10 Tips To Survive Visiting Warri

warriIf you listen to Nigerian comedy, you most probably have the impression that Warri is the most aggressive city in Nigeria, as it is dangerous and crime ridden and its inhabitants are mostly belligerent. According to the Vanguard Newspaper, ‘that the oil city of Warri, Delta State is perhaps the most hazardous metropolis in Southern Nigeria, is doubtless.’, but like most stereotypes this is not completely true. The city might have some security issues considering the degree of kidnapping and robbery incidents recorded in the past years, however, it is a wonderful place to visit and explore as it offers many sights for tourists, including the Delta Ports, Nana Living History Museum and Red Mangrove swamp. Again, as the commercial capital city of Delta State and one of the major hubs of petroleum activities and trades in the southern Nigeria, it offers business opportunities to many of its visitors. While Warri is actually not as bad as is portrayed and residents are very accommodating, it is important to be objective and stay careful while visiting. In that regard, Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking portal has compiled safety tips for people visiting Warri for the first time.
Ensure you have pre-arranged airport pick-up: The airport is usually crammed with peddlers and most of them who pose as cab guys would offer to drive you. Many people have been robbed of their Visa, money and belonging in this fashion. Always make arrangements for pickup before you arrive, there are a number of cab companies you can patronize online. Alternatively, you can call the hotel you booked and request for a hotel pickup.
Do not indulge helpers at the airport. Usually, when you arrive at the airport, a lot of people rush to offer some form or assistance -either to carry your luggage’s or assist you with information. Most times, their offers are exceedingly cheap or enticing. Beware of these ‘helpers’ as they could be robbers. Be careful of touts offering their services at a ridiculously cheap price, because it will most likely lead you to being duped or robbed. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also, exchange all your money, if you need to, within the airport as there is a higher chance of being conned outside the airport.
Don’t be afraid to wander. Pretty much nowhere in Warri is off-limits – though it is still an urban area, so you would want to use common sense (for instance, you may not want to walk around any area alone at 3 a.m.). Most of Warri, with the exception of a few downtown neighborhoods is clearly laid out, making it extremely easy to find your way around. Do not be afraid to wander, take out time to carefully explore the city.
Avoid drawing attention to yourself. Do not stand on street corners looking at maps or doing anything as quirky. Do your best to walk self-confidently, as this will deter many criminals. When in doubt of your destination or the safety of a neighborhood, take a cab. Alternatively, if you feel uncomfortable or lost, approach a police officer or a friendly store owner (in a public place) to get your bearings or directions.
Do not take lifts. Warri residents might be accommodating and helpful, but it is advisable not to stretch the hospitality. Do not take lifts from anyone, no matter how friendly or original they seem.
Do not fake the pidgin. Warri is known nationwide for its unique Pidgin English. When you are in Warri, you might be tempted to fake the pidgin in a bid to flow with the locals. Aside from the fact that you would sound extremely funny, it is not a good idea as a failed attempt will instantly mark you out as a foreigner or tourist.
Don’t be a bottleneck.In Warri, everybody seems to be in a haste and people want to complete their tasks as soon as possible. Try to stay away from situations that will cause a delay for any other person (especially the locals) as that might put you in a disagreement…and you do not want that. For instance if you are taking a bus or any other public transport system, have your change. There’s a special level of perdition reserved for people who waste 30 seconds of everyone else’s time with their fumbling. Also, if there is a wait for something or a bottleneck, don’t mob it – form a line. And when a line has been formed do not try to cut it. Seriously.
Be Sharp. You need to be cautious at all times, especially if you are in a crowded place. Always keep your wallet in your front pocket, rather than the back, and keep your purse closed and held in front of you or on the side.
Don’t flaunt jewelery, cameras, your smart phone or cash in public. If you need to organize your wallet, look for a hidden corner or wait till you get back to the safe confines of your hotel room.
Use caution when using ATMs and do not carry large amounts of cash around with you . The city is quite modern and most places accept credit cards. There are also ATMs everywhere.

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