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Travel Guide Africa Nigeria Abuja

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Introduction

Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and has a population of about 800,000. The city is located in the central part of the country and is in fact a planned city. It was built during the 1980s and officially became Nigeria's capital on 12th December 1991 replacing the former role of Lagos as the capital. It is the administrative heart of the country, and many countries have their embassies here. Although it has some fine museums, monuments and other landmarks to visit, not many people go here. Many people live in shanty towns despite the fact that it is said to be one of the wealthiest cities in Nigeria.

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Sights and Activities

Abuja National Mosque

Abuja National Mosque, also known as the Nigerian National Mosque, is the national mosque of Nigeria. The mosque was built in 1984 and is only open to muslims. Located just outside the city of Abuja this mosque also has a wonderful library. The large gold dome and four marinates make for an impressive religious building.

National Christian Centre

The National Christian Centre, also known as the National Church of Nigeria, is the main Christian place of worship in the country. Located outside the city of Abuja this is an interdenominational church. The church is designed in a neo-gothic style and has many pivoted arches with a wide nave leading to the main alter. There are also several nice stained glass windows and an organ is installed on the side of the chapel. When not in use for Christian ceremonies it is possible to tour the church, sometimes with a guide.

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Weather

In centrally located Abuja, there is single rainy season from June to September and a long and hot dry season from October to April. The total amount of rain is much less compared to the southern and coastal zones. Temperatures during the hot season can reach well around 40 °C during the days. From December to February the hot, dry and dusty Harmattan wind blows over this area, causing problems in Abuja as well.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max34.7 °C36.8 °C36.9 °C35.6 °C32.7 °C30.6 °C29.1 °C28.9 °C30 °C32 °C34.4 °C34.6 °C
Avg Min20.4 °C25.5 °C24.3 °C24.7 °C19.5 °C18.3 °C21.9 °C17.7 °C17.5 °C21.4 °C15.7 °C15.5 °C
Rainfall1.7 mm5.4 mm11.3 mm62.8 mm134.1 mm164.2 mm217.5 mm262.7 mm253.4 mm103.2 mm3.7 mm1.2 mm
Rain Days0.10.21.34.29.412.31416.215.980.30.1

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Getting There

By Plane

Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) is the second largest airport in the country and the 14th biggest in the whole of Africa. KLM flies directly from Amsterdam to Abuja, while a few other airlines serve place futher away like Dubai, Atlanta, Frankfurt and London. From Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) near Lagos, there are flights to Abuja as well. Airlines that fly here include Aero Contractors, Bellview Airlines, Arik Air andVirgin Nigeria. Flights originate from many other cities in Nigeria and neighbouring countries or other countries in this part of Africa.

By Train

Nigeria Railway Corporation has recently completed a new inter-city line between Abuja and Kaduna, where one can connect with the rest of the Nigerian rail system. Trains arrive and depart from Idu Station which is about 15 km west of the city centre. There are two daily departures in each direction.

By Bus

You can travel to Abuja by bus from major cities like Lagos, Benin, Kano and Port Harcourt. Reliable services include: ABC Transport (with air conditioned luxurious bus rides), Ekene Dili Chukwu, Chisco Transport (CTN) and Young Shall Grow. The preferred bus service would be ABC transport.

However, you are advised to take only day trip buses from Lagos or Kano. You must be conscious that bus trips are not the safest as in rare situations buses have been attacked by robbers. If you're unfamiliar with the country, do not take a bus without an escort. Buses allow you to appreciate the terrain, the towns and cities and the subtle changes in these and culture as you drive towards the capital either from the south or the north.

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Getting Around

Car or taxi is the main mode of getting around Abuja at the moment, public transport is limited. However, a new commuter rail system is under constructed and expected to open in 2016.

Abuja has a few strict driving laws that are enforced. Seat belts are required of both the driver and front seat passenger. Failure to obey this law leads to significant inconveniences as the vehicle is impounded and not released until the fine is paid. Drivers don't typically observe lanes within the city, and often attempt to squeeze in what might seem to be dangerously close to your vehicle. In some cases they may drive on the sidewalks. Traffic accidents are frequent, so drive defensively. Occasionally, drivers from other parts of the country that are unfamiliar with the driving culture in the city try to beat traffic lights. If you're driving, keep an eye out for other motorists, especially at intersections, who may try to beat the traffic lights. Occasionally, traffic lights stop working during outages and road marshals are deployed to critical intersections.

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Eat

Food prices in Abuja are high, especially for Western food. There are, however, many good restaurants in Abuja that are arguably worth the money. Of course, whether you live in Abuja or are just visiting, there are times when you are willing to pay a little extra for the simple fact that there are few to no alternatives.

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Drink

Drinks are available all over Abuja and are very overpriced. Average $20 US for some mixed drinks. 5-9 dollars for a local beer. Buy beer from the market and you will save a lot of money. The major hotels have bars and restaurants.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Abuja or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 9.058036
  • Longitude: 7.489061

Accommodation in Abuja

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This is version 23. Last edited at 3:17 on Aug 2, 17 by sleepBot. 6 articles link to this page.

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