- We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria at this time due to the very high threat of terrorist attack, the high risk of kidnapping, the unpredictable security situation, the heightened risk of violent civil unrest and the high level of violent crime.
- If you do decide to travel to Nigeria, you should exercise extreme caution. The security situation could deteriorate without warning and you could be caught up in violence directed at others.
- You should be aware that terrorists may launch attacks during religious festivals and holidays, significant dates and anniversaries.
- There is a risk of retaliatory attacks against Western interests in Nigeria following the French intervention in the conflict in Mali in January 2013. There is also a high risk of kidnapping and terrorism across the West African Sahel region.
- Nigeria-based extremist groups have recently threatened to carry out attacks against government facilities and personnel, hotels, educational facilities (including schools attended by children of prominent as well as foreign individuals), churches and other places of worship, media offices, markets and mass transit facilities.
- Future terrorist attacks are likely and could be indiscriminate, targeting government and security institutions, international organisations, diplomatic premises, financial institutions, oil facilities and infrastructure as well as public areas such as markets, hotels, licensed premises, shopping centres, places of worship and other areas frequented by Westerners. See under Safety and Security: Terrorism for further information.
- You should be aware that there is an ongoing risk of serious inter-communal violence and unrest throughout the country, particularly in the central and northern regions of Nigeria.
- We strongly advise you not to travel to Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau,Yobe and Adamawa states because of the ongoing very high threat of terrorist attack, very high threat of kidnapping, the volatile security situation, including ongoing inter-communal tensions, and frequent violent attacks on public places. If you are in Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau,Yobe, or Adamawa State, you should leave immediately.
- On 14 May 2013, the Nigerian President declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
- We strongly advise you not to travel to the states of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island), Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra in south-eastern Nigeria because of continuing militant activity, the very high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks against foreign oil companies and personnel, localised conflict and violent civil unrest.
- If, despite our advice not to travel to these areas, you decide to go to or stay in these regions, you should ensure you have adequate and continuous close personal protection from a professional security service. The ability of the Australian Government to provide consular services to Australians in these areas may be severely limited.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed a human death from avian influenza in Nigeria. See the Health section for advice to Australians travelling to or resident in Nigeria.
- Given the unpredictable security situation in Nigeria, we strongly recommend that you register your travel and contact details with us, so we can contact you in an emergency.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
Entry and exit
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Up-to-date information is available from the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nigeria.
The Nigerian immigration authorities have introduced registration requirements for all resident expatriates who are not nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nigeria for details.
Nigeria is listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as endemic for yellow fever. You may be asked to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate upon entry into Nigeria. Some airlines may also require passengers to present a valid certificate before being allowed to board flights out of Nigeria. If in doubt, check with your airline.
If you have visited Nigeria in the last six days prior to your date of return to Australia, Australian Customs officials will ask you to present a valid Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate upon entry into Australia.
Make sure your passport has at least six months' validity from your planned date of return to Australia. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Safety and security
There is a very high threat from terrorist attack, kidnapping, violent civil unrest and crime in Nigeria. If you do decide to travel to Nigeria, you should exercise extreme caution. The security situation could deteriorate without warning and you could be caught up in violence directed at others. You should be aware that the security environment in central and northern Nigeria has deteriorated sharply since 2011.
Australians in Nigeria should exercise heightened vigilance and personal security awareness, particularly in and around Abuja, near Nigerian government and security institutions, international organisations, diplomatic premises, financial institutions, oil facilities and infrastructure as well as public areas such as markets, hotels, licensed premises, shopping centres, and places of worship and other areas frequented by Westerners. Security has been tightened at many public buildings in Abuja.
You should be aware that terrorists may launch attacks during religious festivals and holidays, significant dates and anniversaries. Since 2011, a number of coordinated attacks against churches in central and northern Nigeria have occurred during the Christmas and Easter periods. Similar attacks may occur again in future holiday periods.
There is a risk of retaliatory attacks against Western interests in Nigeria following the French intervention in the conflict in Mali in January 2013. There is a high risk of kidnapping and terrorism across the West African Sahel region.
In the past year, Nigeria-based extremist groups have threatened to carry out attacks against government facilities and personnel, hotels, educational facilities (including schools attended by children of prominent as well as foreign individuals), churches and other places of worship, media offices, markets and mass transit facilities. During this time, extremists attacked many of these targets, killing and injuring hundreds of people in numerous coordinated attacks.
In response to escalating violence, there have been states of emergency declared by Nigerian authorities over various periods across differing areas in the north. This allows for additional security forces in these areas and the temporary closure of the international land borders of these states. A number of curfews are being enforced across Nigeria. We understand curfews may be in place in Plateau, Kaduna and Yobe States and Kano City, Kogi Central Senatorial District and Mubi town in Adamawa State. You should obey all curfews and monitor the local media for the latest information on possible restrictions on movement and the overall security environment.
On 21 June 2012, media in Nigeria reported that terrorists plan to launch further attacks targeting churches in Kaduna and Plateau states as well as attacks on government buildings in Kano, Kaduna, Yobe and Gobe states. There is also a continuing threat of a major attack in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja).
We continue to receive reports of plans to launch attacks against foreign institutions, locations frequented by Westerners and other Western interests in Nigeria.
Locations frequented by foreigners have been attacked in the past and may be targeted in the future, including in Abuja. Terrorists attacked United Nations House in Abuja on 26 August 2011, killing 23 people. Following this attack, media reports suggested that terrorists may be planning further attacks in Nigeria on churches, mosques and national institutions. You should carefully consider the level of security at these locations before you travel.
Locations frequented by Westerners that may be attacked include residential areas, major hotels, cinemas, oil facilities and infrastructure, international organisations, diplomatic premises, schools, financial institutions, airports and transport infrastructure, markets, shopping centres and malls, places of worship, bars and restaurants and other licensed premises, outdoor recreation events, public transport, tourist areas and densely populated urban centres.
In May 2012, terrorists threatened to attack schools in Nigeria, including tertiary institutions. Reports indicate that terrorists may be planning attacks against industrial facilities in northern Nigeria. Terrorists may also be planning attacks on soccer viewing centres.
Recent examples of significant terrorist attacks include:
- On 7 May 2013, up to 55 people died in an attack on Bama in Borno State and 56 policemen and security operatives died on the same day in an ambush in Nasarawa State.
- On 22 March 2013, at least 25 people died when gunmen attacked a prison, a police station, a bank and two beer parlours in the remote town of Ganye, Adamawa state, near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.
- On 18 March 2013, a suicide bombing at a bus park in the city of Kano killed at least 25 people.
- On 9 February 2013, three foreign doctors working at Potiskum General Hospital, Yobe state were killed at their residence.
- On 19 January 2013, a convoy of Mali-bound Nigerian military troops was attacked with explosive devices in Okene, Kogi state, reportedly caused a number of deaths and injuries.
- On 28 December 2012, between 5 and 15 people were killed in an attack on a village at the outskirts of Maiduguri in Borno State.
- On 24 December 2012, separate gun attacks on churches in Yobe and Borno States killed 12 people.
- On 25 November 2012, a suicide bomb attack on a church in Kaduna killed 11 people and wounded at least 30.
- On 7 November 2012, two Chinese nationals were shot dead by gunmen in Borno State.
- On 28 October 2012, a suicide bomb attack on a Catholic Church in Kaduna killed around 7 people and injured many others.
- On 4 and 5 October two separate attacks took place in the Taraba State capital Jalingo, one against an outdoor bar and another near the studio of a television station, reportedly killing several people.
- On 23 September 2012, a suicide attack on St John’s Catholic Cathedral Church in Bauchi killed at least three people and injured over 40 others.
- On 17 June 2012, multiple car bombs targeting churches exploded in the Kaduna State cities of Kaduna and Zaria, resulting in several deaths and injuries.
- On 10 June 2012, a car bomb exploded in Jos, Plateau State, and extremists shot at people at a church in Biu Town, Borno State, with casualties resulting from both attacks.
- On 3 June 2012, a car bomb attack on a church in Bauchi State killed a number of people.
- On 29 April 2012, assailants attacked the Theatre Hall on the campus of Bayero University of Kano with improvised explosive devices (IED) and gun shots, killing at least eight people and wounding several others.
- On 29 April 2012, two separate attacks on churches in Kano City, Kano State, and Maiduguri, Borno State, reportedly killed 20 people.
- On 26 April 2012, bomb attacks at the offices of ‘This Day’ newspaper in the Jabi area of Abuja and the offices of two newspapers in Kaduna city killed a number of people and injured many others.
- On 24 April 2012, a number of people were injured in a bombing at an outdoor soccer screening venue in the city of Jos, Plateau State.
- On 8 April 2012, a bombing in Kaduna during Easter observances reportedly killed over 36 people.
- On 11 March 2012, four people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked a church in Jos in Plateau State.
- On 26 February 2012, an attack on a church in Jos in Plateau State killed four people.
- On 19 February 2012, a church in Suleja on the outskirts of Abuja was bombed. Five people were injured in the attack.
- On 20 January 2012, a series of co-ordinated attacks took place in Kano City. The attacks, which targeted police and other government buildings, killed around 180 people, including a large number of civilians.
- On 25 December 2011, at least 37 people were killed and many others were injured in an attack on a church in Madalla (Niger State), some 40 kilometres from Abuja. Other deadly attacks occurred in Jos (Plateau State), Damaturu (Yobe State), Gadaka (Yobe State), and Maiduguri (Borno State).
- On 19 December 2011, three football viewing bars were bombed in Jos inPlateau State, causing a number of deaths and many injuries.
- On 26 August 2011, an attack on the UN compound in Abuja killed over 20 people and left many wounded.
Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau,Yobe and Adamawa states
We strongly advise you not to travel to Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau,Yobe and Adamawa states because of the ongoing very high threat of terrorist attack, very high threat of kidnapping, the volatile security situation, including ongoing inter-communal tensions, and frequent violent attacks on public places. If you are in Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau,Yobe or Adamawa State, you should leave immediately.
On 14 May 2013, the Nigerian President declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states (see under Civil unrest/political tension for further details).
Plateau State has experienced increased inter-communal violence and civil unrest, as well as a number of recent terrorist attacks targeting public places. Three football viewing bars in Jos City, Plateau State, were bombed on 19 December 2011, causing a number of deaths and many injuries.
Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe and Adamawa states have experienced an increase in violent attacks. Large-scale, coordinated attacks occur regularly in these areas. A number of Westerners have been kidnapped in these areas and many victims have been killed (see under Kidnapping for more information).
Recent terrorist attacks in these areas have increasingly focused on public places, including bars, markets, hotels, restaurants and places of worship, resulting in a large number of deaths and injuries.
We advise you not to travel to the states of Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island), Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra in south-eastern Nigeria because of continuing militant activity, the very high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks, especially against foreign oil companies and personnel. If you are in these areas, you should consider leaving.
Militants have significantly increased their kidnappings of expatriate oil workers and foreign businessmen in the Niger delta region, including from offshore facilities, ships, roads and housing compounds. Hundreds of foreign workers, including an Australian, have been kidnapped, killed or injured in recent years. Militants have warned of further kidnappings. Kidnappings, including of foreign nationals, also occur in other parts of Nigeria.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) remains active in the Niger Delta region and regularly threatens oil industry infrastructure and personnel. Conflict with the Nigerian police and security forces is always a possibility, despite agreed ceasefires and amnesty programs. We advise you to follow the advice of local authorities and avoid areas where conflict is known to be ongoing.
According to media reports, MEND issued in late December 2011 renewed threats against oil industry infrastructure and personnel.
If you are already in one of the above areas and concerned for your safety, you should consider departing. Ask yourself whether, given your own personal circumstances, you're comfortable travelling to these regions knowing that there is a high threat from civil unrest or that you may be caught up in attacks against civilian targets. Ask yourself whether travel could be deferred or an alternative destination chosen. If, having considered these issues, you do decide to travel to these regions, you should ensure you have adequate and continuous close personal protection from a professional security service.
Australians in Nigeria should be aware that a high threat of kidnapping exists across the country. Kidnappings involving Westerners are particularly common in the south-eastern and northern states where we advise Australians not to travel. However, you should also be aware that Westerners have been kidnapped in other parts of Nigeria, including Abuja and Lagos. For example, on 23 March 2013 an expatriate was kidnapped by a criminal network from the suburb of Victoria Island in Lagos. This most recent incident underscores the ongoing high threat of kidnapping against Westerners that exists in all parts of Nigeria. Militants based in Nigeria have also claimed responsibility for a recent kidnapping involving seven Westerners in Cameroon.
On 16 February 2013, seven foreigners employed by a construction company were kidnapped by Islamic militants in Bauchi State. They were reportedly killed by their captors in March. On 19 December 2012, a French national employed by a foreign energy company, was kidnapped in Katsina State. On 28 May 2012, an Italian national was kidnapped in Kwara State. He was release a few days later. In January 2012, a German national was kidnapped in Kano State. He died in May 2012 while still in captivity. In 2011, an Israeli citizen was kidnapped in Abuja and two foreigners kidnapped in Kebbi State (UK and Italian citizens, who were subsequently killed during an attempt to rescue them on 8 March 2012 in Sokoto). In 2010, two German nationals and two French nationals were kidnapped in Abia State.
Kidnappings in the south-east are typically financially motivated, with the victims being held for ransom.
For more information about kidnapping, see our Kidnapping Threat travel bulletin.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. The Australian Government considers that paying a ransom increases the risk of further kidnappings, including of other Australians. If you do decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, you should ensure you have personal security measures in place, seek professional security advice and take out kidnapping insurance.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. You can find more information about this threat in our General Advice to Australian Travellers.
Civil unrest/political tension
We advise you to reconsider your need to travel to Nigeria at this time due to the unpredictable security situation, the high risk of kidnapping and the heightened risk of violent political demonstrations and civil unrest.
A number of deaths and injuries were reported at protests during nationwide strikes between 11-16 January 2012. The strike caused disruption to domestic and international flights and other commercial services throughout Nigeria. A number of deaths and injuries were reported as some protests turned violent. The possibility of further protest activity and disruption remains.
State of Emergency declared in some parts of Nigeria:
On 14 May 2013, the Nigerian President declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states due to the activities of extremist groups. Curfews may be in place in some areas subject to the State of Emergency.
Curfews may be imposed or changed with little or no notice. You should monitor local information sources for latest information about curfews and abide by them.
Australians in areas subject to curfew should remain indoors and minimise movements in non-curfew hours to an absolute minimum.
Ongoing risk of political and inter-communal violence across Nigeria:
There is an ongoing risk of serious inter-communal violence and unrest throughout the country, particularly in the central and northern regions of Nigeria. This includes the states of Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa and Benue in the central region and Bauchi, Borno, Katsina, Sokoto and Kano states and the cities of Kaduna, Jos, Kano, Maiduguri, Bauchi and Katsina in the north. In recent years, thousands of civilians have been killed in serious inter-communal violence and civil unrest in these areas.
Militants have threatened to carry out bombings in Nigerian cities including Lagos, Ibadan, Enugu and Port Harcourt in retaliation for the deaths of hundreds of people in clashes in north-eastern states in July 2009.
You should avoid all protests, rallies and demonstrations as they may turn violent.
Australians in Nigeria should be alert to changes in the security environment and monitor the local media and other sources of information for developments that may heighten existing inter-communal tensions.
The ability of the Australian Government to provide consular services to Australians in these areas may be severely limited.
The security situation in Nigeria is uncertain and could deteriorate without warning. Australians could be caught up in violence directed at others. If you do decide to travel to Nigeria, you should exercise extreme caution.
There is a high level of serious crime throughout Nigeria. Kidnapping, violent assault, armed robbery, banditry, rape, and carjacking are prevalent across Nigeria. You should pay strict attention to your personal safety and security at all times.
Crime increases at night in most areas, particularly in Lagos and on highways. We strongly advise you not to travel after dark. The number of authorised and unauthorised checkpoints in city centres also increases at night and requests to pay on-the-spot fines are not uncommon.
There is a high risk of crime in and around the international airport in Lagos, on the roads between the airports in Lagos, Abuja and other urban centres, and when travelling unaccompanied in taxis or on public transport. Assaults and robberies are common on public transport. Prearranged collection/drop off at airports and hotels by someone who known to you or whose identity you can verify will help to minimise the risk. Criminals have been known to pose as police or military personnel and bogus greeters at the airport.
Visitors have been abducted and robbed when collected from their hotel by criminals claiming to represent a company where the visitor has an appointment. Ensure that you can verify and identify who you are meeting and where. Avoid meeting in places on the outskirts of urban centres. You should question any last minute changes in arrangements and should not disclose personal information unnecessarily. To minimise the risk, you should make your own arrangements with a reputable hire car company or hire cars with drivers as offered by most major hotels.
Due to the very high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.
Commercial and internet fraud: Commercial and internet fraud is prevalent and often originates in Nigeria. Victims have been defrauded and those who travel to the originating country have had their lives endangered. Some have been killed. You should closely scrutinise all commercial ventures and job offers that originate from Nigeria from people unknown to you and not send money until proper checks are made. Criminals have been known to seek details of 'safe' bank accounts overseas in which to transfer large sums of money (as a donation or for a percentage of the amount involved). They may also provide fake cashier cheques for 'urgent' shipments of large quantities of goods, request sizeable fees for a fake Nigerian government contract or to supply crude oil and extort money from individuals they have convinced to travel to Nigeria for a business opportunity. If you are a victim of a Nigerian financial scam, we advise you to obtain legal advice and not to travel to Nigeria to seek restitution as there is a risk of physical assault from the perpetrators. Our information on international scams provides more detail on these types of scams.
If you are travelling to Nigeria, you should inform relatives and friends that they may receive phone calls and emails from bogus hospitals or doctors in Nigeria claiming that an Australian traveller has been injured and money is required to be sent for medical treatment. Your relatives and friends in Australia should treat any requests for money with caution and ensure that the contact is genuine, including emails purportedly sent by you, as this is a common method of extorting money. If they are concerned about you, they should first contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Consular Emergency Centre (see Where to Get Help for contact details). To minimise the risk, you should be careful about disclosing personal information and disposing of personal documents while in Nigeria.
An increasing number of Australian citizens have also been defrauded or had their lives endangered by bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes operating out of Nigeria. These scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Scammers will often spend months developing an online relationship before asking for money, for example, to enable travel to Australia or for medical costs. Each request is followed by another for ever increasing amounts. When the money is received, the relationship is usually terminated and any chance of recovering the funds is highly unlikely. In some instances, foreigners who have travelled to Nigeria to meet their friend or prospective marriage partner have been kidnapped and held to ransom, assaulted and robbed.
Money and valuables
Before you go, organise a variety of ways to access your money overseas, such as credit cards, travellers' cheques, cash, debit cards or cash cards. Australian currency and travellers' cheques are not accepted in many countries. Consult with your bank to find out which is the most appropriate currency to carry and whether your ATM card will work overseas. However, Nigeria is a cash economy and the use of ATM and credit cards is not recommended due to the prevalence of fraud. You should carefully consider when and where to use your cards or access internet banking. Facilities for changing travellers' cheques are limited.
Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travellers' cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
While travelling, don't carry too much cash and remember that expensive watches, jewellery and cameras may be tempting targets for thieves.
As a sensible precaution against luggage tampering, including theft, lock your luggage. Information on luggage safety is available from The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport. If your passport is lost or stolen overseas, report it online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.
You are required to pay an additional fee to have a lost or stolen passport replaced. In some cases, the Government may also restrict the length of validity or type of replacement passports.
Heightened security arrangements, including roadblocks, traffic diversions and parking restrictions, are in place throughout Nigeria, particularly in major cities. You should expect delays as a result of security checks.
Driving in Nigeria can be dangerous, especially at night, due to poorly maintained roads and vehicles, poor local driving habits, unpredictable pedestrians and inadequate road lighting. You should avoid unnecessary travel after dark.
Vehicle checkpoints are common throughout the country. You may be expected to show identity documents and car registration and ownership papers or to pay on-the-spot fines.
Fuel shortages are common and motorists should ensure they have adequate fuel for their journey, particularly in the northern regions.
For further advice, see our road travel page.
Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of the Bayelsa area of the Niger delta and near Lagos. See our travel bulletin on piracy for more information. The International Maritime Bureau issues piracy reports on its web site.
Airline and air charter safety and maintenance standards vary throughout the world. It is not known whether maintenance procedures and safety standards on aircraft used on internal flights are always properly observed or whether passengers are covered by airline insurance.
Following a series of crashes, there are also concerns about the safety and reliability of some airline companies operating domestic flights within Nigeria.
Domestic flights are often delayed or cancelled at short notice.
On 3 June 2012, a Dana Air flight from Abuja to Lagos crashed in the outskirts of Lagos killing all 153 people on board.
For further information, please refer to our air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
When you are in Nigeria, be aware that local laws and penalties, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards, do apply to you. If you are arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you but we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Conditions of detention in Nigeria can be extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant.
Information on what Australian consular officers can and cannot do to help Australians in trouble overseas is available from the Consular Services Charter.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and may include lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines.
The death penalty may be imposed for other serious crimes such as murder and armed robbery.
Homosexual acts are illegal and penalties include imprisonment for up to 14 years.
Taking photographs of government buildings is illegal and can lead to detention.
Smoking is banned in public places.
Offences such as stealing and adultery may attract strict penalties in the northern states that impose Sharia Law.
It is illegal to export African art, particularly antiques, from Nigeria without written authorisation from the Department of Antiquities.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
Australian authorities are committed to combating sexual exploitation of children by Australians overseas. Australians may be prosecuted at home under Australian child sex tourism and child pornography laws. These laws provide severe penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for Australians who engage in child sexual exploitation while outside of Australia.
Travellers should behave and dress conservatively outside large urban areas, especially in the central and northern regions of Nigeria.
Islamic Sharia Law has been introduced in some states in the north and is being increasingly enforced.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset is forbidden for Muslims.
Information for dual nationals
Australian-Nigerian dual nationals between the ages of 18 and 30 may be required to undertake the National Youth Service Corps program. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Nigeria for further information.
Our Dual Nationals brochure provides further information.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
Your doctor or travel clinic is the best source of information about preventive measures, immunisations (including booster doses of childhood vaccinations) and disease outbreaks overseas. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our Travelling Well brochure also provides useful tips for travelling with medicines and staying healthy while overseas.
Medical facilities are limited in Nigeria. The standard of heath care can vary in major centres, but is very basic in rural areas. Pharmaceuticals are often in short supply and poor quality substitutes are often used. Up-front payment for services is usually required and the inability to pay will often delay treatment. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (usually to London, Paris or Johannesburg) would be necessary, with costs ranging from $A13,000 to $A200,000 depending on circumstances.
The rate of HIV/AIDS infection in Nigeria is very high. You should exercise appropriate precautions if engaging in activities that expose you to risk of infection.
Malaria and other tropical diseases are common in West African countries, including Nigeria. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before travelling, taking prophylaxis against malaria, using an insect repellent, wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Poliomyelitis remains endemic in Nigeria with travellers at risk of infection. All Australians travelling to polio infected countries such as Nigeria should ensure they have completed a primary course of polio vaccinations and a booster dose prior to travel. If you are unsure of your polio vaccination status, check with your doctor or travel clinic at least eight weeks before you depart.
Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis, bilharzia, tuberculosis, lassa fever, measles and meningitis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, and avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed a human death from avian influenza in Nigeria. Australians intending to travel to Nigeria should discuss the risk of avian influenza with their doctor as part of their routine pre-travel health checks.
Australians in Nigeria should monitor the travel advice and bulletin for updated information and advice.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has confirmed cases of avian influenza in birds in a number of countries throughout the world, including in Nigeria. For a list of these countries, visit the OIE website.
Where to get help
In Nigeria, you can obtain full consular assistance from the:
Australian High Commission, Abuja
48 Aguiyi Ironsi Street
Maitama Abuja NIGERIA
Telephone: (234 9) 461 2780
Office mobile: (234) (0) 803 307 3519
Facsimile: (234 9) 461 2782
The Australian Honorary Consulate in Lagos provides limited consular assistance (not including the issuing of passports):
Australian Honorary Consulate, Lagos
8th Floor Union Marble House
1 Alfred Rewane Road (formerly Kingsway), Falomo
Ikoyi Lagos, NIGERIA
Telelphone: (234 1) 8179492
Facsimile: (234 1) 8935409
Mobile: +234 803 300 7291
If you are travelling to Nigeria, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the High Commission you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
In Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra may be contacted on (02) 6261 3305.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
The rainy season extends from May to October when some roads may become impassable.
The dry season extends from November to April. During this period, central and northern Nigeria may be affected by Harmattan, a seasonal wind which blows a high amount of sand and dust in the air. Visibility may be severely limited.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities. Information on natural disasters can be obtained from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.
Australians are advised to respect wildlife laws and to maintain a safe and legal distance when observing wildlife, including marine animals and birds. You should only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators and closely follow park regulations and wardens' advice.
For general information and tips on travelling with children see our Travelling with Children page.