In the lobby of the Abuja Sheraton Hotel & towers the Dutch embassy organised the exhibition of the "World Press Photo'' during our stay. It was a nice ambiance -with free admission- for this interesting exhibition.
Many of the touching pictures were taken at the African continent. Later during my Africa-trip I saw the same exhibition a second time in the National Museum of Addis Abeba.
Abuja, the new capital of Nigeria is a modern new-built city with huge buildings, new housing areas and wide boulevards.
But don't be surprised to see also rural scenes as herds with cows and goats between the traffic and concrete buildings.
We walked several times in the area just west of the Sheraton Hotel to visit the shops and restaurants. We enjoyed the lively streets in this part of Abuja.
Everyday we passed this place, where some men always gathered in the shade of the trees, just chatting with each other and looking at the daily life, passing by in the streets.
Abuja has a lot of wide boulevards. Some of them have hardly any traffic.
In the Wuse district and the area west of the Sheraton Hotel near Herbert Macaulay Way you find lifely streets of a normal size with a lot of people around. Here you can find a lot of restaurants, supermarkets and internetcafes.
Some of the new modern buildings of Abuja are finished, like the presidential guesthouse, the law courts and the huge mosque. We stayed near the -at night brilliantly lit- mosque. So this enormous building was a good landmark for us.
Allthough some ministries are still in Lagos, many official functions are allready moved to Abuja. So Abuja is slowly becoming the actual capital of Nigeria.
For some visa we had still to go to Lagos, for others we could find the embassies in Abuja.
The town of Abeokuta was not very exciting. Except the market and the rocks, there was not much to see. So, I just strolled around a bit and visited the internet cafes regularly, waiting for the visa from Lagos.
Unlike Lagos, Abeokuta looked a rather safe town. Further Abeokuta is known, being the birthplace of the writer Wole Soyinka and the musician Fela Kuti. And the president has also his residence in Abeokuta, not far from our hotel.
In Abeokuta we visited the lifely market in the citycentre. I bought peanutbutter, tomatosauce, maggi and all kind of vegetables for making the West African groundnutsoup, that I learned to cook in Ghana many years ago.
Except food you can also find many other goods and materials at the market, like the indigo adire cloth, created by the Yoruba people.
I got this inspiration from a member here, having read her page. In Nigeria, you will see the big multinationals everywhere, but the poverty of the people does not go away. This village knows about Coke, they sell Coke, they consume coke, but they still enjoy their poverty.
Another awesome Nigerian childhood memory: When we were living in Nigeria, one Christmas we all went to Yankari Game Reserve Park. I vividly remember how excited we were because we've never been on a safari. It's been many years ago and I can't remember what animals we saw. However, I do remember swimming in Wikki Warm Springs (also in the Reserve). If you ever visit here, you need to take a nice dip !
The water was so clear and relaxing. Of course then, us kids had a blast! We came back for a fun night time swimming. The Springs were lit up with flood lights. I would love to come back here. Another very vivid memory, my Dad forgot to lock our car doors and a baboon got in and ate, of all things, a bar of soap!!!
“For us to achieve the targets we are setting for ourselves, we must, where necessary, be able to effect attitudinal and personnel changes towards the realization of our goals, for the overall benefit of our people.”...President Obasanjo March 2004
“We are promoting responsible change; change with vision and direction; a change founded on solid democratic institutions that respond to the citizens mandate and seek the well-being of all Nigerians.” .... President Obasanjo
Abuja (pop. 380,000) is a planned city, built from scratch to be Nigeria's capital (which it became in 1991). Located near the center of Nigeria, it has also been a very expensive undertaking -- at least $10 billion so far. The planners designed the city to grow on a progressive basis: government buildings and light industry facilities were the first things built, with additional residential and cultural facilities following later. Abuja has an international airport and some of the country's best hotels, if you are interested in urban planning or have business with the government, this sis the place to be.
If you happen to come to Nigeria and visit Lagos, try to visit the National theatre, located at Iganmu. It is full of activities, ranging from musical concerts, night clubs, drama, movie shows, and lots of entertainment. The National Theatre is one of the centres of attraction and activities in Lagos. The house is a mgnificent edifice cosntructed and built by German constractors and architects, its A rock in Nigerian Theater entertainment.
Arriving in Lagos and touring the city can be stressful. Not only do you have the typical concerns of travelling as a probably wealthy foreigner in an emerging market, but you cannot trust the authorities. Corruption is rampant and bribery is expected. The airport, as probably anyone who has travelled within the domestic United States, is considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Don't even try to fight it -- if you are stopped for a minor infraction, get ready to pay.
See the beaches, but do not plan on doing more than photography in the Lagos region. They are crowded and not really 'tourist-friendly.' Again, the country is supposed to have some beautiful beach life, but I did not get a chance to enjoy this.
THESE ARE THE MOST STRKING PLACES I WOULD LIKE YOU TO VISIT IF YOU EVER COME TO NIGERIA:
1. The First Nigeria Storey Building at Badagery
This is the house where slaves (mostly Nigerian
people) were kept before shipping them overseas.
2. ANATIONAL THEATRE at Iganmu, Lagos. It is a
magnificent building with fine architectural
designs. It was built by German architects. This
is where most of the Nigerian artists perform.
3. YANKARI GAME RESERVE at Bauchi state (north of
Nigeria) if you are a game lover.
4. OLUMO ROCK at Abeokuta in Ogun state. It is a huge
mirraculous rock formation that provided a shelter
and solace for the people and saved them from the
menace of slave raiders in those old days.
5. ABUJA - The New Federal Capital territory. It is
Excllent 5-star hotel, though, as of lack of a golf course only rated with 4 stars. Besides nearly...more
The Hilton is the best place to stay in Abuja. Keeps the quality for years. good fittness club,...more
Km. 16 Ph / Aba Expressway, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
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