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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 4 Jan 2006
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Safety in Nigeria

Next week we're going to start our journey from Poland to Cameroon by 2 cars. I'd like to aks for any comments and infos about safety in Nigeria, because we're realy don't know that is safe traveling our own car through Nigeria to Cameroon. Are Nigerian's Cops trully corupted??
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Old 4 Jan 2006
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Stay north in Nigeria and you'll be fine. Avoid the Port Harecourt region.

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Old 5 Jan 2006
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Thx Rob for info;-)

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Old 5 Jan 2006
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For what it's worth-I've been working in Nigeria, and traveled all around the country. Now I'm on my own overland trip, South Africa to Morocco, at the moment in Ibadan, Nigeria.

I really think that Nigerian police is OK, if you handle then correctly. Most of the road blocks are to prevent armed robbers-that's your big concern. When coming to a police check point, just slow down, wave, (tell them "well done") on go.
Last month It took me 1 day from the Cameroonian border(Ikom) to Ibadan(Via Abakaliki, Enugo, Benin city), and i did not stop once. as soon as you stop, they see there's a
'business opportunity" and may hassle you. If so, stay come. Assuming that you papers are in order, you have no problems. the "local government" can ask for some type of permit...this was outlawed last year, and if you insist, they will let you go.
The North part is a bit better, but the Ibadan -Ikom is also an option.

safe travels.
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Old 5 Jan 2006
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Went through the north, from Niger through Kano to Cameroun. Mixed experiences from a (bored) soldier waving his gun in my direction and asking for me to pay because of irregularities in my passport (just kept saying no with a smile and he let me go), to some very friendly cops stopping me to help them pick lottery numbers. Overall I got stopped loads, had one dodgy experience and about 10 friendly ones.

The dodgy checkpoint and the soldier with the waving gun began with me treating his checkpoint like a chicance and blasting throught it. he came running out from behind a tree, though I had thought it was an abandoned checkpoint.

The only thing I would add is to slow down for every checkpoint, even when it looks deserted. Keep smiling and try not to worry too much about the reputation. As Chris' AMH book says about Nigeria, 'anything can happen, even good things!'
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Old 5 Jan 2006
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My technique is:

Slow down but don't stop.
Spot them, wave in a friendly way to catch their attention then you look away immediately and drive on.

Because human nature is to wave back if waved to, odds are that their immediate reaction will be a friendly wave back. That you are then 'watching the road', makes it difficult for them to change that into an attempt to flag you down - particularly as you have already 'exchanged pleasanteries'. If they manage to stop you anyway, you can say 'but you waved so I thought it was okay, I'm really sorry'...

If forced to stop, do so immediately, in the middle of the road and switch off the engine (and wait for the traffic to build behind!). If you are in a safe area, jump out - your separatin from the vehicle makes the situation less controllable. They'll be keen to keep their checkpoint clear, and so will probably wave you on more quickly. They can't complain that you 'stopped too quickly!'.

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Old 5 Jan 2006
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Thanks for everybody for infos, i hope we wont have any big problems. We're going to travel by 2 cars with 6 persons to Burkina, and after selling one car one of us will go home through Algieria, we'll continiue trip to Cameroon. If somebody will be in Nigeria, Niger or Benin on 29.03.06 can see total eclipse of the sun.
Details on this site: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclips...6/TSE2006.html
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Old 20 Aug 2008
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The method

Slow down, wave early to catch their attention, as soon as their hands start to wave back as a natural reaction, give them the thumbs-up (i.e. the trans-African "all good").

Works for me - YMMV.
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