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  #1  
Old 11 Jan 2008
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Safest/fastest route through Nigeria to Cameroon

Hello forum,
if nobody is traveling through Nigeria in February
(see my announcement under travel partners) maybe somebody can
answer some questions or contribute his/her experiences crossing Nigeria.

1) Which route leads me at the fastest and safest from Niamey (Niger)
to Cameroon, whereby I would like to go via Abuja (by motorbike).
Does anyone know the route
Kandi (Benin) - Segbama - Kontagora (overnight accomodation?) - Abuja
- or is it not worth the detour via Benin cross the border at Gaya?

- Or would you recomend still further to the south of Benin
crossing at Nikki - Kaiama - New Bussa.
Does anyone know about current road conditions?


2) Which is the safest route from Abuja to Calabar?
Rather the main streets ? (which directions ?)
or rather the smaller connections, which ones (can anyone provide
ascii coordinates? ?

3) Is there ONE vehicle insurance covering
the Niger (Benin), Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon?
-where to get it in Niamey


Many questions, I'd be thankful for hint and experiences.

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 23 Jan 2008
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Safest in what sense?

Anyway, my recommendation will be;

Enter from Nigeria from the NorthWest thruogh the border at Ilela (Sokoto) then do Sokoto-Gusau-Zaria-Kaduna-Abuja

From Abuja you can do Abuja-Markurdi-Ogoja-Ikom-Calabar or from Markudi come down to meet us in Port-harcourt using (Markudi-Enugu-Umuahia-Aba).

What GPS or map are you using (Michelin map and Garmin?). I have tracks for most of the route and can send you tracks or if you are using the Michelin map I can give you the names that match what you will see on the Map.

You can enter Cameroon through Ikom whichever route you take.

Let me know your requirements.
Any of the routes you take, you have to watch out for;

Cars/Buses/Lorries in that order. Be alert especially when going around bends
Potholes

Police check points. You have to slow but on a bike, you don't really have to stop.
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  #3  
Old 25 Jan 2008
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Thumbs up Nigeria not all that bad!

I crossed nigeria in jan, actually spent new year in abuja!
I think someone high up in the ranks is trying to promote tourism so you will be welcomed at all policecheck points and at the border crossing! dont go the coastal route. I went east from niamey for about 400km then coossed into nigeria.cant remember the crossing name.
I stayed in Zinder? abuja and Oboja! then crossed into cameroon.
Abuja is a good place to stock up on visas. its a crazy place and feels very safe!
do yourself a favour and try at every angola embassy to get a visa!
i am stuck in point noir congo and cant go any further!
the roads become very bad as you enter cameroon. you better prey that there is no rain when you cross! youwill see what i mean!
safe travel
orrin
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  #4  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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Hi inyang,
thanks for your offer.
since I travel alone, my concerns are about fake police stops and the like.
I use the Michelin Map and an old etrax so ascii (or txt format would suit best). I thought about avoiding the bigger cities like makurdi and Enugu.
I will not be brave enaugh to go to Port Hatcort.
So if you could provide a list of names an coordinates that would be kind.
mikebison7@gmx.de

Michael
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  #5  
Old 10 Mar 2008
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I went through to cameroon from nigeria in november 06 via the border point at ekok. I left calabar early in the morning and got into Mamfe in cameroon around 6 that night. The road out of calabar is really new and cuts into the forest quite far but a bit before the border it stops (although this should have got a bit longer since i was there) and goes into a crappy mud track.
The weather was dry at the time but if its rainy season its going to be really hard work. I did the crossing in about 10 or 11 hours of physical riding only to meet up with 3 4x4 overlanders who had taken 3 days to do it and eventually had to pay a local jcb driver to cut a route out of the forest for them!
I hope that doesn't put you off. By the way, out of all thw west african countries Nigeria was the friendliest. As a biker they love you, the bad press comes from the oil workers getting grief and not the touristy people.
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  #6  
Old 19 Mar 2008
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Visa at the border?

Hi all,
Did you arrange your visa for Nigeria at the border or did you get it sorted out before you left your own country?
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  #7  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltar14 View Post
Hi all,
Did you arrange your visa for Nigeria at the border or did you get it sorted out before you left your own country?
You cannot get visa at the border. Met with an english couple who tried the border, not knowing any better, and they were flat out refused entry. The police there were polite and courteous, so it wasn't due to some local fusspot who threw his weight around. Those are simply the rules (this was january this year).

You can get the visa in Niamey (Niger) or any neighbouring country. The Nigerian embassy in Niamey is open for visa applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 o'clock. Normally it's a 3 day wait. But because of christmas and newyears, we got ours sorted the same day. Cant remember the price exactly, but I do remember it was one of the more expensive ones. Price is variable depending on your nationality. I have been told that getting the visa from your home country doubles or even triples the cost of the visa. Plus you will be required to submit an arrival date and point of entry. Something a lot of travelers on this forum are simply unable to do, due to the nature of their trip.

If you need it, I can post the coords for the embassy in Niamey, and also a fair priced hotel/hostel as well as a campsite (allthough I wont recommend the campsite unless as a last resort).

Best regards

Torsten

Edit: You will need your yellow fever certificate for the Nigerian visa.

Last edited by McThor; 22 Mar 2008 at 21:41. Reason: Addendum
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  #8  
Old 27 May 2013
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Nigeria

Sorry for digging up such an old topic, but wha would be a recomended route from Benin to Cameroon taking the latest Boko Haram problems into consideration? Should I choose the ocean route?
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  #9  
Old 31 May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electro View Post
Sorry for digging up such an old topic, but wha would be a recomended route from Benin to Cameroon taking the latest Boko Haram problems into consideration? Should I choose the ocean route?
Cross from Benin via Save or Nikki (there are some posts about this here in this board), then continue north to Abuja and go down via Makurdi to Cross Rivers or Taraba State. There you won't have hazzle with BH or the southern militants and the usual criminals around Lagos.

safe journey
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  #10  
Old 31 May 2013
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Hello,

I crossed from Benin at Ketou/Abeokuta last month and then headed east to Ibadan, Oshogbo, Akure, Benin City, Onitsha, Enugu, Ikom and then into Cameroon at Ekok.
I found the border crossings to be rather hassle-free but the check points can sometimes be a pain when the folks manning them have decided you to give you a hard time. The check points are plentiful near the borders, Ketou to Abeokuta being the worst stretch. Keep smiling and be patient.
The country is definitely on edge due to the latest developments in both the northeast and the Niger Delta where violence is flaring up again.
If you are driving you may be able to drive past some of them, I was cycling and I could not.
Hope that helps,

L.
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  #11  
Old 2 Jun 2013
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It turned out that it is not so sweet after all.
I got to Immigration at Cotonou. A police officer at the office said that the visa extension is 12000 CFA, but I have to pay a penalty of 50000 CFA, because the visa I got at the border is for transit only and if I want a normal visa I should get it in advance. I thought it was a scam, but spoke to two other people at the office and they said the same thing. If that's a way to promote tourism in Benin then I'm out.

The good thing is that I could leave on my 48h transit visa without even visiting the Immigration. I had to chose the border crossing with Nigeria by the ocean and it was a breeze - friendly and quick. Was quite shocked, after reading other people's reports.

I took Lagos-Benin City-Calabar route. From the border to Lagos quite a lot of police checks, takes a lot of time but no problems. Crossing Lagos is a challenge ;-) And the road safety in Nigeria is terrible - take a lot of care. These people are driving like crazy!
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  #12  
Old 2 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie025 View Post
Cross from Benin via Save or Nikki (there are some posts about this here in this board), then continue north to Abuja and go down via Makurdi to Cross Rivers or Taraba State. There you won't have hazzle with BH or the southern militants and the usual criminals around Lagos.

safe journey
Hi Zombie025
I´m crossing from Benin to Camerun through Nigeria by bike next october 2013.

Many people is scaring me saying I should take a boat and don´t touch Nigeria. But I saw that you know the route quite well, the one you recomended is because of safety reasons or becasuse is a beautyfull route?

Please tell me a bit more from this country (safety).

Thanks a lot in advance.
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  #13  
Old 2 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Playmobil View Post
Hi Zombie025
I´m crossing from Benin to Camerun through Nigeria by bike next october 2013.

Many people is scaring me saying I should take a boat and don´t touch Nigeria. But I saw that you know the route quite well, the one you recomended is because of safety reasons or becasuse is a beautyfull route?

Please tell me a bit more from this country (safety).

Thanks a lot in advance.
Hi,

You might want to check out the (video) reports of Brendan VanSon. He went through Nigeria on a moped recently:

Benin City, Nigeria (Day 131) - YouTube

Happy travels,

Gee
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  #14  
Old 2 Jul 2013
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Hi,

from my experience, 8 years in Nigeria till today, thereof 6 years on bike, i recommend this route as well as on safety issues and also pleasant riding:

The crossing close to Lagos is safe, but the frequent checkpoints, sometimes even in eyesight of each other, are a real pita. Further north, the road is worse, therefore not many people are traveling there. That leads to a reduced number of checkpoints, on my last trip after christmas 2012 i just met one friendly police checkpoint and one funny port health control checkpoint, that i just ignored.

Securitywise i see it like this: where noone normally travels no armed robber, sticker boys etc. will expect a foreign traveler to disturb.

The middle belt to Abuja is safe, closer to Abuja you will see more army and police cp, but they are all calm and friendly, as long as you slow down, wave and smile.

After Abuja is easy, as long as you avoid Plateau or Bauchi state. on the crossing of the benue river you might see some sticker boys, but normally for a bike youre approaching too fast, just watch out for nailboards.
Further south then is like stealing candy...

any more questions feel free to ask
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  #15  
Old 2 Jul 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie025 View Post
Hi,

from my experience, 8 years in Nigeria till today, thereof 6 years on bike, i recommend this route as well as on safety issues and also pleasant riding:

The crossing close to Lagos is safe, but the frequent checkpoints, sometimes even in eyesight of each other, are a real pita. Further north, the road is worse, therefore not many people are traveling there. That leads to a reduced number of checkpoints, on my last trip after christmas 2012 i just met one friendly police checkpoint and one funny port health control checkpoint, that i just ignored.

Securitywise i see it like this: where noone normally travels no armed robber, sticker boys etc. will expect a foreign traveler to disturb.

The middle belt to Abuja is safe, closer to Abuja you will see more army and police cp, but they are all calm and friendly, as long as you slow down, wave and smile.

After Abuja is easy, as long as you avoid Plateau or Bauchi state. on the crossing of the benue river you might see some sticker boys, but normally for a bike youre approaching too fast, just watch out for nailboards.
Further south then is like stealing candy...

any more questions feel free to ask

Thank you SO MUCH!!! i´ll ask you dor sure some more things soon.

Best Regards
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