Treasures of Northern Nigeria

Treasures of Northern Nigeria, 8–15 Apr 2024

Nigeria is a vast territory, home to 223 million people, divided into countless ethnic groups. Each ethnic group has its own language and culture. Come with us to experience the hospitality of Northern people, bustling markets of Nigeria's north, historic emir palaces, old caravan towns and the frenetic Durbar festival and one of the world's most beautiful oases and sand dunes in the Nigerian Sahara. Safely.

The trip is organised as a small group of up to eight people, which makes it more personalised and gives us a better insight into local cultures than when travelling with a large group. The trip is led by an English- and Finnish-speaking tour guide.

Day 18.4.2024

Arrival in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. We pick you up from the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you may wish to join us for a nightcap in Abuja. Accommodation in a 3-4 star hotel. All our hotels are safe and secure.

For the peace of mind of passengers, a dedicated security crew (either from the Nigerian police or the army) is also following us, making the journey a breeze and keeping pickpockets at bay. These officers are highly professional and trained to deal with VIPs like us.

Also, to maximise safety, we do not publish on the internet the exact dates of our visits to each of the destinations mentioned in the programme. Only the departure date from Abuja and the return date to Abuja are public information.

Day 2

Abuja is a young city that was decided in the 1970s to become the country's capital, replacing the out-of-control Lagos on the country's southern coast. Abuja officially became the capital in 1991. Abuja differs from Lagos like night from day – the city is clean and its layout was designed by a Japanese architect.

In the morning, we will visit the main attraction of Abuja, the huge National Mosque in the city centre, completed in 1984 and open to non-Muslims. After visiting the mosque, we will drive out of Abuja. On the way, we stop to see Zuma Rock, a 725-metre monolith – a giant rock formation.

We drive 2.5 hours to Zaria, the capital of the historic Hausa kingdom of Zazzau. Every square metre of Nigeria is still ruled by a traditional leader, known here in Zaria as the emir. We visit the emir's colourful palace. Stay in a 3-4 star hotel.

Day 3

We set off in the morning for a 2.5-hour drive to Kano, a city of four million people, the largest in northern Nigeria and one of the country's most important centres of commerce and industry. Kano's history dates back to the 900s and in the Middle Ages it became an Islamic Hausa kingdom. We visit the sections of the ancient city walls around the old city, which date back to the 15th century. We also see the emir's palace here.

The main attraction of the day is a tradition dating back 200 years, the Durbar, which celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan and brings tens of thousands of Muslims to the Emir's Palace in and around Kano to watch parades of men in colourful costumes and turbans riding colourfully dressed horses and camels. We also may see the emir on horseback. Horses have played a very important role in Nigerian societies since the 13th century, symbolising power and strength – both of which we see in the parades.

The end date of the month of Ramadan is never particularly precise, so it's possible that Durbar will not take place until the following day, when we will see it at our next destination, Dutse. Accommodation in the 4-star Bizarre Luxury Apartments or similar.

Day 4

During the morning we drive the 1.5 hour journey to Dutse, the state capital of Jigawa, the opposite of the bustling and massive Kano. The tidy Jigawa is a kind of model state among Nigerian states and visitors can spot it on the streets of Dutse. We visit the Emir's palace and museum in Dutse, before climbing to see the scenery from a nearby hill. We will also visit the Ibrahim Saminu Turaki Tower, where visitors can climb to admire the view. Accommodation at the three-star Hotel Dutse Royal or similar.

Day 5

In the morning, we drive for four hours to the small town of Yusufari, where, with the help of the local emir, we are given four-wheel drive SUVs to drive immediately the 2.5 hour journey through dunes and dry terrain to the small village of Tulo Tulo, on the Niger border. The scenery is not at all what is commonly associated with Nigeria – this is the Sahara, or at least we are very much on the edge of it. On the way, we stop at a few oases, some of which have water all year round, some of which are dry. In Tulo Tulo village, we are on the land of Kanuri tribe.

We will be visiting the border post with Niger and, if the border authorities allow, those who wish can make a quick stop on the neighbouring side. We buy our food supplies at the market in Tulo Tulo, then drive a short distance through the dunes to a nearby oasis. We camp in a picturesque palm-fringed oasis surrounded by sand dunes.

The rest of the day is free to wander around the oasis and meet the some animals (aka cows) and the occasional friendly people who grow everything from mangoes to melons and bananas on the edges of the oasis. We have the security of the emir and village chief throughout our stay, so we are not alone in our camp. Overnight in tents (or on the sand under the open sky if you prefer so).

Day 6

We wake up to a peaceful morning at the oasis, have breakfast and have still time to tour the oasis and enjoy the hospitality of a local Kanuri tribe before a bouncy return trip through the dunes back to Yusufari, from where we continue along a paved road to Kano. Travel time is approximately 7 hours. Accommodation in the familiar Bizarre Luxury Apartments or similar.

Day 7

Today we drive back to the capital Abuja. On the way, we will stop at the market in the centre of Kaduna. Traffic permitting, we will also stop at the village of Bwari on the outskirts of Abuja, known as the village of the potters (Bwari is not included in the programme, but if time permits we will visit it too at no extra charge). We arrive in Abuja in the afternoon. Accommodation in a three or four star hotel.

Day 8 – 15.4.2024

Departure date. We take you back to the airport and hope you have enjoyed your stay in Northern Nigeria with us.

If you continue with us for another tour of Southern Nigeria, which starts in the capital Abuja and ends in the megalopolis of Lagos, there is free time today to tour Abuja either with us or on your own.

General information about the tour

Price: 3590 € (incl. booking fee 370 € + office fee 25 €)

The price of the trip includes:

  • All accommodations (single room at extra charge)
  • All transfers (including airport transfers)
  • All entrance fees
  • English-speaking local guide
  • English- and Finnish-speaking tour leader
  • Security
  • Breakfasts in all accommodation and dinner at Tulo Tulo campsite
  • Bottle water
  • Visa invitation if the customer wants to obtain a visa from the embassy. However, we recommend our visa on arrival service, which avoids the need to send passports and forms abroad. We can arrange your visa to the airport without any commission. You only pay us the cost of the visa and the fees required by the authorities in advance. The cost of the visa varies according to nationality.

Not included in the price:

  • Meals, except all breakfasts and dinner in Tulo Tulo
  • International flights
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Yellow fever vaccination and anti-malaria medication
  • Personal expenses, such as souvenirs and tips

Visa on arrival

The trip does not include a Nigerian visa, but we can arrange a visa on arrival at Abuja airport if you wish. This avoids having to send your passport and forms to the Nigerian Embassy and a long wait.

The cost of a visa varies according to nationality. Neither Kameli Travel nor our Nigerian contact will take any commission for the visa. The visa is a business visa.

The visa is applied for two weeks before arrival and the following is required from the traveller:

  • Visa fee
  • A copy of the passport data page
  • Digital photo
  • Return flight booking
  • And possibly a "letter of introduction", which we will draw up for you and send you to sign. At the moment this letter is not a requirement.

We'll take care of the paperwork for you and send you a visa on arrival approval letter from the authorities before you travel, against which the airline will take you on board. On arrival in Abuja, you fill in your entry card and then proceed to a visa on arrival lounge, where your photo will be taken and the actual visa sticker will be affixed to your passport. At Abuja airport, you pay nothing to anyone else.

Other information

Due to the specific nature of the trip, we will follow special travel terms and conditions and the cancellation conditions contained therein (Cancellation terms and conditions A). The minimum number of participants is 6. If there are fewer passengers, the trip will be led by an English-speaking local guide, but if this is not suitable for the client, they will have the option to cancel the trip and receive a full refund.