Travel Recommendations For Northern India In Winter

Do you have plans of visiting northern India? Before going there, you have to consider these travel recommendations for northern India in winter.

Family Vacations: 10 Tips When Travelling by Car With Children

Traveling with children can be great if you plan ahead a little. Here are ten tips to help your car vacation go a lot easier.

Seven Tips For Travel Trips

We love taking trips, whether it’s a short road trip, or a longer trip by air to some distant exotic place. But all too often we fail to plan for our trip and the result is frustration and annoyance. Here are seven tips for your travel trips.

Cruise Holiday Tips For Smooth Sailing

A cruise holiday requires planning in order to be the best it can be. Check out these tips to have a cruise experience you will remember.

A Time To Unwind In An All Inclusive Family Resort

Making plans to fulfill your dream vacation with your kinfolks is a good idea. Realize your dream by choosing the best all inclusive family resort you can possibly look for.

Friday, February 24, 2017

5 Spots to Meet 'the One in' Victoria Island

5 Spots to Meet 'the One in' Victoria Island

Victoria Island, possibly the most adulated area in all of Lagos state is an awesome destination. From its attractive scenery to the numerous fancy fun spots, it is hard to encounter boredom while visiting. Victoria Island is quite expensive however, and you have to work extra hard to be able to afford a place in the area, as such, most of its inhabitants work all the time and barely have time to go out and meet people or “the one”.

Spending time wandering Victoria Island’s many restaurants, bars, and fun spots solo, does not exactly sound like an idea of a good time. And again, having to resort to dating apps or sites to find a potential suitor with whom you can hang with is equally - if not less - appealing.

If you are in Victoria Island and having a hard time finding the right partner, here are some ideas on how and where to meet “the one”. Read on to discover…

Shoprite

Shoprite is the most popular shopping mall in the city with locations at key areas of the city and provides a surprising variety of opportunities to meet men and women. Single men and women in Lagos prefer a rush in to pick needed groceries after work, or in the morning on weekends. Chances are you'll find someone who lives in your neighborhood and likes the same favours you do. The good thing about Shoprite is that it is always located in a mall that offers the opportunity for instant mini-dates. If things are going well, you can say “Hey, listen, I feel like going to grab a sandwich at the food court, Come with me.” Instant dates change the dynamic as you get a chance to flirt, banter and get that number.

RCCG City of David

One of the most popular and populated churches on the Island, RCCG City of David is a good place to meet ‘the one’ who shares the same faith and moral ground. There is a higher chance of finding serious men and women who are looking for a life partner rather than a night out on the town. Also, not only do you get edified by the sermons but you can find that perfect someone perhaps sitting right next to you.

Federal Palace Hotel

Federal Palace Hotel, one of the high-end hotels in Lagos is a perfect place to meet the one. A lot of people swarm their restaurants for business meetings and just for a fancy meal. Whatever your reasons for being there, if you are searching for the one, seize every opportunity you get and get a waiter to introduce you to the man or woman sitting and having dinner all alone…or do it yourself. Either way, make a move.

Soul lounge

A bar typically may be one of the oldest ways to meet someone, but it still works. Soul lounge is not the trendiest bar in Victoria Island at the moment but, it definitely exudes a certain blend of sophistication and tranquility, and you rarely find skanky women in loud heels or snarky men in shiny shirts at the lounge. All you need to do is send a complimentary drink to a person of interest through a waiter or boldly walk over and strike a conversation. It could be the first of many conversations towards a happy ever after.

Mega Plaza

To be specific, the suya spot at the ground floor of Mega Plaza which basically offers the best Suya in Lagos. They have a signboard with an inscription that cracks you up but suggests to you that you stand a chance at meeting someone at the location. A stick of Suya is about N500. There is a variety to choose from: beef, chicken, livers and beef entrails. You could also order sharwarma and fresh juice from Sphinx while you are at it.


Shaunz Bar

Shaunz bar is an amazing spot for Karaoke, Live Band and Dance in VI. It’s popularity comes from the fact that it’s well equipped for a fun Karaoke night with quality speakers to TV screens all around down to a touch screen for your song inputs. One of the thrilling parts is that you can record your performance and take home with you on a CD. Even if you don't have it in you to take the stage, the drinks are cheap and the people watching ranges from "wow" to "that's hilarious" to "what a train wreck." No matter the level of talent however, the entertainment factor is epic. It is certainly a good spot to find the one…especially if you have a preference for someone who enjoys music.

Lagoon restaurant

This is a great place if you are looking to meet people from the upper middle class to high class. Located on Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island Lagos, the Lagoon restaurant features an outdoor space for revelers and food lovers who seek great cocktails, nice shisha, and palatable meals including Chinese, Indian or Lebanese cuisine, pizza and burgers.

7 Ways to Avoid Travel Rip-offs in Warri

7 ways to avoid travel rip-offs in Warri

The overall impression of Warri, a popular city in the southern part of Nigeria, is that it is the most aggressive city in Nigeria, as it is dangerous and crime ridden and its inhabitants are mostly belligerent. According to the Vanguard Newspaper, ‘…that the oil city of Warri, Delta State is perhaps the most hazardous metropolis in Southern Nigeria, is doubtless’. Some travel sites have even flagged the destination as a red zone as numerous travelers have complained and narrated cases of robbery and rip-offs.

While the city might indeed have some security issues, it certainly is a wonderful place to visit and explore as it offers business opportunities as well as many sights for tourists, including the Delta Ports, Nana Living History Museum and Red Mangrove swamp. If you find you have to visit this destination and you are worried about being a victim of any of the many travel risks elaborated all over the internet, below are seven helpful ways to avoid travel rip-offs while visiting Warri.

1. Ensure you have pre-arranged airport pick-up

The airport is usually crammed with taxi cabs looking to drive you from the airport to your destination. The cabs, usually, are not metered and the taxi drivers charge you on their discretion. Most of them charge exorbitant prices if they look at you and feel you have no clue as to what the rates should be or you are dressed expensively. Again, some of the cab drivers are peddlers who pose as cab guys, and many people have been duped of money and belonging in this fashion. Always make arrangements for pickup before you arrive; there are a number of cab companies you can patronize online and most hotels will have their own cab services to offer. Alternatively, you can avoid being ripped off at the airport by taking public transport or asking a friend or family member for a ride.

2. Do not indulge helpers at the airport

Usually, when you arrive at the airport, a lot of people rush to offer some form of assistance either to carry your luggage or assist you with information. Most times, their offers are exceedingly cheap or enticing. Beware of these ‘helpers’ as they could be culprits looking to rip you off. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, exchange all your money, if you need to, within the airport as there is a higher chance of being conned outside the airport.

3. Lookout for tourist trap restaurants

While visiting the city, you certainly will have certain iconic tourist destination in mind that you want to visit. If you are visiting a restaurant or attraction that has an online presence, try your best to Google it to see what the locals or past visitors have had to say about it. Again, you can check to see if there are coupons or discounts that could benefit you such as getting free breakfast or 15% off the total bill for doing a review on the hotel or restaurants, etc. Generally, the reviews will let you know if visiting the location would be a good idea or you would just be wasting your money.

Aerial view of Warri


4. Avoid Organized Tours

There are a number of fantastic tourist destinations in Warri and nearly every tourist agent or site will offer some sort of packages that bundle in several sites to be seen for a fee. These tours may not seem like a bad deal but a lot of times, they actually are. Many of the sites will have free entry but by paying for the ‘package deal’, you have now paid to get in. Again, while it may seem like these organized tours are providing you with cheap transport to these different tourist locations, a little research would reveal that transporting yourself is a cheaper option and might even be much more comfortable.

5. Do not show off money and expensive jewelry

Showing off money and expensive jewelry makes you a target for rip-off basically as it presents you as someone who has more than he/she needs. Any vendor who eyeballs you counting large sums of money or wearing very expensive jewelry will automatically offer their items or services at exaggerated prices. Unless you are a celebrity who has an assistant running errands for you, try your best to stay conservative.

6. Review all bills carefully

Most visitors to Warri often make the mistake of failing to go over their bills, especially the restaurant, and hotel bills when they get it, and they end up paying for a lot of stuff that they did not use or buy. Look through and ensure you remain accountable and not swindled in any form. In a case where you have reviewed the bill and found mistakes, though, ensure that you politely ask the staff to fix it. A polite request will go much further than an aggressive accusation in Warri.

7. Be mindful of the hotel Wi-Fi

Most hotels in Warri do not come with complimentary Wifi, so you find that most hotels charge as much as NGN500 to NGN2000 per day for in-room Wi-Fi. These rates are a little pricey, considering you can easily just set up your own personal hotspot on your smartphone and use your cellular service to access Wi-Fi on other non-cellular devices. Doing this reduces the chance of you being ripped off in any way.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

How to Survive a Trip to Lagos on Less Than $10 a Day

How to Survive a Trip to Lagos on Less Than $10 a Day

Lagos offers a unique charm with diverse sites, bustling districts and an eclectic blend of modern conveniences surrounded by local traditions. As such, the standard of living is relatively high and inhabitants are forced to cough out a lot of cash for basic expenditures.

Seeing as the city is considered one the most expensive in the country, most low-budget travelers tend to stay away. However, Jumia Travel, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal has tips on how to survive a trip to Lagos on less than $10 (about NGN 4,000) a day.

Choose location wisely

While Lagos is expensive, there are areas within the city that are affordable as regards hotels, transportation and shopping. Find out those low-brow areas and plan your trip around there. No matter how distant the location might be from the tourist sites you may want to visit or the business program you are attending is, you can always find a way around as long as you drat a plan. Also, a number of hostels, inns and even hotels in these areas are relatively cheap and below the average Lagos price range. Some of these areas include Epe, Festac etc.

Have a plan for expenses

A traveler to Lagos can achieve much and still survive under $10 a day. Create a schedule that organizes you expenses, from feeding to transportation and even shopping, as that is the easiest way to curb excessive spending and remain within budget. A plan ensures that you know how much you need to spend, where and how. Note that it is important you keep your plan feasible and realistic and most of all stick to it.

Alternative housing options

Aside from hotels and inns, there are other housing options. You can decide to camp in a certain free zone or location if you are adventurous, stay with a friend or even a hospitable local family , or you can request for accommodation from churches, religious centers or NGOs who have programs that allow for free accommodation. Whichever option you chose, you end up cutting out the expenses that come with housing and you just have $10 for feeding and transportation basically per day.

Lagos street food

Live on Street food

There is an abundance of street food around Lagos. From fried yam, plantain and potatoes to puff-puff, roasted yam and other delicacies, there is a wide range of choices for the traveler and the good thing is that these choices are not just very filling but are very affordable. Living on street food does not deprive you of balanced meal as there are enough choices to constitute a healthy meal on a very low budget.

Traffic transportation Lagos, Nigeria

Use Public Transportation

Stay away from taxi cabs or transport charters. Stick with the Danfo buses, keke-na-peps and Moluwes. They are not only affordable, but they will also give you an opportunity to experience the city in unique ways that will leave lasting fond memories.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Obudu Resort: The Place Where the Sky Kisses the Earth

Obudu Resort: The Place Where The Sky Kisses The Earth

Who is surprised that one of the best resort in Nigeria is located in Calabar? You should not be. This is because Calabar in South-South Nigeria is a well-known tourist hub frequented by fun seekers from within and outside the country. To further put this in perspective, the capital City of Cross River host the Calabar Carnival, which is known as Africa’s biggest street party. But this is by the way.

Obudu Resort is one of the most pleasant and complimenting places to getaway and has an unforgettable time in Nigeria. In fact, you don’t need to travel out to Dubai, Paris, London, Milan or New York for your vacation. Obudu Resort is your best bet for an amazing break or holiday to detox.

Jumia Travel, the online booking agency spoke with Noel Ubong, a manager at the Obudu Resort who told us more about the resort.

History

Ubong said: “Obudu Ranch Mountain Resort, Obudu Resort for short is a plateau of sort situated in Obanliku Local Government area of Cross River State. The Resort is comprised of 22 rolling hills with near flat tops and has a land mass of 340 square kilometers. With a temperate weather, the Resort enjoys one of the most pleasant climatic conditions in Africa, with an average temperature of 11c.

“Obudu Resort was discovered in 1949 by a Scottish Ranger/Adventurer, Mr. Mac Caughley who in the course of tracing the Southern Highlands from Enugu stumbled on this mesmerizing mountain range. He left back and return with a Veterinary Doctor, Mark Hughes, and Rtd Major Cranfield. They settled here a while and Cranfield realized the economic and tourism potential of the Resort and started an integrated farm. Cranfield got a lease on the Resort from the then Colonial authority and developed it into a full Ranch, thus the name Obudu Cattle Ranch. The Obudu Resort is owned by the Cross River State Government.” He concluded.

Attractions

Ubong again: “Besides the over 150 rooms, the Resort boasts of an ultra modern international conference center, a spa, a gym, a games house, and Kiddies play zone.

Other exciting attractions according to Ubong includes,

The Cable Car which is the longest passenger Cable Car in the world. The cable cars run on a cable which has the carrying capacity of 6 people. You will get a panoramic and picturesque view of the resort from the Cable Car. It is wonderful and remarkable.

Obudu Resort cable car

The Waterpark comprised of the sports pool, the fun pool, and the kiddies pool. The Fun Pool has heightened Slides (long snaky slide and short slide). The Waterpark is sandwiched by scenic mountains and overlaid by a beautiful Love Garden. A cascading rocky stream adds so much fascination to the Park. Also, there's the Grotto. This is a twin Waterfalls that empties into a natural swimming pool.

The Holy Mountain is another thrill Obudu offers. This ancestral worship place and historic bunker have the most volatile temperature in the Resort. Generally, it adds to why Obudu Resort is described as the place where the sky kisses the earth.

The Becheve Nature Reserve and Canopy Walkway is an Urban Park of some sort. It is home to rich and rare fauna and flora. This Reserve is a must see. The Canopy Walkway is a 60 Km walkway that provides a volatile mixture of fear and excitement.

The Resort also has a Dairy Farm, Honey Factory and Vegetable Farm where carrots, grapes, cabbage, lettuce etc are grown.

Restaurant
Ubong rounded up the chat stating that the ranch has about 4 restaurants that offer both local and continental foods and drinks. He concluded that you can book the resort on Jumia Travel.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Behaviours to Avoid When Traveling in Some Parts of Northern Nigeria


Behaviours to Avoid When Traveling in Some Parts of Northern Nigeria

Nigeria is like an umbrella sheltering different cultures, religions, traditions, and values. This is why there is a cultural difference between Southern and Northern Nigeria. What is acceptable in the South may be outrightly offensive North. You can describe it as a liberal south and conservative north. Hence, when you are junketing especially around Northern Nigeria, you should be very conscious of what you do because it may unpleasant to the people. We have identified some of these behaviours. You should not ignore these tips if you find yourself in the North to prevent any unpalatable backlashes.

Public display of affection

Cuddling, holding hands and other forms of public display of affection is nauseating to many in the North. If you are so bent on showing off your romantic prowess, you should wait till you return to the hotel you booked.

Engage in religious disagreement

Religion is a sensitive issue in some parts of Northern Nigeria. So, if you are a Muslim. Christian or traditionalist from any other parts of Nigeria or a tourist, you should sidestep any religious discussion or argument. It is better you just enjoy your stay and keep your religious convictions to yourself.

Not covering your hair

As a lady traveling to the North, you already have a dress code. It doesn’t mean you adopt that type of dressing. But the least you can do is to never to leave your hair open. Always cover it even if you don’t like it. And, don’t display sensitive features of your body.

Mingling with women

Culturally and religiously, men are not allowed to mingle with women in Northern Nigeria. So, as a man, you should not be found amidst women no matter how essential your message or encounter may be.

Eating publicly during fasting

You will observe that many of these behaviours or actions are hinged on religion. This is because Islam is the major religion in the North and things they do are dictated by Islam. So, if you are a non-believer in Islam, you should not eat in public especially during fasting. Try as much as possible to eat your food in your room.

Friday, February 17, 2017

5 Ways to Stay Awake During Long Haul Drives

5 Ways to Stay Awake During Long Haul Drives

You must have heard road mishaps that happened because the driver slept off while driving. These calamities usually happen after only a few seconds winks. There are other circumstances whereby, the driver sleeps briefly in traffic only to be woken up by the irrational honking of fellow road users. Not to worry. You can successfully drive to anywhere and still stay awake if you apply these tricks. This will help you stay safe behind the wheels.

Make regular stops

You should make frequent stops during a long drive to stretch your legs whether you are alone in the car or not. This stops will keep you more alert when you restart your trip. Importantly, be mindful of where you stop. It is better to stop at fueling stations or restaurants.

Avoid driving after midnight

If you are still behind the wheels after midnight, it is advisable you temporarily halt the trip and lodge in a hotel. Normally, our body is built to sleep around that time. So, to avoid any accident, just search for a hotel near you and pass the night there.

How to Stay Awake During Long Haul Drives

Drive with a friend

This is perhaps the best way to stay awake during any drive. This is because you can chat with your friend. And your friend can also take your place whenever you are tired.

Chew gum and let the music play

Chewing gum and music can help you keep your eyes on the road. So, do not hesitate to buy gum and play your favourite music. It doesn’t have to be music. But at least something should be playing in your car to distract you.

Don’t drink alcohol

Many drivers think that drinking alcohol will make them very alert behind the wheels. Yes, you may be alert but you be overly aggressive and drive recklessly. By the way, drivers driving under the influence of alcohol should not be allowed near a car. This could cost him his life.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Top 6 Annual Festivals in Nigeria

Italy and Brazil may be known as the flagship countries that popularized festivals all over the world, but with time, other countries and societies, including Nigeria are now rising up and boosting their local festivals so much that they now even stand a chance at competing with the later festival giants. While Festivals are not new to Nigeria, in recent time, some major festivals are now popularized so much that tourists from around the world visit the country annually for the events.

From the Eyo Festival to the different city carnivals, there is a variety of events and festivals that celebrate either religious history, music, art indigenous folklore or Nigeria’s cultural heritage, most of them featuring local music, costumes, parades, dancing, alcohol, and food. Below are the top 5 of these festivals that are held annually across the nation.

Top 6 Annual Festivals in NigeriaUgie dance
Igue festival chief danceChieftaincy title holders dance during Igue Festival

1. The Igue Festival

The Igue festival is the biggest and most flamboyant of all the festivals celebrated by the Oba and people of Benin Kingdom in Edo State. It is celebrated every december by every reigning Oba and his subjects to mark the end of the Bini's year and as a thanksgiving to the outgoing one. It is normally celebrated with a lot of pomp and pageantry during the first half of the month of December (first fourteen days of the month) of every year.

During the celebration of the Igue festival, it is forbidden to hold any burial or funeral ceremonies in Benin kingdom. This is because Igue is seen as a period of joy, and should not be interrupted with any form of public mourning.

The Igue festival, which is a period of offering thanks to the gods for sparing their lives and to ask for blessings, is also used for offering sacrifices to some deities in the palace. During this period, chieftaincy title holders display their Eben emblem in the Ugie dance as they appear in their attire, according to the type of dress the Oba bestowed on individual chiefs during the conferment of title, while the Oba seats majestically in the royal chamber (Ogi- Ukpo). The Igue festival is also a period to drive away evil spirits (Ubi) and bring blessings (Ewere) to every home in the kingdom.

Durbar Festival

2. Durbar Festival

The most ancient and prominent festival in the northern regions of Nigeria, the Durbar festival is popular in Maiduguri, Kano, Katsina and Zaria. Originally intended to mark the advent of a war between ancient kingdoms or regarded as a form of military parade to the emirs and their councils to showcase the fighters who defended the territories, the festival is now performed and considered a ceremonial parade. The parades are filed with aesthetics, colors and it serves to reveal the loyalty of the paraders to the emir as well as reveals their strength and readiness for war. The ceremony is major part of the Id el Kabir celebrations as well as the Id el Fitri marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan and it attracts visitors and tourists year after year.

Eyo Festival

3. Eyo Festival

A regional festival that is unique to the city of Lagos, Eyo festival stems from ancient Yoruba history and is speculated to be the inspiration for the modern day Rio de Janeiro carnival in Brazil. The festival features a major parade with participants dressed in while flowing robes that cover their entire body, top hats and sticks; and masquerades referred to as “Eyo” as well as costumed dancers. One of the major objectives of the festival is to pay homage to the Oba of Lagos as well as. The 24-day event sweeps through the entire city with focus on the Lagos Island and attracts a large number of tourists from around the world.

Osun-Oshogbo Festival

4. Osun-Oshogbo Festival

A highly cultural and spiritual festival held annually in Osun State, the Osun-Oshogbo festival is held between the months of July and August and sees thousands of Osun worshippers, observers as well as tourists from all over the world who come to join in on the festivities. Celebrated at the Sacred Osun grove in honour of the river goddess, Oshun of Osun State, the event spans for two weeks. The first stage features the ‘Iwopopo’ - a traditional cleansing of the land- at the initial stage, ‘Ina Olojumerindinlogun’ - the lighting of the 500-year-old sixteen-point lamp- three days later and finally the ‘Ibroriade’, an assemblage of the crowns of past rulers, and a committee of priestesses. While the colorful parades and parties across the city suggest light-hearted merriment, the Festival is a strong aspect of the Oshogbo culture.

Argungu Fishing FestivalArgungu Fishing Festival
Argungu Fishing Festival prize winnerWeighing the fishes caught to determine the Festival Winner

5. Argungu Fishing Festival

With an origin traced to the visit of the late Sultan Dan Mu’azu in 1934 who was honored with an akin festival, the Argungu fishing festival has been around for quite some time. The festival, widely popular in Kebbi and Sokoto state areas, is a competitive feast that aims to weigh the fishing skills of the locals. It is usually celebrated between the months of February and March and also marks the end of a farming season. As music, drums and dance envelops the air, anxious participants try to outdo each other in a bid to gain the biggest catch. Other activities, including swimming competitions, bare-hand fishing, canoe racing and wild duck hunting serve as side attractions. At the end of the festival, the winner is hugely celebrated, there is merriment across the towns and the river is sheltered to ensure it yields fishes for the next festival.

The New Yam Festival

6. The New Yam Festival

An extremely popular festival that everyone indigenous to the south-eastern regions of Nigeria look forward to very year, The New Yam Festival is locally referred to as Iriji-Mmanwu,Iwa ji, Iri ji or Ike ji, by the Igbo speaking areas in the region. Ripe with masquerades, colorful costumes, cultural dances and displays, the event symbolizes the end of a harvest and the commencement of the next work cycle. The celebration is a highly cultural occasion and unifies the different Igbo communities together as they are essentially agrarian and dependent on yam.