Travelling in Nigeria: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

by Rauf Dunmade
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Travelling in nigeria

What’s not to love about travelling in Nigeria? Is it the abundant natural and artificial scenic views like forest reserves, Savannah waterfalls, parks, and landscapes? Or the various cultural festivals, traditional celebrations, and notable national events peculiar to Nigeria. These are what make Nigeria a great and unique tourist destination even among its citizens. Little wonder different people would tell different stories about their travelling experiences around the country.

No doubt, it is man’s nature to move about. It could be for pleasure or business. How we achieve this, however, depends on the country and the efficiency of its transportation system. I’m not trying to create a fantasy about travelling in Nigeria.

Nah! Far from it.

But for a newbie or a visitor who wishes to explore the country for whatever purpose, on land or sea, be prepared to experience at least one of the good, bad, and ugly of Nigerian adventure.

  1. The Good

Travelling in Nigeria could expose you to some of the most beautiful places around the country. You can get first-hand experience and quality taste of festivals such as the Argungun fishing festival which allows fishermen to compete. Indigenes of Kebbi state celebrate this festival and select the winner based on who catches the biggest fish. 

The New yam festival is another perk for someone travelling through the Southern and Western parts of the country. The Oshun Oshogbo festival, which holds every August, causes an influx of travellers from all walks of life into the Country. It is a fun-filled festival celebrated with pomp and pageantry. Others are the Calabar Carnival and Eyo festival. 

Let’s not forget other tourist sites like the Ikogosi Warm Springs, Obudu Cattle Ranch, and Kainji National Park. There are also Gurara Water Falls, Idanre Hills, Kainji Dam, Oron Museum, Olumo Rock, Ogbunike Caves, and Tinapa Resort. 

Obviously, travellers are in for a unique treat across the land and clime of Nigeria. But the question is, “how do you navigate your way around the country”, especially as a newbie or Tourist?

Read also: Tourist centres in Nigeria

Travelling In Nigeria By Rail

If you wish for your journey to be smooth, safe, and pretty decent, I would advise you to take the rail transportation route.

Rail transportation in Nigeria presently is an experience you can’t afford to miss. The world-class railways’ stations and networks link different parts of the Northern and Southern regions of Nigeria together seamlessly. But if your choice is to go by vehicle, that’s also fine. You will still enjoy a  great experience and adventure altogether. The choice is yours!

Travelling In Nigeria By Road

If you’re travelling by road, I would say you’re choosing the most affordable and perhaps more fun-filled route to travel in Nigeria. You will experience, firsthand, the beautiful landscapes, warm weather, lovely serene highways, and meet people from different cultures and tribes.

Travelling in Nigeria can be very fun, especially on land. Just imagine yourself in a vehicle travelling through the Nigerian roads, be it the Southern, or Northern stretch of roads.

There’s the lush green and imposing forest whistling past as your vehicle eats up the road. Then, the hawkers by the highways try to sell their goods or various food items like freshly killed bushmeat, bread, and other delicacies. I can guarantee that you are bound to experience the thrills and fun as you travel through the country by road.

Travelling In Nigeria By Air

This is another world of experience on its own, though not as exploratory as travelling by land for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, travelling by air in Nigeria also comes with escapades and attractions.

Less booming as the aviation sector in Nigeria might seem, it still gives you the luxury of choosing between various privately owned and commercial airlines and helicopters. It is most common if you’re transiting between Lagos, Abuja, or Port-Harcourt. This is also an experience you can’t afford to miss.

Lest I forget, most of the Airports in the country have also received a facelift. They look better than what they used to be. And this is a plus if you ask me. Whichever route you choose, you are in for a really fun time when you travel to or within Nigeria.

Read also: Experience tourism in Nigeria

  1. The Bad

Like they say, “all that glitters is not gold”. There is a bad and ugly side to travelling in Nigeria, despite all the good that comes with it. Travelling in Nigeria is not without its inherent dangers. Especially when you’re travelling by road. 

You’ll gain more insights from the following paragraphs in this piece. 

Bad Roads

Most Nigerian roads are fraught with hidden and visible dangers. So many of the roads have crumbled over time with potholes and other anomalies endangering the lives of motorists. This is mostly due to a lack of proper maintenance and in some cases of shoddy jobs by the contractors. 

In fact, let’s call it what it is. The high rate of carnage on Nigerian roads is enough to deter anyone from travelling within Nigeria. Therefore, depending on the part of the country you are visiting, think deeply about the risks before taking the road route.

Menace Of Men In Uniform On Nigerian Roads

After dealing with, and surviving the bouts of bad roads, another round of nightmares you will likely encounter on Nigerian roads, is the uniform men. 

This uniformed personnel can be police officers, Military personnel, drug enforcement officers, customs officers, and road safety officials. 

Most times, they mount roadblocks less than ten minutes’ distance from each other just to do what they call “stop and search”. Yes, you read right. Stop and search! So, if you’re embarking on a journey that should ordinarily take you about 4 hours or less, you might end up spending up to six to seven hours. And that’s if you’re lucky. 

The unnecessary checkpoints/ roadblocks that these officials mount do nothing but create a terrible gridlock in the name of securing our highways. Despite the numerous complaints and groaning from travellers and other road users about this, it doesn’t look like this act will stop anytime soon.

  1. The Ugly

The dreadful side of travelling in Nigeria is one I don’t always like to talk about but will have to mention it all the same. Travelling has become terrifying within Nigeria mainly due to insecurity on our major highways. Bandits, kidnappers, and armed robbers have made the highways a death trap for travellers. 

Incessant kidnapping cases have taken out the fun associated with travelling through Nigeria. If the journey is not really important, no one should risk their lives travelling on Nigerian roads.

Your heart will definitely be in your mouth until you arrive at your destination safely. Even the presence of Uniformed men on the highways could not stop this dastardly act. Kidnapping for ransom seems to be the new normal.

Read also: Safety tips while travelling in Nigeria


Travelling in Nigeria is not all gloom and doom. Despite all the highlighted travails that a traveller is likely to face, people still travel the nooks and crannies of Nigeria daily for business or leisure. Hopefully, the government will eventually wake up to its responsibilities and make travelling in Nigeria as safe as it used to be.

Are you ready to explore the beauty that abounds throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria? Then what are you waiting for? Take that trip, explore the country and enjoy all the positives it has to offer a traveller. Bon Voyage!

Have you experienced uglier things while travelling in Nigeria? Feel free to share with us on our Whatsapp community where we do have insightful conversations and Subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates on upcoming career webinars.

About Author

Avatar of Rauf Dunmade
Rauf Dunmade
A certified Digital Marketer who is also a passionate and enthusiastic writer, writing creative content that resonates with my audience.
Identifying innovative approaches and improved solutions to business challenges motivates and drives me.

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