Visiting Nigeria Overland Requirements
Nigeria is a country of differences, culturally and ethnically. All people are warm and welcoming. The terrain ranges from desert/arid in the north getting progressively more lush and tropical as you travel south. The east is very verdant and green with higher rainfall. Nigeria has all resources at it's disposal. With its many microclimates it is able to grow a wide range of food from temperate climates as well as tropical.
Nigeria often gets a bad reputation for being unsafe, and incidents with overlanders have happened in 2016 and 2021, so be aware. The current President is serious about stopping bribery, and many, many checkpoints will simply say "What did you bring for me", they won't actually demand or ask for money, so don't give it.
Make sure you exchange USD or Euro or even CFA for the Nigerian Niara at the border, the black market rate is much, much better than the official rates, making Nigeria a cheap country on the journey. Don't use ATMs, you will only get the official rate which is not good.
Entering Nigeria with a Car or MotorbikeTravel Visa for Nigeria: The Nigeria Tourist visa is a Single Entry travel document, and available to citizens of all countries who wish to visit Nigeria for the purpose of Meeting, Conference, Seminar, Contract Negotiation, Marketing, Sales, Purchase distribution of Nigerian Goods, Trade Fairs, Job interviews, Training of Nigerians, Emergency/Relief work, Crew members, Staff of NGOs, Staff of INGOs, Researchers, Musical concerts. The visa price varies a lot depending on my nationality
The standard visa is for one month entry, and you have three months to enter Nigeria from the date of issue. As a backup option, overlanders also get the visa in Burkina Faso, which is also overland friendly in 2017. If those options don't work, it's worth a try in Cotonou, Benin, though it sounds complicated there.Coming from the North,
it is possible to obtain a Nigeria#Visa_on_Arrival_for_Nigeria Visa on Arrival and enter at the Seme border.Coming from the South,
this is by far the hardest visa to get, and has stopped many people entirely when they could not get the visa. It is worth apply for this visa absolutely everywhere possible - if you can't get it, you will not be able to complete the trip. In recent years, the options are:
Required Paperwork to travel Nigeria?
- Passport of registered owner.
- Drivers license of registered owner.
- Proof of vehicle insurance - they might not ask for it, but it’s better to have it.
- (OPTIONAL) Carnet de Passage
Process at Nigeria border
- Get yourself stamped in at Immigration - be wary they might try to give you less time than your visa officially states - argue hard.
- Nigeria the the concept of a Passavant, though they are unwilling to issue them to tourists who will exit at a different border from where they enter. You can drive across the country without one.
- If you have a Carnet de Passage, they will stamp that in and out.
When should I apply to Nigeria eVisa?
It's possible to obtain a visa on arrival for Nigeria to enter at the Seme border crossing. This is business visa intended for those travelling at short notice.
An approval letter must be acquired before arriving at the border. To obtain the approval letter, apply at Nigeria Immigration Service -- Visa on Arrival. There are reports that the Immigration Service did not respond to applications. It's a buisness visa, so it has been suggested to state the purpose of the visit as being to explore business opportunities.
Arrive at Seme with printed copies of the approval letter. Note, there are two letters that look similar, and both should be printed. The Immigration Controller needs to sign/authorise this, so there may be a wait of an hour at the border.
To obtain the visa, you must be escorted by an immigration officer to Lagos airport. For Biking Over Yonder, with a motorcycle, and others, this meant the immigration officer rode pillion on the motorcycle. A return taxi fare of ₦25,000.00 NGN was required for the immigration officer to return to the Seme border crossing with paperwork completed.
At the airport, you are escorted through different offices and eventually arrive at the visa on arrival office. This is located where flight passengers disembark and arrive in the terminal, which is before passport control. In the visa on arrival office, you pay for the visa using a VISA card. Note: mastercard and cash are not accepted. Alternatively, you can pay online here and present the visa payment receipt (and/or visa acknowledgement slip). Be sure to pay for visa on arrival (business) and not tourist visa, even though you may be travelling as a tourist.General Road quality in Nigeria
Nigeria has a mix of good tarmac and horribly potholed roads. Many of the main roads between big cities have been damaged by heavy fuel tanker traffic. There is a lot of work being done on the roads but you will undoubted get many stretches that are horrible.Nigeria Road signs
Limited road signs, some do exist but not always obvious. Those that do exist are not always good quality.Nigeria driving side of road
Right. RHD vehicles are allowed but ensure you have correct paperwork, because it’s a good chance for bribery. Many Police will say they are not allowed, but that is only for permanent imports - for a tourist passing through the country they are allowed, many have done it in 2016 and 2021.Mandatory items in vehicle
You probably need two safety triangles, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher.
- Motorbikes ₦50.00 NGN
- Cars and tricycles ₦120.00 NGN
- Sports utility ₦150.00 NGN
- Commercial Danfo Minibuses ₦80.00 NGN
- Light trucks and 2 axle buses ₦250.00 NGN
- Heavy trucks and buses with two or more heavy axles ₦350.00 NGN
Not many toll roads but they do exist. Lekki-Epe Expressway Toll Road
Plans are to reintroduce toll roads at some point to help with maintaining roads in Nigeria
A dash (gift) is often requested by asking 'do you have anything for us?' or 'what have you brought us?'. It is not always expected and should not be offered unless it becomes problematic. It is against the law to ask for dashes. Best way i find of dealing with it is to act daft and ask like what? That leaves the onus on them to be clear...they may ask for water (₦200.00 NGN) or they may ask for nothing and just ask if you are enjoying Nigeria. Don't routinely offer dashes usually five minutes will suffice.Nigeria Checkpoints
I have never had so many road checks as in Nigeria. Every village seems to have a checkpoint. Many have wooden planks with nails across the roads to make you stop. Almost all ask for a bribe but with some good humor and friendly persistent refusal I have never paid anything. Depends on what is happening in the country on how many checks there are. Usually there can be army, police or MOPOL (Mobile Police) sometimes there are road safety. There will always be a check point at state lines and outside major Cities. Stay friendly and polite. Never use your mobile phone or camera at check points.