As wonderful as it would be to be able to travel the world worry-free, that simply isn’t possible. Conflicts, unfriendly governments and general lawlessness can all make a destination unsafe. To help guide travelers, the US Department of State issues official travel warnings whenever it feels that the situation in a particular country has become a cause for concern.
Last month, the Department of State issued a travel warning for Nigeria. Is is safe to get a Nigerian visa? To answer this question as fully as possible, let’s look at the travel warning in a little bit more detail.
The warning sites crime as the chief danger in Nigeria, citing the kidnappings of foreign nationals, fraud perpetrated by people dressed as government officials, shakedowns and demands from bribery by actual police and government officials, home invasions and other incidents of violent crime against US citizens, and local police who are less than helpful in investigating these crimes.
The travel warning also recommends that you avoid the following areas altogether: “the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, and Imo; and the city of Jos in Plateau State.”
However, according to the Lonely Planet, many parts of the country are still relatively safe and if you know where to go, the country can be an attractive destination:
“While a few parts of the country remain problematic, the vast majority is as warm and welcoming to visitors as anywhere in Africa.”
The best advice is to research your intended destination thoroughly before you decide whether or not to go. Learn as much as you can about crime rates and security procedures for the particular part of Nigeria you want to visit, consider your own personal tolerance for risk, and make your decision accordingly.
If you do decide to visit, having all of your documents in order before you go is extremely important. Nigerian visas must be obtained in advance, as they are not available on arrival. If you enter without a visa, you will find it quite difficult to leave, as you have to prove you entered legally before you will be allowed to depart.
To learn more about getting a Nigerian visa, see Nigeria Visa Requirements for Tourists.
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