Friday, June 14, 2024

Harry and Meghan are visiting Nigeria – here’s why it should be on your holiday wishlist

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Currently, only roughly a third of the country is classified by the FCDO as safe for travel. Warnings of terrorist attacks, kidnappings, street crime and scams are hardly the persuasive prose of travel blogs and brochures.

Alia Shoaib, a journalist who recently relocated to Nigeria’s “leafy, sleepy administrative capital”, Abuja, says she feels comfortable and safe, although warns against walking at night or travelling between cities by car or train.

“The Nigerians I’ve met are so warm, lively and interesting, and have been so welcoming to me as a foreigner. The more time I’ve spent here, the more I’ve realised what a culturally rich and dynamic country it is,” she says. “If the government were able to address problems and make it safer to move around the country, I think it could thrive as a tourism hot spot.”

Saro-Wiwa, who has found fondness for a place she once feared, is equally optimistic of its appeal – for the right kind of person.

“It’s not an easy place if you’re a ‘tourist’, not a ‘traveller’. You need a curious mind, and to understand the value of a destination that doesn’t exude chocolate-box beauty.”

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