Abuja is the capital of Nigeria. Since most Nigerian government agencies are now headquartered in Abuja and most other countries’ embassies have been relocated from Lagos to Abuja, it is a surprisingly expensive city. In the aftermath of the Nigerian-Biafra War, the Nigerian government sought to locate its capital in a location not predominated by any one ethnic group. The site of Abuja was chosen for the Federal Capital Territory as it was centrally located and had few existing residents. Plans for Abuja were first announced by decree in 1976. Most of the construction for city began in the 1980’s. Today, it is Africa’s only purpose-built capital city. It has an excellent road network, beautiful rolling terrain and modern Nigerian architecture, however this focus on the car means it is a difficult city for pedestrians. As in the rest of Nigeria, electric power is erratic.Abuja features a tropical wet and dry climate with a warm and humid season and a blistering dry season. Precipitation measure 1.221,2mm on average. The dry season lasts from November to March and it’s characterised by scorching heat, clear skies and occassional sandstorms caused by the harmattan wind. High temperatures are around 35C (95 F) and lows are around 15C (59 F), meaning large temperature variations between day and night. Maxima do reach 40C (104 F) on occasion and nights can be cool sometimes, with minima dropping to 10C (50 F). The warm and humid season lasts from April to October and is characterised by sweltering days, cool nights and pouring rain. Days still have highs around 30C (86 F), but the feeling of the heat is much stronger, due to very high relative humidity. Nights have lows usually around 20C (68 F).International flights to the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport are offered by several airlines, notably, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM,South African Airways, Turkish Airlines, and British Airways. There are no direct flights to Abuja from the United States. Although it is possible to fly directly from the U.S. or other locations to Lagos, and take a domestic flight to Abuja, this is not recommended. The international and domestic terminals in Lagos are not connected and transferring between terminals is a hassle. Furthermore, domestic Nigerian airlines will allow only one bag to be checked on without charge, even if your international arriving flight had a larger baggage allowance.The airport is located approximately 40 kilometers from the city center. Although construction has begun on a light-rail system to the city center, for now cars are the only realistic way to get to the city. If your hotel or employer is sending someone to pick you up, get the name of that person and the license plate number of the vehicle in advance. If you do not have a vehicle pre-arranged, take an official (green-colored) taxi or an Uber.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.The building is 150 meters wide and 150 meters long and 50 meters high.Abuja was a city planned for cars, with loop highway around the city and broad avenues. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get around without a car, and the strict zoning laws mean that residences are usually far for commercial areas. Abuja does not have the problem of enormous traffic jams or “go slows” as in Lagos. However, the higher speed that cars travel at presents a higher risk of dangerous accidents. Compounding this are the traffic signals which will stop working during the frequent power outages and the tendency of drivers to ignore lanes and drive dangerously close to other vehicles. Traffic accidents are frequent, so drive defensively. For safety’s sake, keep your doors locked and windows rolled up at all times. 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.Fortunately, for the visitor, taxis are plentiful and cheap, and Uber works well (but Uber pick you up at the airport). Most are green ‘painted’ taxis and some very beaten up, but they get you there. Fares around town (eg a 5km trip) are N300-N400 depending on the mood of the driver and your bargaining skills. Uber is a good way of estimating the fare before you start haggling. Always agree the fare in advance and try to have exact change. Having a GPS app on your phone and a rough idea of where you should be heading also a good idea. Private taxi companies are also available – offering phone dispatch and better cars, fares for these companies are about N1,500 – N2,000 for a trip across town.Abuja is a beautiful city. The tourist attractions would be:Art & Craft village (across the road from Sheraton Hotel)Abuja has 3 cinemasThe third cinema in Abuja is inside the Shoprite Mall on the Airport Road just before Lugbe District. They show variety of both Hollywood and African movies. It cost between 1000 to 3000 naira per person depending on the movies. Some tickets come with a pack of popcorn.There is some interesting artwork all over Abuja. Wood carvings, paintings and leatherwork. Everything is available in surrounding countries quite a bit cheaper, but if you are here you might as well buy it here.Food prices in Abuja are high, especially for Western food. There are, however, many good restaurants in Abuja that are arguably worth the money. The Wuse II area is arguably the restaurant hub for Abuja, with new places opening and closing frequently. 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.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 – watch out for the call girls, if you ignore them, they get really offended. If you are not interested, just say so and have a short conversation, then they will leave you alone.Hotels in Abuja do not score well on the price/ service/ quality ratio. Many hotels offer large discounts for Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to confirm if your agreed rate includes tax (typically 10%) service changes, breakfast, internet, parking fees, if there is any early departure fee (i.e if you check out a few days early) even if the bottle of water in your room is complementary etc. and have this written down at check-in. Most hotels expect payment up front, with the more established ones having credit card machines who are happy to block out some money on your card to cover the bill. Typically it is better to pay in cash if you can, as the black market rate is about 10% better than the official rate (March 2015).Hotel De Bently N. Okonjo Iweala Way, Utako Abuja. Best Architectural design in Abuja. Its a decent place to stay. Reiz Continental Hotel Plot 779, Cadastral zone AO, Central Area. Tel. +234-9-4619110. Similar to Rockview in terms of standard, but with better service. Has pool too and free minibar (non alcoholic)Decent hotels in Abuja tend to cost well above $200 US per night, despite mediocre.Abuja tends to be a sharp contrast against the background of the rest of Nigeria. While car hijackings and armed robbery are high in Lagos, and kidnapping of foreign oil workers is prevalent in the Niger delta, Abuja in sharp contrast, is one of the safest metropolitan cites in Nigeria.General security measures like elsewhere in the world should be observed. Like anywhere else in the world, it’s always a good idea to have company when exploring unfamiliar places. If you’re driving, observe simple measures like keeping your car door locked when parked to avoid opportunistic crime. Armed robbery at gun point is the most prevalent form of crime. A calm disposition and full cooperation with robbers is the best line of action in the unlikely event that you are the victim of a robbery.Robbers tend to become violent when victims try to pull tricks. Contact your embassy in Abuja and the police if you are robbed. Occasional pick pockets target mobile phones and wallets as well. Do not carry large amounts of cash. Usually, $250 US cash (or N30,000) would more than suffice for impulsive purchases and other daily costs.Use only the official Green Cabs. Drivers of regular cars frequently cruise around seeking paying passengers

Airport: ABV Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Cities in Niger

Country: Nigeria