Of all the visas in Africa, the Nigerian visa is perhaps the most frustrating. However, it seems that this is starting to change a little bit. I’ve heard news from a number of travellers that the embassy in Benin is now much better in issuing visas to tourists. However, I didn’t want to risk it at the time and instead got my visa for Nigeria in Bamako, Mali.
The process of getting your visa in Bamako is easy, but it’s not cheap.
The office in Bamako is in the neighbourhood of Badlabougou and most of the taxi drivers should know it. On the other hand, if you’re staying at The Sleeping Camel, they’ll be able to point you there, or even drive you there on a scooter.
You’ll want to get to the embassy in the morning, around 9am is usually fine. It’s not that busy of an embassy since it’s not a bordering country. When I was there, they found some people who had been trying to sneak to Europe, and they were in holding. Other than them, I was the only one there.
Now, the process itself is incredibly easy, and it seems they really only want to make some money off you. I needed 2 passport photos and money, that’s it. The catch is the price. I had to pay 120,000CFA ($240) for my visa. They have a list of countries with different prices for each, Britain and Canada have the highest costs. They told me that it’s based on a country’s GDP, but it seems much more random than that. For example, Australians and Americans paid less.
That being said, if you’re willing to foot the bill, it’s easy. I got my visa the next day. The only question they asked was why I didn’t get my visa at home.
The visa they issued me in Nigeria was a 1 year multi-entry visa. When I asked for a 3-month single entry visa, and pay less, they told me that they weren’t allowed to issue them. One of the staff members was incredibly helpful and tried to do all he could, including arguing with the ambassador, to get me a better price, but it seemed pretty set in stone.
Anyways, that’s the process. If you had a different experience, or have any questions, let us know in the comments below.