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Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Canada
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Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Yesterday, I was offered a temporary position with the Canadian government in Lagos for 6 weeks, and am trying to determine if I will take it.

My main concern is personal safety - I am willing to take reasonable precautions (stay to well-trafficked areas, travel with someone where possible in the day, limit travel after dark, use hired drivers, don't dress in a manner that indicates I have money, etc.), but am wondering what my level of risk (of robbery, armed robbery, assault, sexual assault, kidnapping, burglary) is even with these precautions. Will I be stuck inside my hotel every evening because I shouldn't really go out after dark?

I should note I'm in my early 30s, white, female and petite. This would also be my first trip to Africa, and my first trip to a developing country - no matter what, this is going to be a new experience, and I'm expecting a good amount of culture shock.

I'm also wondering what there is to do evenings and weekends in Lagos - I've seen reference to a few beaches (with various warnings about safety), a couple of museums, a market, and a shopping centre. For a city this size, it seems incredibly limited - am I missing something? Or are these simply the "safe" activities for tourists?

I'd be there in late May and all of June, which I understand is the rainy season. Can anyone tell me how wet I should expect it to be? I've seen video of the flooded streets - is this exceptional or common? Will it rain all day, or will there be showers and then clearing? Is it torrential downpours or just constant drizzle?

Any thoughts, advice or experience would be appreciated.

Kuala Lumpur...
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1. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Question...there are a lot of job scams. Are you sure your offer is genuine?

Canada
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2. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Yes. I work for the Canadian government. This is a program through my employer to give people field experience. My last posting was in New York, and now I have been offered Lagos.

Edited: 2:28 pm, March 29, 2011
London, United...
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3. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Lagos is a lovely place to go just be careful, most hotel have their night clubs, my parents live in Nigeria ,when i trave to lagos i uses taxis, first ask the reception how much it will cost you to places and you bargain with the taxis driver.

You have to bargain, dont take their words , because they might change you more than what you supose to pay.

Same thing happen to me when I went to New York for thankgiving.

Good luck mind the mosquito

grace

ada
cardiff
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4. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Lagos will be an alternate reality if this is your first 3rd world experience. There will be things that you enjoy, things that will irk you and things that you will never be able to explain to folks back home. Your problem in researching things to do is that Nigeria as a whole and Lagos in particular is not really set up for standard style tourism at the present time - if you think of off-the-beaten-track kinda travel it is more dont-even-know-where-the-track-is! Shame because it has a wealth of cultural and natural experiences on offer. To address specific points in your post

-safety: is relative as always. Most foreign/embassy workers get a thorough briefing before travel and on arrival - be sensible and follow the advice given. This will mostly mean not going around on your own and though people do have an active nightlife in Lagos it is best to stick to what is on offer in your hotel unless you are going with people who know what to do. Yes, personal safety is always an issue, but remember that everyday Nigerians are friendly,helpful etc and you are at risk of all the things you listed anywhere else in the world even Canada.

- things to do: there are some ideas listed from other posts here tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293824-i9115-k4…

-rainy season: Lagos rain is the full-on tropical downpour kind - heavy with thunder/lightening. It usually rains for short periods rather than all day and there will be flash flooding as you describe (partly due to poor drainage/infrastructure). The skies clear after the rain and you can tell its going to rain from the front of dark clouds coming your way. The rain is usually welcome because it gets really sticky/humid before and cools down after.

As said by above poster, dont forget antimalarial prophylaxis (as well as relevant jabs including yellow fever)

Canada
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5. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Thanks for your thoughts. Still haven't made a final decision, but am less worried than I previously was about personal safety, and more worried about isolation and culture shock.

Danville, California
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6. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

I would not worry about safety so long as you stick to your hotel or the embassy gives you a driver if you decide to go "shopping" or to a restaurant. But probably not a good idea to go walking around on your own unless you are inside a secured gated community like VGC.

For 6 weeks I would recommend it - a great way to check out what it is like to live in a place like this without the long term commitment. Just don't leave cash in your hotel room like my co-worker did - it will disappear.

Canada
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7. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

Again, thanks for your thoughts. After discussion, I decided to turn down Lagos at this time - I don't think it would be a great first assignment outside of North America, particularly given my limited travel experience in developing countries. But, I do hope they offer me something like this in a year or so, when I am more experienced.

8. Re: Working in Lagos for 6 weeks

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