World's worst places to backpack #14

Nigeria - land of milk and honey....

The most populous country in Africa, with one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Abavo Market

With tropical rainforest in the south, rugged highlands and valleys to the south west, a coastline dominated by the famous Niger Delta and the massive desserts of the mighty Sahara encroaching on the northern borders it shares with countries such as Chad and Niger. This sounds like an Ecopackers traveling oasis.

Wikki warm springs

Amid the lakes and forests, savannahs and plateaus lie one of the worlds largest river deltas, the worlds largest diversity of butterflies and an abundence of that stuff called 'black gold'.

Cheka Kidogo expo portraits
Market Merchant

Sadly im not talking about the African people, it is after all the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. Rather its the vast quantities of oil that lie beneath its surface that throw this country into this list of worlds worst places to backpack.

Nigeria is the largest exporter of oil in the continent, a member of OPEC and high up there on the list of most corrupt countries in the world. Backhanders are common, wink wink nudge nudge and hows your father, may get you through most situations, but if your billy the backpacker, chances are your a bit slim on the swiss bank account department. Keep your money close and your passport closer. Chances are you will be swindled at some stage on your backpacking journey through Nigeria.

Its capital city, Lagos is officially the fastest growing city in Africa.

Lagos, Nigeria

Flights are cheap and you can score some flashpacker accommodation for around $40US a night for a double by the beach.
You can even hit one of four beaches within 25km of Lagos, Lekki beach is one of the more famous for resort style accommodation.

Lagos Beach

The nightlife in Lagos comes highly recommended, as does a 9mm pistol under your bulletproof vest. You can hip hop you way around many bars along the beaches and inner city clubs are often set in classy hotels. This is where you will find most foreign partypackers giving it the big one.

Travel outside of Lagos and the odds of you having a close shave with either a lashing, stoning, amputation or just a long prison term are pretty high. Beware when traveling in the north about such commonplace norms such as drinking alcohol, you could find yourself the subject of some public street theatre in the central plaza.

Project Nigeria : Day 2 : The Law.

If you plan on some ecopacking around Africa's largest mangroves, a hotbed of biodiversity, dont accidentally pack your BP petrol card. Kidnappings and extortion are some of the tactics used by the MEND, (Movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta) against anybody foreign who may be connected to the oil industry.

Nigeria's largest armed faction outside that of the corrupt government may have good intentions of protecting the regions' environment and calls for fairer wealth distribution, however $ is always the bottom line and the crux of most evil in this country. Nigeria is a corrupt country. Make no doubt about it.

All in all, Nigeria looks relatively exciting for a backpacking experience if your looking for one out of the ordinary. 

If you dont drink, like lots of people following you around, enjoy pollution, love corrupt officials and layers of back-handed bureaucracy then you may have found your traveling utopia.

Nigeria, worlds worst place to backpack # 14.

Worlds worse places to backpack # 15

Amen, its Yemen.

World's worst place to backpack # 15.

Flag of the Republic of Yemen (1990-present)

Flights are cheap, cargo seats on UPS courier flights are even cheaper. The Yemeni peninsula with its torquoise waters, coral reefs and empty white sandy beaches are only a flight away. Im sure there will be plenty of tickets going on in the coming days.
If that adventurous backpacker blood is boiling within you, that desire to go to far-flung places, exotic getaways, crazy passport stamps, a sense of unparalled adventure and authenticity...... then Yemen maybe calling your name.

Visit Sana'a, one of four UNESCO sites in the country and also one of the worlds oldest cities. 2500 years of life between its city walls.
Theres a sense of complete freedom lingering in the air. A country hanging in the balance of sharia law and no law. A place where poets settle tribal disputes.


For the intrepid, this could be interpreted as a country where anything goes, no rules, no boundaries....for the more wary travelers' it may also mean no return, no mercy....

Contrary to popular belief and occasional FOX News stories you may see, a backpacking experience in Yemen is no walk in the park.

Needed Water?

Flashpackers forget the lattes and wifi. Partypackers beware, Yemen is what you would call a 'dry' country. You cannot drink in public. Fudgepackers forget it, your extra circulum activites are punishable by death.

Accommodation is not measured in star quality. If your flashpacking sleep-needs cant flucuate much lower than a 3 star, you had better re-route that last minute ticket.
Accomodation is ranked on a 'clean sheet' scale. Yup, those crisp white things that cover a sleeping surface. 2 sheets is top of the line, no guess what comes next and then bottom of the quality rating rung, no sheet.

Unless your from Jordan, Egypt, Hong Kong or Syria, you will need a visa. If you dont register yourself at a police station upon arrival, you will get in trouble.

Remember not to drink in public, kiss in public or take photos of public infrastructure, women or policemen/soliders.


Getting around is difficult. You are forbidden to ride on public transport moving from the east to the west. This basically means unless your escaping on the back of a camel under the cover of darkness and/or the cover of a burka; or your forking out lumps of US dollars for a 'private security' posse of government funded police to escort you along in a private taxi, you wont be venturing very far.

And coincidentally if you happen to be into all that Al Qaeda stuff, apparently its the place to be at the moment.

Only ranking 15th last on the formidable list of Worlds' failed states, your ride looks cushy. Theres 14 worse-off places to backpack in the world.

The Highway Of Death, Iraq

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