"A South African In Nigeria – What It’s Really Like"

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This is an article written by the South African freelance travel writer, Kate Els, 3 years ago. Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos is hot, humid and loud for any South African in Nigeria. Not in a tropical island sort of way really, more like you’re walking into a wall of heat and sound and you feel a little disorientated. My connotations with Nigeria before I visited the country were definitely not sunshine and roses… Landing in Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos was what I had researched most ahead of my trip to Africa’s largest city. If Internet forums and reviews were to be believed, this is where I would lose all my life’s savings, luggage and dignity, so I was reasonably concerned about how my trip through Nigerian customs control would go. As it turns out, there wasn’t much to fear as a South African in Nigeria. The city’s airport is really just like very many others I’ve passed through. Yes, the queues are long, but have you been through Dubai? Yes, the security guards are intimidating, but have you flown to Berlin? Yes, people are pretty loud and ‘shouty’, but have you ever travelled in Africa? After reading all the online forums and then making my way through customs myself, I can happily report that nobody has died waiting in those queues or been permanently detained and had to take up residence in the airport. So, you will make it through, just be patient and polite and wait until you’re instructed on where to go. There is also the rumour that unless you pay a fixer to get you through the airport, you won’t make it. This is not true at all. I can assure you that the airport officials don’t want you waiting around in their halls for kicks, and are more likely to push you through than hold you back at the counters. Travelling Through Lagos (to continue)... Picture of MMIA sourced online.

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