Jos – Travel guide at Wikivoyage

Jos is a city of about 810,000 people (2015). It is the state capital of Plateau State in North Central Nigeria. Its cool climate, due to its breathtaking system of plateaux, and its colonial importance as the tin mining centre of Nigeria made it a favourite tourist destination. However, communal and religious violence had put this on hold. Jos’s religious and communal crisis has ended, and it is now slowly gaining its peace.

Understand

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Central Mosque of Jos

Jos is inhabited by various ethnic groups and chiefs, of whom are indigenous Jarawa, Berom, Anarguta, Bugi, Mwagwavul, Angas, Tarok and many more from other areas of Nigeria, such as Yoruba and Igbo, Hausa and many southerners displaced from other northern cities in the aftermath of religious violence. The most widely spoken language is Hausa, and because of the high literacy rate in Jos, almost everyone also speaks English.

Jos is a very old city, one of the first built in Nigeria during colonial rule. Jos has always been the home of many cultures. Because of its old structure, Jos has been a very hard place for the government to renovate. Although places like Ray-field and other new settlements have the feeling of living in a developed city, its oldest sites and tourist locations most certainly are very outdated.

According to the locals, the prominent people in the Lamingo district are the Afizeres also called the Jarawa tribe. Jarawa doubles as the language of these people; however, the dominant language remains Hausa. Some of the common names you hear there are Azi, Izang, Arin, Itse, Aware for males and Adar, Agyer, Atong, Kushim for females. Lamingo occupies an expanse of land – high lands and lowlands inclusive. Flat terrain of rocks seen in isolation and in groups bound this area.

Get in

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Terminus Roundabout

Jos is served by many bus lines, chiefly Cross Country that runs air-conditioned mini-van services from Lagos and Abuja. The state government-owned Plateau Line runs station wagon services, but these are mostly uncomfortably crowded trips. Many other state governments operate transport services with termini in various Jos motor-parks from surrounding state capitals: Gombe, Lafia, Kaduna, Damaturu and even Yola. Other mini-bus or car services are private arrangements where you sit and wait for the vehicle to fill up, but are best avoided because the drivers tend to have dubious driving skills. You can also get into Jos by having a private driver in a private vehicle; because of terrorist acts, you may pass through a lot of security check points.

By plane

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Arik Air runs a once a day domestic flight from Lagos to Yakubu Gowon Airport (JOS IATA). The airport is about 30 km from the town so it is best to have some money for a taxi fare to town (generally about ₦2,500) if there will be nobody waiting for you.

By train

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The old locomotive trains famed in Cyprian Ekwensi’s The Passport of Mallam Ilia no longer bring the people in and the tin out.

Get around

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Map of Jos

There are many taxi cabs, and other transport vehicles all over Jos, such as motorcycles, tricycles and buses. But they have to be shared with other passengers over defined routes. it is also possible to get a private taxi where you share with no one at all, but it is much safer to bear the inconvenience of travelling with others, to avoid getting robbed. Some mini-bus routes are also defined but these are difficult to understand. The taxis and buses almost always tend to be rickety. Motorcycle taxis, commonly known as ‘okada’ are also a choice but these can be very dangerous as the road network is filled with a lot of potholes and there is a general lack of safe practices. The “okada” rides also tend to be more expensive than the ‘Tricycle’ or bus rides but are very flexible.

Various roads lead to Lamingo depending on where one is coming from. From the University of Jos (main campus/permanent site), you could get a small bus, a motor cycle or a tricycle to Lamingo. Generally speaking, you can get to Lamingo from any destination within Jos with an average of about ₦10,000. You will always find a bus, a tricycle or a bike.

See

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There are many parks you can see in Jos, examples are the wild life park, and the national museum.

The old tin mines are all on the outskirts of Jos. They have developed into lakes which might have some environmental concerns. The areas are generally safe but it is best to go with a guide. There are many waterfalls on the outskirts of Jos.

  • The National Identity Management Commission office: A beautiful building on the Lamingo road.
  • The Lamingo Dam: According to locals, the dam is a result of mining activities in the area. Jos is known for its mineral resources, especially tin. Local miners set out to construct wells deep into the ground in search of this mineral and since it is not coordinated, many of dug wells meet at various places killing some of the miners. Underground water was also let out in the process. A former governor modified the outlets and created the Lamingo dam. It is a place to see as well.

Do

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  • Shere hills: A prominent site for tourist attraction is the Shere Hills. The hills occupy the size of an average community. It spreads from somewhere in Lamingo into the Angwan Rukuba area of Jos, a bus journey of about 30 minutes. It will interest you to know that some these hills are in the form of caves. Walking up into the “community” of the hills from the lamingo entrance, you will notice a change in landscape even before approaching the hills. As you move in, you see a variety of isolated rocks, tall, short and all forms of shapes and sizes. A very beautiful part of the hiking experience would be where you have to climb down into what seems like a lion’s den with no good view of the floor. You might change your mind there and give up the hiking experience all together. However, if you are a little bit daring you would climb in and find yourself in the community of other huge rocks. Between rocks, you find low lands with a little bit of greenery where you can take brief rest. There are road paths as well, seems like a government paved road paths on the way out. You can not not experience climbing what looks like a scaffold constructed in a pond somewhere in between these rocks. The experience was terrific. Here is only a faint description. There are tour guides who will take you round without necessarily charging outrageous fees.
  • Lamingo garden: Lamingo garden is a green area where people relax and flex after day to day activities. Simply put, it is a relaxation center, It has a restaurant where you can eat and drink.

Learn

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  • The University of Jos has courses in most fields and has hostel accommodation.
  • Plateau State University (PLASU) offers a variety of courses.
  • The state Polytechnic (PLAPOLY) offer courses with the award of Ordinary and Higher National Diploma.
  • Federal School of Medical Laboratory offers a 3-year course with a certificate of Medical Laboratory Technician.
  • Federal College of Forestry, Bauchi Road offers courses as well.
  • There is a Federal College of Veterinary and Medical Laboratory Technology in Vom, also called Vom Vet. which is usually prided as the best veterinary centre in West Africa.
  • The National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom. They deal not only with animal research, but also human.
  • The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has its television college also located in Jos where courses in film production and editing are on offer.

Buy

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The central business district is around Ahmadu Bello Way in the centre of Jos. You can buy virtually everything possible, ranging from mobile phones, SIM cards, other devices and peripherals, and many other items including food stuffs snacks. There are many banks in the area as well. General merchandise may be purchased around here. For leather products at very good prices, Ferin Gada on Bauchi Road is the best place to go.
There is a place popularly referred to as Terminus; it has a diverse market where you can buy food ranging from meat to fish, fresh pepper tomatoes and onions. There are provision stores, shops for electronics and shoes. There is another market called New Market, about 5 minutes ride from terminus where you can get food stuffs too. The market is known for its peculiarity in clothing material.

Depending on what you need to buy, there are small stalls around for the purchase of snacks and drinks. Shops line the roads at intervals too and there are shopping malls. You could also take a paid tricycle to a father away market if you need stock purchase. Markets like Terminus and Faringada are relatively close. Below are some shopping malls you could try.

Eat

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There are many eateries and restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Local delicacies are also very abundant. Many modern restaurants also serve international dishes.

Drink

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Shemshak, opposite the University of Jos gates, is a local favourite where the price is reasonable. There are many other drink zones where local brewed drinks or international drinks are served.

Sleep

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Connect

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The usual service providers can be found in Jos. There are other third-party internet service providers among which are:

Stay safe

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The Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) is in Lamingo. They have all the hospital departments including diagnostic laboratories. It is a good place to access quality health care.

Cope

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You can speak English and Hausa to virtually every Jos citizen and they understand but someone who doesn’t understand English may just stare at you as you speak while others may try redirecting you to others who can, notice where they point to, they may be pointing at people with better knowledge of what you are asking for. Some may speak a mixture of English and other languages whilst no one will definitely speak the pidgin English mostly spoken among locals.

Go next

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