Cheap Thrills: Summer Destinations for Nigerian Travelers on a Budget

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As the summer months and summer bodies approach, Nigerians are searching for budget-friendly destinations to escape the heat and explore new cultures. Fear not, because we have got you covered! From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the wildlife of Kenya, and the tropical paradise of Maldives, here are some affordable travel destinations for you to consider this summer. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen and let’s dive into these exciting travel destinations!

 1. Morocco

Morocco is a beautiful country located in North Africa with a very rich cultural heritage. Its unique blend of Berber, Arab, and European influences is reflected in its architecture, food, and traditions. Morocco’s capital city, Marrakesh, is known for its bustling markets, called souks, where vendors sell everything from spices to handmade textiles.

Travelers can expect to spend about ₦650,000 or more on return flights from Lagos to Marrakech, while accommodations can range from from ₦37,000  to ₦110,000 per night with an average of ₦52,000. Vacation rentals can cost about ₦230,000 per night for the entire home. You can also expect to pay between ₦65,000 to ₦182,000 for a Moroccan visa, depending on the processing time. 

Popular budget-friendly activities in Morocco include visiting the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, exploring the medinas of Marrakech and Fes, hiking in the Atlas Mountains, and trying traditional Moroccan dishes like tagine (a slow-cooked stew) and couscous. Staying in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house, can also be an affordable and authentic accommodation option.

When packing for Morocco, it’s important to remember that the country is predominantly Muslim. It is important to dress modestly and respect the local customs and traditions. Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites. Don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes if you’re going to be walking around the souks and exploring the cities.

When entering a mosque or other religious site, it is customary to remove your shoes, and women are expected to cover their heads. It is also important to ask permission before taking someone’s photo and not to take photos of military or government buildings.

2. Ghana

Ghana is a West African country that has a rich history and culture. It’s kind of like Nigeria’s sibling country because we have related so much over the years as two of the English-speaking countries closest to each other in West Africa. Also, Ghana’s culture and structure aren’t far off from Nigeria’s. Ghana’s capital city, Accra, is a bustling metropolis that blends modernity with tradition. Ghana is known for its vibrant music and dance scene, with popular genres like highlife and azonto.

Return lights from Lagos to Accra can cost ₦330,000 and more, while accommodations can range from ₦10,000 to ₦100,000 per night depending on the location of the hotel and the amenities available. Popular activities in Ghana include visiting the Cape Coast Castle, exploring the Kakum National Park and the bustling markets of Kumasi, and trying traditional Ghanaian dishes like jollof rice and banku. Ghana also has a bustling nightlife where you just might run into a celebrity or two. 

Ghana is quite hot and humid, so keep that in mind when packing. Take lightweight and breathable clothing with you, as well as comfortable walking shoes for exploring the cities and markets. In Ghana, it is important to be respectful of the local culture and customs. Dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites. It is also important to be aware of your surroundings and not to display expensive items.

3. Kenya

Kenya is a country located in East Africa that is known for its wildlife and stunning landscapes. Its capital city, Nairobi, is a hub of culture and commerce. Kenya is home to over 40 different ethnic groups, each with their own unique traditions and customs.

Travelers can expect to spend between ₦490,000 to ₦1,500,000 on return flights from Lagos to Nairobi, while accommodations can range from ₦55,000 to ₦350,000 per night depending on the hotel, location and the amenities. You can also expect to pay about ₦37,000 for a Kenyan visa. Popular activities in Kenya include visiting the Nairobi National Park, hiking Mount Kenya, going on safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve, visiting the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, and trying traditional Kenyan dishes like ugali and nyama choma.

When packing for Kenya, it’s important to keep in mind that the country is a mix of cultures and traditions. Use your discretion to decide what to wear and where. Take lightweight clothing with you, as well as comfortable walking shoes for exploring the national parks. It is important to be respectful of the local customs and traditions. When visiting Maasai villages or other traditional communities, dress modestly and ask for permission before taking photos. It is also customary to shake hands when greeting someone.

4. Maldives

The Maldives is a tropical paradise located in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning coral reefs. Perfect for Instagram photos, if I do say so myself. The Maldives is a Muslim country, but it is also a popular tourist destination that caters to Western visitors.

The average price of return flights from Lagos to Malé, the capital city of the Maldives, is about ₦1,200,000. Accommodations can range from ₦40,000 to ₦400,000 per night depending on where you decide to stay and what amenities are available. Some budget-friendly activities to consider in the Maldives include snorkeling and diving, visiting local islands, and watching the sunset from the beach. Staying in guesthouses on local islands can also be a more affordable accommodation option than staying in a resort.

The Maldives is predominantly Muslim, so it is important to dress in modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites and local islands. Alcohol and pork are prohibited in the Maldives, so you’ll need to be aware of this when dining out. Do not forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun!

5. Comoros

Comoros is a small island nation located off the coast of East Africa. It is known for its stunning beaches, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful natural landscapes. Comoros is made up of four islands, each with their own unique traditions and customs.

Holiday-goers can expect to spend between ₦550,000 to ₦800,000 on return flights from Lagos to Moroni, the capital city of Comoros while accommodations can range from ₦37,000 to ₦148,000 per night depending on the accommodations you choose. Popular activities in Comoros include hiking as you can enjoy stunning views of the Indian Ocean, snorkeling and diving, exploring local markets for crafts and spices, wildlife spotting, visiting the stunning beaches of Mohéli, exploring the colonial architecture of Moroni, and trying traditional Comorian dishes like pilao and langouste (lobster). Remember to always negotiate prices and ask locals for tips. 

In Comoros, it’s important to dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions. When visiting mosques or other religious sites, it is customary to remove your shoes and cover your head. When packing for Comoros, keep in mind that the country is hot and humid. Lightweight clothing is recommended, as well as comfortable walking shoes or sandals for exploring the islands.

6. Benin

Benin is a West African country that is known for its rich cultural heritage and history. Its capital city, Porto-Novo, is a hub of culture and tradition. Benin is home to several ethnic groups, each with their own unique traditions and customs.

For return flights from Lagos to Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, costs can range between ₦360,000 to ₦410,000, and accommodations can run you up anything from ₦18,000 to ₦132,000 per night, of course depending on the hotel and the location. Activities you might be interested in when you visit in Benin include visiting the historical city of Ouidah, exploring the Abomey Historical Museum, enjoying the beaches, exploring the Dantokpa Market in Cotonou, visiting the Ganvie stilt village on Lake Nokoué, one of the few places in the world where people live on stilts, walking through the UNESCO-listed old town of Ouidah, known for its history in the slave trade, and visiting the W National Park, which spans three countries and is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and hyenas. You should also try traditional Beninese dishes like akassa and gari.

When packing for Benin, you’ll need lightweight, breathable clothing, as the country is hot and humid, as well as comfortable walking shoes for exploring the cities and markets. It is important to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or areas outside the main tourist areas. Benin is a predominantly Christian country, but it is also home to many traditional African religions. Respect for these beliefs and practices should be observed. Also, when entering a home or a sacred space, it is customary to remove your shoes. Haggling is common in markets, but please be respectful and don’t haggle too aggressively.

7. Mauritius

Mauritius is a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its stunning beaches, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful natural landscapes. Mauritius is also a melting pot of cultures, with Indian, African, and European influences.

Travelers can expect to spend between ₦450,000 and ₦800,000 on return flights from Lagos to Port Louis, the capital city of Mauritius. Accommodations in Mauritius can range from ₦25,000 to ₦220,000 per night depending on the location and the amenities. Popular activities in Mauritius include hiking Le Morne Brabant, visiting the SSR Botanical Garden, exploring the markets of Port Louis, visiting the stunning beaches of Flic-en-Flac, enjoying the colonial architecture of Port Louis, and trying traditional Mauritian dishes like dholl puri and rougaille.

Mauritius is quite hot, so consider this as you pack. Take lightweight clothing with you, as well as comfortable walking shoes or sandals for exploring the island. Dress modestly, remove shoes when entering homes, and respect local customs and traditions. Hinduism and Islam are the dominant religions, so visitors should be aware of and respectful of religious practices.

In terms of safety, all of these destinations are generally safe for travelers, but it’s important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling alone or at night. Keep your head on a swivel. Women also need to take extra precautions and dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention.

For visas, Nigerians don’t need any for the Maldives, Ghana, and Benin. However, for Morocco and Kenya, Nigerians need to apply for a visa prior to arrival. In Mauritius and Comoros, Nigerians can get a visa on arrival for stays of various time periods. 

Vacationing can be daunting but it isn’t necessarily out of reach, even as a Nigerian using the naira. There are many affordable and culturally rich destinations to consider that will make you forget the stress of daily life. There is actually something for every type of traveler on almost any budget. By planning ahead and taking safety precautions, you can enjoy a summer of fun and adventure in these beautiful destinations.

*This is a rough estimate of possible travel costs, using black market rates. Prices may vary based on your preferences for travel dates, accommodations, activities, and other factors.*

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