If you’ve been on the fence about taking a trip to Nigeria, go ahead and book your flight NOW. Be aware that Christmas is one of the best and most expensive times to go, those were our original plans but when God says go he knows it’s all for the best. No matter when you go, there is endless amounts of fun to be had, just make sure to stay alert and prepared with my list of things to do before you visit Nigeria.
The first half of our trip was spent in Husband’s village in Delta State. While this was an awesome experience on its own, we were elated to experience an authentic Traditional wedding. Along with visiting the homes, my Inlaws built for the family. Villages have come a long way from my last visit 20 years ago. Looking forward to seeing even more progress for our next trip.
A few days later, we flew from the village to Abuja. When we arrived, We hit the ground running and even ran out of time before leaving Abuja. When you plan your trip, make sure to include some of these on your itinerary.
Things To Do In Abuja
Get a SIM card.
The most convenient and affordable way to keep communication going when you travel to Nigeria is to go with an unlocked phone. When you arrive, purchase a SIM card and add minutes/Data as you go. Remember to have WhatsApp downloaded so you can utilize your previous phone number for phone or video calls back home.
Get Your Hair Braided
You know I love my wigs, but I had to convince myself to take advantage of my current opportunity and get my hair braided in Nigeria. Paying 25-30K Naira was such a great deal compared to the prices in the states. This is your one-stop shop for hair, nails, and makeup. You know how you go to the salon in the US and expect to spend hours on hours? Not here! They are trying to get you in and out honey! I went to Bold and Beautiful in Israel Plaza in Abuja. I got to the salon right before it opened and they started on my hair right away. There was no moment of lull, once I was done in 1 area I was whisked to the person In the next area. When she massaged my scalp, I was in heaven. I got my red tapered fro colored, steamed and braided plus a pedicure for an awesome price and enjoyable service.
Get Custom Tailored Outfits
There are so many tailors in Abuja. Hubby and the boys got adorable matching Men’s Trad/Kaftan made from his tailor so I just had to get Miss Dee to create a set for me so I could fit in with the boys. Miss Dee’s is definitely my new favorite spot for getting custom pieces and I made sure to collect a couple of Ankara fit. Miss Dee’s is located in Garki market.
Her staff is awesome and fast, 7 garments in less than 7 days is alot to ask for, right?. I’ll be rocking all the pieces I got in the near future so get ready. Ankara overload. I’m even more excited that I found a print that matches one of the Maknisy bags.
Go Bowling At The Dome Abuja Or Party At One Of The Many Clubs
A Private Cooking Class At Helen’s Kitchen with Chef Emeka
Visit An Abuja Art Gallery
We stopped by Nike Art Gallery to take in the local art scene.
Go To The Market And Flex Your Haggling Muscle
This one by far is my favorite thing to do in Nigeria. There’s something about the thrill of getting a better deal through negotiations. Raise your hand if you’re an African in Diaspora and grew up with parents trying to haggle, even when it wasn’t appropriate. LOL. Well, this conditioned me to become a natural haggler. At first, I was told to avoid speaking in the market. This was so merchants wouldn’t hear my American accent and take advantage of me when pricing. Little did they know, I prepared my whole life for this moment. When haggling on my own I would walk away with items 50% or more off of their initial quoted price.
Please keep in mind that negotiating is expected at the market and most stand-alone stores in Nigeria. Don’t go to Shoprite and say Onyi taught me how to get a lower price. Don’t embarrass me, my friend. Watch how others are doing and get a feel for yourself. You might feel a thrill like I did! Who doesn’t love a sale price they earned?
My Tips For Haggling Like An African:
- Maintain a look of disinterest
- Always remain polite but firm
- Have a little pidgin English in your vocabulary so they’re unsure of where you’re coming from. Frequently I was asked if I was from South Africa so that must have been how my pidgin came off. At least they weren’t tipped off to my Yankee status LOL
- After you eventually ask ‘How Much?’, wait for their reply and ask ‘But how much will you give me?’
- Have a limit on how much you want to spend in mind. No matter what they originally quoted, ask for half of it. You can always go up when negotiating but you can never go lower.
- After a little back and forth, if they are not willing to meet you at the max you’ve set, walk away from the deal.
This 2018 trip to Nigeria has been the best trip I’ve taken so far. From visiting friends and family in the village to partying and shopping in Abuja, none stop fun was had.
This list will be updated with even more things to do in Abuja, Nigeria as we start to visit more often. Keep on the lookout for things to do in Lagos on our next adventure!