How to Travel as a Nigerian Graduate
Yes, it’s common knowledge that traveling to America, the UK and Canada are top of the list for young Nigerians. The average man on the street wants to emigrate to one of these places, set down roots and flourish, while a minute few just want to go there for tourism purposes. However, let’s assume you don’t have the resources for such a feat just yet because let’s face it, you just graduated from college. So instead of focusing on the where, let’s start with the why.
Different people travel for a variety of reasons, some people backpack across a continent (Oh backpacking across a continent. It’s amazing and I’ll circle back to it), some travel to gain exposure and connections, while a great many, travel for social media pictures.
Personally, I travel because it’s an amazing and mind blowing way to learn new things; like an endless university that creates exposure and develops intelligence. Trust me, you’ll never stop learning once you get infected by the travel bug.
And yes, let’s not forget that a great many Nigerians just one to get out of the country.
Traveling has a host of benefits including:
- Exposing you to a heavy dose of history.
- It enhances your social skills.
- You get to pick up foreign languages.
- You learn more about Mother Nature.
- Explore cultural differences.
- Discover similarities in cultures.
- Travel teaches you how to improvise.
- Travel is a humbling experience.
Moving on, here is a breakdown of the possible countries you can travel to, and on what budgets.
Budget of N100,000 from Lagos, Nigeria
As one of our neighboring countries it is most certainly going to be on this list and deservedly so. It’s a quick trip; from Lagos, it’s just a 3 Hour drive on a good day. As an ECOWAS country, you don’t need a visa to visit and, on this budget, you can get into the country having only spent N5,000. If you’re backpacking across West Africa, Benin Republic should be your first stop.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when travelling to Benin Republic;
- Have an ID card: Ideally, you must have your passport on you, and some other form of identification (ID) card. Don’t make the mistake of travelling without a passport simply because you’re going next door to Benin, this will only cause you unnecessary delay and expenses paying off border officials.
- Carry loose cash: Anyone who’s been through Seme border will know it’s virtually impossible to pass through the border without parting with some money. There are a dozen and one things to pay for, not to mention border officials looking to extort from unsuspecting novices. Stay sharp.
- Basic knowledge of French: Dig out that primary or secondary school French text book, and if you never had one, make Google your friend. It’s very advisable to at least have a basic knowledge of French.
- Know where you’re going: Don’t just go in blind, have a very good idea of where you’re going and/or will be staying for your own safety. It will also minimize your chances of getting scammed by seemingly ‘helpful’ strangers.
- Keep your eyes open: It’s an open-secret that Nigerians aren’t exactly liked by the Beninese, so be on the look-out for possible situations of exploitation. For instance, prices of drinks and sundry items often get inflated when it’s discovered that the buyer is Nigerian so don’t fall victim.
Here are some places to visit in Benin:
- Petrol being sold in the streets of Ouidah
- Porto Novo, Benin
- Voodoo market near Abomey, Benin
- Bohicon, Underground Village
- Tanguieta, Benin
- Parakou, Benin
- Lake Nokoue
- Nikki, Benin:
- Pehunco, Benin
- Boukoumbé, Benin
- Malanville, Benin
Starting with the 24/7 Electricity to cheap hotels, as low as N5,000 a night. You will have more than enough spare cash to go shopping. Have fun!!!
Next up in our list of countries to visit on a N100, 000 budget is Togo. To be fair, in Togo you’ll need to be on a tighter budget that you’d need for Benin. But it’s totally worth it. The road trip from Lagos is about 8 hours and should cost you about N12,000.
Hotels are still fairly cost effective and you will need basically the same things you’d need for a trip to Benin. One important difference though, you’d be crossing two borders and on a N100,000 budget, you’ll spend 4 Days as opposed to a week in Benin.
Here are some places to visit in Togo:
- Fazao Malfakassa National Park
- Keran National Park
- Fosse aux Lions National Park
- Hospital of Hope
Togo is just a thin sliver of West Africa; a line of land that ranges from the Atlantic Ocean to the depths of inland Burkina Faso. But size has never been an issue for this culturally-rich place sandwiched between Benin and a much-bigger Ghana. Still endearingly and excitingly off-the-beaten-track, it bursts from the region in a medley of misty mountains and swamps, winding rivers and muddy backcountry, all trodden by the occasional elephant herd and bushbuck. Yes, you should definitely visit Togo.
Budget of N200,000 from Lagos, Nigeria
Now for the slightly more expensive options. (Note we are not accounting for flights but only road trips.)
To no one’s surprise I’m sure, top of our list is Ghana. (Thank goodness, it’s a country where you don’t need to speak French) With around N25,000 and 22 hours to spare you will be in Ghana. I personally recommend the road trip even if you can afford a flight. It’s an amazing experience and you get to pass through three countries. How about that!!!
Ghana is proof that amazing things come in small packages. The combination of varieties create a joyful energy that is evident all across the country. With Ghana you get beautiful hinterland, sunny beaches, rich culture, lively cities, welcoming locals, tons of wildlife, and easy access to all parts of the country.
Here are some places to visit in Ghana:
- Artists Alliance Gallery
- Labadi Beach
- Cape Coast
- Kakum National Park
- National Museum of Ghana
- Elmina Castle
- Busua Beach
- Mole National Park
- Cape Three Points
- Lake Bosumtwe
- Lake Volta
So… we are back to a French speaking country. What do you expect?? You’re in West Africa, most West African countries speak French. This is a road trip that will take you clean across Nigeria. So in this one case, I advise flying.
It’s a 2-Hour Flight and the round ticket should cost you about N130, 000. From there you’d need to be careful with your spending. Fortunately they have a lot of affordable hotels. The variety of wildlife at the large number of natural parks across the country provide nature lovers with plenty of chances to spot rare and exotic creatures. Gorillas are common in the south of the country, especially in the Campo Ma’an National Park and elephants, hyenas and giraffes make an appearance at other parks.
Here are some places to visit in Cameroon:
- Maroua, Cameroon
- Limbe, Cameroon
- Douala, Cameroon
- Waza National Park
- Bamenda, Cameroon
- Foumban Palace, Cameroon
- Bafoussam, Cameroon
- Kribi, Cameroon
- Korup National Park
- Dja Faunal Reserve
- Mefou National Park
- Dschang, Cameroon
- Campo Ma’an National Park
Overall the mix of music, epic terrain and more culture than you can possibly hope to soak up, makes Cameroon a great place to visit.
Beyond these four countries, your budget would need to greatly improve for you to visit other parts of the continent. If you have N500,000 and would rather have an amazing week than buy an iPhone XR, I recommend visiting any of these countries
Thanks for reading. I hope you have fun and be safe.