Nigeria: Yoruba Culture and Hausa Emirates

Other Destinations

Trip Duration Days - 12 Days

Nigeria: Yoruba Culture and Hausa Emirates

Price Starts from € 2650

Last Places has designed an itinerary to understand Nigeria, Africa’s most diverse country in cultural terms. With the help of an anthropologist that has studied several Nigerian ethnic groups we will learn about their daily live and taboos. The trip will evolve from the tropical Southwest to the dry North. First we will explore mighty Lagos and the Yoruba culture. Then, we will cross the Niger River and plunge into an isolated territory with several unique tribal groups that still practice body and facial tattoo and scarification. The trip will end in the Hausa Emirates, whose architecture is a treasure with deep rooted traditions that we will unveil.
Date: 23 November 2021 - 3 December 2021

Duration: 12 days - 11 nights

Guide: Eva Colomer, anthropologist specialized in cultural taboos in Nigerian tribal societies.

The price includes:
All transfers
- Domestic flight
- Transport in minibus or coaster bus
- English speaking guide
- Local guides
- Food mentioned in the itinerary: BB: Bead and Breakfast, HB: Half Board, FB: Full Board
- 2 bottles of mineral water 1,5 liters per day, per person
- Accommodation in hotels
- Visits to different sites and to tribal communities
- Basic travel insurance

Price does not include:
- International flights with air taxes
- Drinks at meals
- Visa + management
- Tips
- Cancellation insurance / Basic travel insurance
- Any service not indicated in the itinerary
Day 1 (Saturday 27 November): EUROPE – LAGOS
Arrival in Lagos International Airport. The guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. Accommodation in Ibis Hotel or similar. BB
Day 2 (Sunday): LAGOS – ABEOKUTA (2h)
Breakfast at the hotel. Early departure to avoid traffic jams towards Abeokuta, a sacred place for the Yoruba people. The mountain, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria, sits in the heart of Abeokuta – a name which means “Under the rock” in the Yoruba language; We will also have the chance to explore the Central market and the Old quarter.  Accommodation in Continental Suites Hotel or similar. BB
Day 3 (Monday): ABEOKUTA – IBADAN – OSHOGBO (4h)
Breakfast and departure to Oshogbo, Yoruba-land’s major spiritual centre. On the way, we will stop in Ilesa Kingdom to visit if possible, the Royal Palace, an interesting example of classic Yoruba architecture. In Oshogbo we will be introduced to the Yoruba religion by visiting the Sacred Grove and the Shrine of Oshun (Yoruba goddess or Orisha who reigns over femininity, fertility, beauty, and love. She is connected to destiny and divination).  Inside the forest one can appreciate the intricate artisan carvings (the lifework of Austrian artist, Suzanne Wenger). Each year the Shrine is the site of a huge festival to honour the Goddess of the Waters and Fertility. Oshogbo is also famous for its art schools and numerous galleries. To top the day, we will visit a contemporary Orisha temple and meet a Yoruba priest to ask for his advice. He will also explain how the Yoruba religion survives in Nigeria despite the advance of Islam and Christianity. After this intensive day, transfer to the hotel and dinner. Drinks in a nearby terrace.  Accommodation in: Adolak Hotel or similar. BB

Day 4 (Tuesday): OSHOGBO - ILORIN (3h)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Ilorin, the first big Muslim city that we will encounter in our trip. Arrival and check in at the hotel. The city is a confluence of cultures, populated by Yoruba, Hausa, and Fulani tribes among others. The indigenous people's culture is predominantly Islamic. Apart from the exotic atmosphere the visitor can admire some interesting examples of Islamic architecture such as the Central Mosque and the Emir’s Palace. Pottery is big business in Ilorin. The city boasts the biggest traditional pottery workshops in Nigeria. They are located in Dada area of Okelele, Eletu in Oju Ekun, Okekura, Oloje, Abe Emi and Ita Merin. Refreshment at a local centric bar. Dinner at the hotel. Accommodation in: Bovina Hotel or similar. BB
Day 5 (Wednesday): ILORIN – JEBBA – KONTAGORA (8h)
Early breakfast at the hotel and morning visit in Ilorin’s Old quarter. We will cross the Niger River at Jebba where we will have lunch and visit the fishing quarter on the shores of the river. This is the historic place where Scottish explorer Mungo Park was killed by the local tribes in 1806 when they mistook him for an Arab slave trader (after many weeks without a decent bear shaving Mr. Park looked ‘threatening’). After the visit, we will drive to Kontagora Emirate. Accommodation in: Safar Hotel. BB
Day 6 (Thursday): KONTAGORA – KAMBERI – ZURU (2h)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive to Kamberi tribal territory. Stop in the first Kamberi compounds for an introduction to their culture. The Kamberi have kept till nowadays their Animistic religion, the custom of tattooing and lip piercing, and the traditional adobe architecture. Around Kamberi ‘capital’ -market day-other Kamberi clans will be visited. The local guide will explain some facts and curiosities of the Kamberi culture and we will be able to ask questions and interact with them. Picnic (cooked vegetables, yams, fruits). Accommodation in: Lelna Suites & Hotels. HB (lunch)
Day 7 (Friday): ZURU – RIJAU - DUKKU – ZURU (1h)
Breakfast. Market day in Rijau, so we will check for tattooed and scarified tribal people in the market and then continue to Dukkawa tribal territory to meet its people. We will have the chance of comparing the differences between tattoos and scarification and the customs and traditions of the different generations of this unique people. With a local guide we will be able to learn about their daily lives and enjoy a culture that has survived quite untouched in modern Nigeria. The Dukkawa architecture (huts and granaries) is quite special too and we will be able to appreciate the different decorative styles by walking from one hamlet to another. Accommodation in: Lelna Suites & Hotels. HB (lunch)
Day 8 (Saturday): ZURU - ZARIA (7h)
After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will leave Nigeria’s ‘tribal island’ and drive to Hausa Territory, land of Emirates. Picnic on the way to reach Zaria in the afternoon. We will stop on the way to see vernacular architecture. After a long day of driving, we will check in at the hotel. Accommodation in Fabs Hotel or similar. HB (lunch).
Day 9 (Sunday): ZARIA – KANO (2h)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will spend our morning exploring Zaria Emirate. This is the beginning of the third part of the trip, focused around Nigeria’s Hausa Emirates.
There are seven Emirates, and Zaria is one of them and probably one of the most traditional ones. Being far from the main economic axis has allowed the old ways to resist well into the 21st century. Full day to explore old Zaria on foot, its magnificent Palace (we will try to have an audience with the Emir or with one of its representatives). After the visit to the palace we will drive to Kano, Nigeria’s second largest city. Founded in the 10th Century, Kano is one of the oldest cities in Africa and it is Nigeria’s political and business center in the Sahel region. Check in at our hotel and visit to the city within the walls (mostly destroyed by erosion and war but still 40% of the adobe structure remaining). Explore the old quarters and feel the pulse of the city. Some of the few remaining Hausa style buildings are not far from the Emir’s Palace. We will visit them and learn about this unique Sahel culture. We cannot miss Gidan Dan Hausa historical building and today museum and the 500-year old dyeing factory where indico tainted fabrics can be purchased. Accommodation in Tahir Guest Palace Hotel or similar. BB
Day 10 (Monday): KANO – LAGOS
Breakfast at the hotel and last visits around Kano’s old quarter. At the appointed time, transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Lagos. Transfer to the hotel and visit the Sub-Saharan Africa’s most populated urban conglomerate. From popular floating quarters such as Makoko to the elegant villas in Victoria Island. Lagos is a concrete and humid monster with its charm. We will adapt to the city’s traffic jams and we will do our best to get the essence of Lagos. Accommodation in Ibis Hotel or similar. BB
Day 11 (Tuesday 7 December): LAGOS – FLIGHT BACK HOME
Breakfast at the hotel. Depending on the departure time we will have some time to visit the National Museum or Fela Kuti’s (Nigeria’s most famous musician and father of afro beat). At the appointed time, transfer to the airport. Flight home. BB

Nigeria Visa
A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Nigeria. Applications for visas have to be made in advance in the travelers’ home country. Last Places assists all travelers that need any type of help applying for the visa at the embassy. We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival.

Vaccines and Travel Health
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is essential for entry to Angola. Malaria is prevalent in the country. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling through Nigeria. Water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should drink bottle water. Visitors should also avoid eating unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables.

Security in Nigeria
Nigeria has a population of almost 200 million souls… This means that any small incident can develop in a complicated situation. We recommend to avoid travelling during political elections because some roads get cut or curfews are sometimes applied. Some parts of Northeast Nigeria should be avoided despite that Boko Haram movement has moved to Lake Chad islands and is decreasing. The roads in that region (Borno State) are full of military controls that make the trip tiring. In big cities as it happens all around the world, one must be careful during night time and be careful with personal belongings (mainly passport, vaccination card, and money) in crowded markets where pickpocketing is always active.

When to go to Nigeria
Travelers can visit Nigeria all year around. Last Places offers trips to Nigeria all year around. Said this, dry season –from November till April- allows the traveller visit all tribal areas while whet season – from June till October- may limit the visit to certain regions.

Currency in Nigeria                                                                                       
The unit of currency is the Naira (NGN). If you bring Euros or US Dollars is better you change them in Lagos where you will get a better exchange rate than in other cities. Generally, foreign credit cards are not accepted in many of the stores or even hotels in Nigeria.

Time in Nigeria
GMT +1

Electricity in Nigeria
In Nigeria the power plugs and sockets are of type D and G. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

Communications in Nigeria
The international dialing code for Nigeria is +234. There are many more mobile telephones than fixed lines and the mobile coverage is much more reliable than fixed lines. Internet access is available at most major hotels.

Language in Nigeria
The official language of Nigeria is English. The lingua franca of Nigeria is Nigerian Pidgin - an English-based creole language. Pidgin is most widely spoken in the Niger Delta, where most of its population speak it as their first language. The language shares a lot of similarities with English-based creoles found in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaican Patois. In Northern Nigeria Hausa is the dominant trade language and a guide fluent in Hausa is needed to communicate with local people in markets and rural areas.

Prohibitions in Nigeria
Do not take photographs of government buildings, or use binoculars near them, as this could lead to arrest. We recommend asking permission to people before taking their picture to avoid uncomfortable situations.