The Margouilla's Advice on Nightstopping in Abuja




What airfield can I expect?

Abuja is the federal capital of Nigeria, and as such it has a 24H international airport in good condition. Abuja approach even has a radar, so expect to be vectored in for final approach. Unfortunately, the skill level of ATC controllers is appaling, so be on your guard and give a sanity check to every clearance you receive. There airport has two terminals, one for domestic flights and the other one for international flights. There is also a VIP terminal right next to the military hangar, where VIPs are dropped off and picked up, but aircraft are not allowed to remain parked there. Jet A-1 is available at all times, at a price of 1.4 USD a liter (06/2011, cash payment). Handling is not mandatory but thoroughly recommended. Skyrouting is a good operator, expect approximately 2,500 USD for a business jet arrival & departure procedure.

Airport security is excellent.

If not using a handler, flight plan filing is done at the control tower in the domestic terminal (quite a walk from the international side!). Enroute & landing fees are paid there as well.

The town in located about 45 minutes to the east of the airport. Taxi rides in town typically cost about 1,500 to 3,000 NGN.


Where am I?

Abuja was founded in the 1970's, in much the same way as Brasilians founded Brasilia at about the same period. In light of the ethnical and religious divisions between Nigerians, it was decided that a new capital would be built right in the middle of the country. The city expanded mostly in the 1980's, and eventually replaced Lagos as the federal capital in 1991. Today, Abuja houses all Nigerians major institution, and is home to 900,000 inhabitants.

Built from scratch at the foot of a mountain named Aso Rock, Abuja has everything Lagos should have: wide freeways, a relative security, and a real urban plan comparable to that of Washington. The city is divided in districts, all with a designated role: business, residential, visitor, etc... Overall, Abuja is a nice city to visit, even though there is a bit of an impersonnal feel to it.

Central Police Station: +(234) 09 234 04 22


Where do I sleep?

Sheraton Abuja Hotel (50 mn from the airport)

Ladi Kwali Way, Abuja - Wuse District
Tel: +(234) 09 461 20 00
Fax: +(234) 09 523 15 71

Large chain hotel with all the expected amenities. Swimming pool, fitness center, business center, beauty saloon. Wireless internet available in the rooms at 3,000 NGN a day. Rooms start at 37,200 NGN a night, including breakfast. (2011)


Where do I eat?



What can I visit?

Abuja is too vast to visit by foot, but having a taxi ride around town is a must, just for the sake of watching national monuments such as the National Mosque, the National Church, the Supreme Court and other landmarks mainly gathered in the Central Business District.

It is also worth spending a couple hours in the luxurious gardens of Millenium Park.


Where can I go out?

Aqua Night Club

Ladi Kwali Way, Abuja - Wuse District, in the Sheraton compound

The night club of the Sheraton Hotel. Classy and lively at the same time, complete with a VIP section and half-naked girls dancing on poles. (2011)

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