Nigeria is not known for surfing. Scams, oil spills, crime, ethnic tension and violent woodoo are more likely to come to mind as Nigeria has a somewhat bad rep around the world. This is not an obvious choice for a surf trip if you are not in the area or has to be here as an expat or so.
With a population of 170 million people that makes every fifth African a Nigerian, you must imagine it is a heavy populated country. Not many of these people surf though. And that makes the coast pretty unexplored when it comes to surfing.
If you can stand the relative hassle of travelling through Nigeria and the sometimes polluted waters, then you should be able to find some good waves and empty lineups several places along the coast.
The Waves in Nigeria
Nigeria is situated in the corner of The Gulf of Guinea and that picks up some swell. Most of the mapped spots you’ll find around the city of Lagos but it’s not a place to be, as it is hectic and unpleasant for anybody who is not a hardcore Africa traveller.
Look out for…
Crime and polluted waters. But if that doesn’t bother you, then you sure will have the line-ups all to yourself. Also you have to look out for crocs at some places, especially near river mouths.
Also beware of the risk of getting Malaria.
Visa to Nigeria
You will need a visa, and yes, it will be a struggle to get it. Start planning well ahead if you intend to go straight to Nigeria. Many embassies will only issue visas to residents of the country where the embassy is located.
That means a stopover in a neighboring country to get a visa. Ghana could be a good alternative for this, as the plane tickets to Accra is quite cheap. But if you are in Ghana it takes quite the adventurer to leave these surfing options behind and head to chaotic Nigeria.
Nigeria Surf Spots:
Lighthouse and Tarqwa Bay: Just south of Lagos you will find a couple of surf spots – one at the beach (Lighthouse) and one at the Jetty (Tarqwa Bay). They are working quite nice but the water is not always super clean. If you go here make sure to have a place to stay and have somebody you know travelling with you.
Port Harcourt: there should be surfable waves around Port Harcourt as well but beware of the crocs. Not many would go here if surfing is the only purpose of their trip.
After your visit to Nigeria please report back to GoSurfAfrica.com and let your experiences and photos benefit later surf explorers. Also contact us if you need more information about surfing in Nigeria and we will try to help you and answer all your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.