 'pidgin' English are used for communication. The main local languages are Hausa in the North, Igbo in the southeast and Yoruba in the southwest. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Time</H3> Nigeria standard time (NST) is one hour ahead of GMT. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Currency</H3> Naira and Kobo are Nigeria's monetary units operated on decimal currency system. One Hundred Kobo make one Naira. The currency notes are 50 Naira, 20 Naira, ten Naira and five Naira notes respectively. The coins are in the denominations of one Naira, 50 Kobo. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)</H3> <P>1st January, New Year's Day - Good Friday and Easter Monday - 1st May, May Day - 1st October, National Day - Eld-E1-Fitr and Eld-EI-Kabir - 25th December, Christmas Day.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What one should not fail to see</H3> Nigeria has the potential to please any sort of tourists. Travelling in a country as vast as Nigeria is full of excitement. The aesthetics of adorable beaches, the grandeur of evergreen vegetation of the rain forest, the skeletal Boabab tree of the semi-desert overshadowed by exquisite barren rocks and (relentless) undulating plateau of alluring landscapes, create attractive scenery as one moves around Nigeria. <P>More attractions unfold as one discovers the beauty of underfiled landmarks and wildlife parks inhabited by different species of animals and birds sharing the luxury of tropical sunshine; alongside meandering rivers and fascinating lakes.</P> <P>Each state of the Federation has spectacular attractions ranging from waterfalls and warm springs to shrines of traditional religion worship, museums of ancient and mediaeval collections, historic monuments and ruins of colonialism. Above all, Nigeria is a country of enviable cultural heritage rich in cultural festivals and dances. In-built in the culture is the unalloyed hospitality that Nigerians show to visitors. Nigeria is an open society devoid of any phobia of strangers.</P> <P>There are quite a number of hotels of both National and International standard that cater for different categories of tourists. Souvenirs in arts and craft, wood and bronze works, pure leather materials and local textiles are found in abundance. The fascination in the Nigeria tourist package lies more in the tourist's personal perception and appreciation than can be expressed in a brochure.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring</H3> Nigeria is blessed with a very good climate all year round. The months of October to April which is the dry season is a good time to visit Nigeria. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> <B>Ladies</B>: Light cotton, sandals, beach-wear, sunglasses. <P><B>Gentlemen</B>: Trousers of light material, shorts, sports shirts, sunglasses.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State - Warm Springs at Ikogosi in Ondo State - Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State - Oguta Lake in Imo State. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Golfing, hiking, fishing and hunting, horse-riding, yachting, running (jogging cross-country) and most hotels have excellent swimmming pools, tennis, squash and other recreational facilities. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Continental cuisine is served in all the major hotels and restaurants. For those who would prefer African delicacies, they are also served in such hotels and restaurants including the local restaurants known as 'BUKA', Nigeria is known for its variety of food. <P>Some popular Nigerian dishes are: Egusi or Okro Soup served with pounded yam; Edikan Ikong Soup served with Garri, pounded yam or tufu; Yam Porriage; Goat Head Meat Pepper Soup; Tuwon Shinkafa served with Okro Soup or Kuka Soup; Tuwon Dawa served with Miyar Kuka; Amala served with Ewedu Soup; Moyin moyin (steamed beans with egg, crayfish and vegetables); Fried plantains with rice (dodo); Zobo drink, ginger drink, palm-wine drink. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> Adire - Material (tie and dye); Raffia products: Raffia bag, wall mat; leather products: leather shoes, leather belts, leather bags, leather carpets; wood carvings, bronze carvings. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> All foreign visitors coming into the country are required to be in possession of valid travel documents (passports and travel certificates, etc). Foreigners seeking entry into Nigeria are expected to have enough funds for their sustenance during the period of their stay or at least show evidence of their capability to maintain themselves while staying in the country. Such tourists or foreigners are expected to be in possession of return tickets or enough money for their journey if travelling by road. <P>Citizens of ECOWAS (Economic Community for West African States) do not need a visa/entry permit to enter Nigeria for a ninety days visit, but are required to be in possession of valid Ecowas Travel Certificates.</P> <P>For group tourists, the immigration authority in Nigeria requires enough notice of their intentions in order to minimise delay at the point of entries and possibly to alert the visa officers in our various missions abroad to facilitate the issuance of group visas to intending tourists. It is pertinent to state here that such advance information and details of expected visitors will be of value and advantage to both the immigration authority and the party organising such visits as this will definitely forestall any possible embarrassment.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main travel routes</H3> Not withstanding its vastness, movement within Nigeria has been simplified by the availability of a good road network, good rail system and a highly developed air route acknowledged to be among the best in Africa. Running across the country from different directions are well built bituminous highways and dual carriage motorways that make interstate communications easy. <P>Under the Federal Government's Mass Transit project all states and the Federal Capital Territory operate an official bus service to complement the efforts of private sector transporters. The railways are also well utilised by commuters.</P> <P>Two major rail lines run from Lagos and Port-Harcourt in the south to Kaura Namoda and Maiduguri in the far north. Nigeria has three functional and local airports located in Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Kano. In addition almost all the State capitals have a domestic airport for internal flights. Airstrips that could accommodate light aircraft have been provided in states without local airports.</P> <P>There are also some navigable water ways across the country for water transportation. The Atlantic coastline stretching from Lagos in the west to Calabar in the east accommodates Ocean liners and medium-sized boats.</P> <H3>Air route</H3> <UL TYPE=DISC> <LI>Lagos - Kano - Maiduguri; <LI>Lagos - Jos - Makurdi; <LI>Lagos - Yola - Calabar; <LI>Lagos - Port-Harcourt - Enugu; <LI>Lagos - Abuja - Kaduna. </UL> <H3>Road route</H3> <UL TYPE=DISC> <LI>Lagos - Kaduna - Kano; <LI>Port-Harcourt - Enugu - Kano; <LI>Kano - Maiduguri. </UL> <H3>Rail route</H3> <UL TYPE=DISC> <LI>Port-Harcourt - Enugu - Jos - Kano; <LI>Lagos - Kaduna - Kano. </UL> <H3>Water route</H3> <UL TYPE=DISC> <LI>Port-Hacourt - Lagos; <LI>Port-Harcourt - Lokoja - Yola. </UL> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous</H3> <H3>Banking and office hours</H3> Banks in Nigeria open to customers from 8am to 3pm on Mondays and 8am to 1.30pm from Tuesday to Friday, except on public holidays when all banks and offices are closed. There are a few banks that operate weekend services on Saturdays from 8am to 12 noon. <P>Business hours in all Government Offices are 7.30 am to 3.30pm and 8.30am to 5pm in the commercial sector (Monday - Friday). Airlines offices open till to 12 noon on Saturdays.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> ALGERIA: Embassy of Nigeria, Cite Des PTT, N° 77, Hydra, Algeria. 593298/59478. <P>CHINA: Embassy of the Fed. Rep. of Nigeria, 2 Dong Wu Je, San Li Tun, Beijing, Peoples Rep. of China. Tel: 5232361, 5321650.</P> <P>FRANCE: Embassy of Nigeria, 173 Avenue Victor-Hugo, Paris 16.</P> <P>GREAT BRITAIN: Nigeria High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 3 BX. Tel: 0171-839 5974.</P> <P>ITALY: Embassy of Nigeria Vis Orazio 14, 00193 Roma. Tel: 6897648/9.</P> <P>JAPAN: Embassy of Nigeria, 19-7 Vehara, 2-Chome, Sibuya-Ku, Tokyo.</P> <P>KENYA: Nigeria High Commission, P.O. Box 30516, Nairobi. Tel: 564116.</P> <P>RUSSIA, FED. REP.: Embassy of Nigeria, U.I. Kacholovia 13, Moscow. Tel: 2903783/5/7.</P> <P>SPAIN: Embassy of Nigeria, 25 Avenida Del Generalisimo, 13th floor, Madrid 16. Tel: 5630911, 5633144, 563091, 5631030.</P> <P>USA: Embassy of Nigeria, 2201 M. Street, N.W. Washington D.C. 20037. Tel: (21) 286-9230.</P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><I><P>We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Nigeria thanks to the co-operation of the Nigerian Tourist Development Corp. in Abuja.</I> <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>