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[Nigeria]Nigerian glossary



Filed under: bradt,travel — kevin @ 08:00

After Lokoja my next destination was Jos. Unfortunately it seems the only direct car leaves early in the morning, so I had to go via Abuja. On arrival I stopped at AfriOne for a cappucino, which I sorted out where I was going to stay.

For my first night I was at the Plateau Hotel. It’s fairly typical of the state-owned hotels, obviously once quite grand but now badly run down. The bar up on the balcony at the front is quite nice though.

I went and had a look at the Hill Station Hotel, where the auditions for the Gulder Ultimate Search were being held. The swimming pool was full of fit young people in swimming costumes, surrounded by onlookers.

On my second day I moved to Les Rosiers, a lovely little bed and breakfast run by ex-pats. They’ve converted a couple of outbuildings in the grounds of the beautiful colonial house into guest suites, very nicely decorated.

I also headed out to the wildlife park, not many animals to be seen, in fact the closest thing to wildlife was a large school outing and a group of Youth Corpers.
An ugly concrete statue of a lion. A animal eating grass in an enclosure.

In the evening I joined Julia and Heather for a meal at the Elysar restaurant, an unusual combination of Lebanese and Chinese food. We chose Lebanese starters and then struggled to finish our Chinese main courses, Julia and Heather took doggy bags away with them.



Filed under: bradt,travel — kevin @ 07:24

The first stop on my tour of the north was Lokoja, capital of Kogi “The Confluence State”. I arrived on a Sunday and the place seemed very quiet, although it has an interesting atmosphere, pretty much half and half northern/Hausa and south-west/Yoruba.
Two rivers join, with a town in the foreground.

As the nickname of the state suggests this is where Nigeria’s two great rivers, the Niger and the Benue, join. The name Kogi means river in Hausa. Lokoja was also the first British settlement in the north, as a result it’s full of decaying colonial buildings. These include northern Nigeria’s first prison (now the laundry for the hotel I was staying in), Lord Lugard’s Residence (now a museum, below) and the first European school in the north.
A wooden colonial house on stilts.  A man stands on the red painted steps.

I took an okada ride up Mount Pati, which rises above Lokoja and is covered in communication masts, to get a view of the rivers. On the way up and down I noticed that the local okada riders use the streams that run down from the hill and alongside the road for washing. In this case not just washing their bikes but also their clothes and themselves, the naked okada riders seemed completely unperturbed by passing traffic.


Farewell tour

Filed under: bradt,travel — kevin @ 10:43

I’m travelling for the next two weeks, my farewell tour of northern Nigeria. Once it gets closer to my leaving date, at the end of September, I probably won’t have much time for travelling.

So updates and checking email will be infrequent for the coming fortnight.

Updating northern Nigeria

Filed under: bradt,travel — kevin @ 10:00

I’ve got some work doing research for Bradt, updating information for the next edition of their Nigeria guidebook.

To get started I spent most of Saturday wandering around Kaduna, checking prices and phone numbers. One thing I realised is that having some kind of transport would probably be a good idea, for the other cities I think I’ll hire a car and driver, trudging around in the heat gets a bit too much.

As I was scribbling down prices off restaurant menus a couple of people asked me if I was planning to open a new restaurant in Kaduna. I assured them I was just gathering prices for some visitors.

Due to the strike, getting prices at Kawo motor park was a little difficult. All the usual union staff were there, but out of uniform. The destination signs were missing from the tops of the cars, making it difficult to find which ones were going where. One man insisted that the price to Abuja is 1000 Naira and always has been, despite the fact that only a couple of weeks ago it was 700! After that I gave up, to return once the strike is over and sense has returned.

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