We love our traveling community here at Visiter l’Afrique and love introducing you all to each other even more. Meet Amira and let her take you around Abuja!
So tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Amira, and I love to eat. It’s really that simple. I also love to travel. I blog from time to time and I’m trying to change Nigeria by convincing these old men in charge that renewable energy is the way forward. Okay, it’s not so simple.
Where are you now and how long have you been there?
I’m in Abuja, Nigeria and I’ve been here for about 3 months now.
Where can you go to in Abuja for some great buys?
Hmm, depends on what you’re looking for to be honest. If you want arty stuff and nice (but a bit cliché) touristy souvenirs, there’s the Abuja arts and crafts village on Sani Abacha way. Piece of advice if you go there, haggle hard!
If you’re more into fashion, 41 luxe always has some lovely things. Go to YVK Design or Pinkfleur for a modern take on beautiful, modest Nigerian fashion. And of course, you can never go wrong with Wuse market for a bargain piece or two.
Cool places to grab a bite?
I recently discovered Metro grill, it’s a lovely new spot with great food
- 43 Libreville crescent, wuse II, Abuja
Nkoyo is one of my favourites, the food is fab and it’s very pretty, great for all those insta-worthy posts
- Ceddi plaza, Central Business district, Abuja
And if you’re looking for fast-food, go to Drumstix. It’s a fried chicken spot, but there’s also Mamman kato’s if you want suya or shawarma and Aunty Ajobi’s if you’re in the mood for Nigerian food. There’s literally something for everyone.
- 32 Aminu Kano crescent, Wuse II, Abuja
Chill spots for after work drinks?
Traffic. There’s 2 of them, so it depends on what mood you’re in. Traffic Missouri has more of a chilled vibe. If the plan is one or two drinks, then home – go for Missouri. If the plan is one or two drinks then home and you don’t plan on sticking to said plan – go for Traffic Gana.
Traffic Gana is way more turnt, and has more of a pre-clubbing drinks vibe. If you go to Traffic Gana, you’re going out afterwards, don’t fight it.
- Traffic Missouri, 8 Missouri street, Maitama, Abuja
- Traffic Gana, 39 Gana street, Maitama, Abuja
Uptown Privee just had a face lift, it’s a lounge in central Abuja. Great vibes, great shisha. I’ve heard the pounded yam in the restaurant downstairs is amazing, and that’s always a plus.
- 176, Aminu Kano crescent, Wuse II, Abuja
Keje grill is another great option. They’ve partnered with Crazy people cocktails and those guys make really good cocktails. They actually care about the taste of the drink they make you, which is more than I can say for most places in Nigeria.
- Keje grill, City park, wuse II, Abuja
What’s the nightlife like in Abuja?
It’s not Lagos, but we have fun. Moscow is the hot new thing atm, everyone goes there and it’s always a good night. Play is great on a Thursday and Caribbean is also good. There’s no club entry fee here, and the clubs are generally quite near each other so expect to go to at least 3 clubs in one night. We’re big on club hopping.
- Moscow Underground, 35 Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja
- Play Lounge, 167 Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja
- Caribbean Lounge, 142 Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja
Why do you travel and how do you get to do it?
I travel because I love to learn new things and meet new people. I think travelling is one of the best ways to educate oneself. I love experiencing different cultures and getting lost in a new city. And of course eating aaaaalll the food.
I’m quite lucky because my parents also love to travel, so whenever they’re applying for visas, I apply with them. Makes getting visas a lot easier. Sometimes, they even let me tag along with them. I saveeeee. I always have savings, and I’ve come to realise that travelling doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive as long as you plan well. Don’t get me wrong it’s expensive af, but air miles and airbnb and even hostels help me out a lot.
How many languages do you speak and how has it made your travel experiences smoother?
I speak English (obv), Hausa, Kanuri, a bit of French and a bit of Spanish. I’m currently learning Japanese.
Languages help because it breaks down that barrier, it shows the person you’re talking to that you’re willing to make a bit of an effort. Even something as simple as switching to an American accent when I’m in the states gets me a quicker, more helpful response than if I’m speaking in a Nigerian or British accent.
I find that people are more willing to assist when they see you trying to adapt to their culture.
What other african countries have you been to so far and what’s your next destination?
Sadly I’ve only been to Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and South Africa. I really want to go to Kenya and Mauritius. I’d also like to explore Nigeria more, the next trip I’m planning is actually to Bauchi, which is in the north of Nigeria. There’s a wonderful game reserve/ national park up there and I’ve never been!
Find out more about my travels on the blog ameerkat.me!