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Aunty Bella: Miss. I Need a Vacation Destination



Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.

Dear Aunty Bella

I know we have a lot of well traveled people here that can help me out which is why I’m writing to you.
I have never traveled outside Nigeria nor been on a vacation before and I think it’s high time I took a vacation.
I’m torn between South Africa and Dubai.
I have a budget of 500k which I can extend a bit if push comes to shove but I just want somewhere to relax, and most importantly have FUN.

But I do not know how to go about it plus I want it to be outside Nigeria.

I’m going with two other JJCs like me. Same budget.
Should we use travel agencies? Or plan our trip by ourselves? Will it save us money? Do you know fun places in South Africa or Dubai where we can chill and have a swell time. We don’t know anyone in these places so we are gonna be lodged in a hotel all through for 2 weeks(13 days to be precise) so feeding and all other fun stuff would be included.
So please help a sister out with suggestions.
Which is the best place(location) to go, where(fun spots), even hotel recommendation would be appreciated.
If you know better countries too… it’s fine. Or if you think our budget is ridiculous, kindly suggest what we should expect or how I can cut my coat according to my cloth.
We are open to ideas.

Thank you very much


Photo Credit: Igor Mojzes |


  1. Aurora

    January 28, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I funny enough with proper planning you can do both. I think you should contact those reputable travel agents on instagram like wontra and africholidays..or go to hotels dot com or booking dot com and plan you trip yourselves. I’ve been to both countries and both are beautiful and teeming with tourists sites. I would definitely love to visit south Africa again. Doubt I’d visit dubai again though.

    • Nkechi

      January 28, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      I am so happy this story is different, someone is not in a sorrowful dilemma. I pray that we continue to have a joyful year. At least in your own case, you have the money and sanity to travel out . I will suggest SA and using a reputable agency. Please keep safe because no county is perfect. Only God grants total protection.

  2. fran

    January 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    This is helpful pls keep them coming. Does the 500k cover flight tickets to both countries?

  3. Trinity

    January 28, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    I think your budget is not realistic…as a tourist you need to book a safe hotel in a safe environment…if you are going to sa check protea wanderer and crowne plaza and for restaurants and clubs check rose bank can also go to sun city ,the hotel can arrange transportation for you…please be very careful in South Africa..for Dubai you can check for apartments on online..I can’t remember the one I stayed in..or darling google hotels in dubai and sa and read the reviews..view the street images so you don’t end up in a dodgy environment..good luck.

  4. Dash

    January 28, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Go to Cape town, South Africa. it’s beautiful!

  5. oo

    January 28, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    I agree, definitely recommend cape town. Best place on earth hands down

  6. nunulicious

    January 28, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    If you haven’t visited Obudu cattle ranch in Nigeria before you travel abroad…in the words of my NYSC commandant, “you are wrong”. Beautiful serene place where the angels and gods use the clouds as a staircase to enter Nigeria lol. Wish i could visit there again.

    • Toes

      January 29, 2017 at 4:31 am

      Did you by any chance serve in Cross River state ? Obudu is lovely but lack of care is ruining the place.

    • MS Spontaneous

      March 5, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      You are very correct. Plus the lady said she wants a place out of Nigeria

  7. That African Chic

    January 28, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Don’t sleep in a hotel…Use AirBnB
    I would definitely prefer Cape Town over Dubai. Dubai has no soul. Just a bunch of sky scrappers in the middle of the desert.
    Also below is a list of possible travel destinations (I’m considering that you may have trouble getting Visas to European cities so these locations shouldn’t lose a problem for you)
    1. São Time
    2. Zanzibar
    3. Marrakech
    4. Gambia (it’s a tourist haven, hopefully the situation is calm now)
    5. Seychelles
    6. Marituis
    7. Madagascar
    8. Lastly check this place out in Ghana. It’s a hidden treasure but it depends on what you are looking for. It’s a cheap eco-heaven.

  8. Negra

    January 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Hello. I also recommend South Africa. Perhaps, 3 or 4 days in J’burg and the rest in Cape Town. If you can only do one city, then it MUST be Cape Town. I suggest you visit the TRIPADVISOR website ( and check out the Johannesburg and Cape Town Forums on the website. A lot of your questions are already answered there.

    You can then book accommodation on tripadvisor or Air B n B is also very good. The accommodation on offer is usually a room or two in somebody’s home. It is quite safe and way cheaper than the hotels./ guest houses. You can even get the app at the google playstore All the best girl!

  9. Geraldine

    January 28, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Visit Dubai. Use Etihad. Book directly on their site. They will land at Abu Dhabi and drive you into Dubai. You will have a lovely view. You can lodge at Bur Dubai. I will suggest CityMax hotel because they offer free and wonderful breakfast. A night is about $160. You can as well stay at Deira,the busier part of Dubai where you can easily do shopping. There are a few hotels that offer complimentary breakfast. There are a lot of places to visit. You can also contact Your budget is OK for at most two weeks.

    • Geraldine

      January 29, 2017 at 5:58 am

      AED 160 not $160.

  10. Negra

    January 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    PS: If your budget is rather low, check out Sao Tome and Principe too. It is wayyyyy cheaper. I haven’t been there but have heard great reviews from people who have been.

  11. Negra

    January 28, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    PPS: If you visit SA, try and visit in the summer months (Dec-April thereabouts).

  12. melenie

    January 28, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Hello dear, Dubai is a good choice because the visa is very affordable and easy to get(5 working days to process) and the flight fares are not that expensive and your budget should cover for hotel too but everything depends on the number of days you intend to spend in Dubai. There are beautiful places to visit in Dubai and that includes the brand new dubai parks and resorts(DPR). South Africa is also a beautiful place to visit (cape town, Johannesburg). To get your visa for Dubai, you need to get your flight and hotel first with us and this qualifies you for complimentary airport pick up and drop off. My name is chioma and I work with my branch is at the genesis cinema in port harcourt. Please call these numbers if you need more information. 08090292917/07039244425.

    • Anon

      January 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      Nice plug!

  13. Lucinda

    January 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    My first “vacation” was alone. I school in the UK but had never travelled for leisure. I went alone. It was the single bravest thing I did. I went to Turkey. I booked everything myself. Skyscanner has the lowest prices I know. is bae. I booked an all inclusive hotel in Dalaman £40 per day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included, which was an all you can eat buffet. I would take my food to my room so I could eat the bones well. The bed was huge and I slept like a starfish. The room was very very clean and 4 stars. Air conditioning and my own balcony overlooking the pool and nice mountain views. Return flight from the UK was £182. I could have gotten deals with lower prices like £100 if I booked earlier. I went to fethiye and did a tandem paraglide over the Mediterranean (or was it the black sea sef). I chopped the life of head for just 3 days, it was like I was in a trance. I didn’t tell anyone I was travelling. My friends were too negative about it and some of them went with well known options like Paris. I can’t waste flight money just to go and snap under effeil tower. I too asked questions here on Bellanaija before I left. I was also on nairaland. Isio de la V. Inspired the travel. I remember dropping a few questions on one of her travel posts and she answered me well (thanks Isio). I like off the beaten path destinations, one reason why I always end up travelling alone lol. Have a safe flight.

    • Purplegirl

      January 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm

      I wish I knew you 3 years ago

  14. Anon

    January 28, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    If you want to go to Dubai, try emirates they can do a package for you to include visa. hotel, tours, airport transfer. If you want to spend 2 weeks tha will be really expensive

  15. Princess

    January 29, 2017 at 12:36 am

    the current exchange rate is crazy …… 500k is just about 1000usd, Lets say Dubai: Flight should cost between 150,000 NGN – 200,000 NGN (Kenya Airways/ rwand air), Visa 75,000 NGN, So after Flight and visa you and your friends have under 1million naira for accommodation and fun. lets assume u have 2000USD left. Accommodation { tripadvisor) please please go for a holiday apartment, u can get a 1bedroom apartment, you should check out Suha Hotels and apartment Jumeriah Beach Walk, it is just by the beach. There is a 24hr open supermarket just bedside the apartment, so u and ur friends can make u meals (oh make sure u carry along things like noodles, rice, seasonings,) so with 50 dollars ur meals are covered for the 2weeks. TRANSPORTATION- use the metro; its very easy to understand, if u dnt understand ask questions. from the airport u use to metro. Suha hotel and apartment has JBR 1 Tram station just infront of it (so no long trekking ), FUN; day pass at atlantis water park go early in day so u spend d whole day 10-5pm having super fun, i dont know what u and ur girls would like but u can always check that out.

  16. ginger

    January 29, 2017 at 7:46 am

    Greece (Corfu, Mykonos,Santorini)- fairly cheap, way too much to see, do and eat.
    The Dominican Republic- fun, cheap, beachy vibes and cosmopolitan as well
    Seychelles- beautiful scenery, if you like beaches. You can go with your Nigerian passport
    Zanzibar-same, good food
    Morocco (Marrakech or Rabat) beautiful! Lovely food. Be careful, especially with dressing if going somewhere alone
    Phuket- was all the rage when I was in boarding school, not sure anymore cause they seem to be closing down some beaches. But it’s cheap though
    Barcelona- for the culture, the architecture, the cheap and really lovely accommodation. You’d love it ( and feel safe).
    Tenerife- also in Spain, looks like HEAVEN?!

    • ginger

      January 29, 2017 at 7:51 am

      And yeah, is great. Once got a flight ticket from London to Lourdes for £18. I’ve also used it to get accommodation on a family trip. All the best Hun xx

    • Miss B

      January 29, 2017 at 11:19 am

      I’m guessing you missed the part where his budget was stated to be N500k which is approx $1000.

    • Ginger

      January 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm

      $1000 is a lot of money for all these places. Except the money includes ticket prices

  17. Poesy

    January 29, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Suggestions: Kenya – no visa needed. I’ve heard nice things about Namibia and Ethiopia as well.

    • Bukie Dow

      January 29, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      You need a visa to visit kenya


      January 29, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      You need a visa for Kenya. $50 I think. Yes Nairobi and Mombasa are nice places, but SA and/or Dubai are much better options especially as it’s their first vacation.

  18. Lolarae

    January 29, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Hello poster,
    you can visit Dubai, Johannesburg and the beautiful Capetown, best city in the world

    use emirates spend 3 days in Dubai I think its over hyped
    from there fly to Johannesburg spend another 3 days
    from jhb fly a local flight to Capetown cost about extra $100
    spend 1 week in cape town its legit the finest city in the world the air the food sigh

  19. Bukie Dow

    January 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm


    Email us for a quote. Your budget is more than enough to take a trip.

    Globe Jaunters is a visa and travel consulting firm That works with your budget and gives you amazing deals.

    We have traveled with waaay less.

  20. Poster

    January 29, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you all so much for your kind suggestions . The planned date is sometime in September so we’ll try to book early. Thanks. ?

    • jane

      January 30, 2017 at 1:00 am

      good thing you are planning on time..try as someone said , it is bae).. read up on all the flights/ hotels/ apartments. With your budget, u can have a wonderful time, if u plan well. Read up extensively about accommodation/ flights and places u would love to visit ( i find this helps me anytime i want to travel). Some agencies are tricky for example wakanow won’t refund you if u decide not to go

  21. melenie

    January 29, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    Since you are travelling in September, we can get flights at affordable rates now.. The same with hotel and visa.. [email protected] Com is my email address.. 08090292917/07039244425 are my phone numbers.. Call me up lets get you your dream vacation…

  22. melenie

    January 29, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Bukie Dow, can I get your phone number or email address Please? Lets discuss business…

  23. Ajala & Foodie

    January 30, 2017 at 1:40 am

    I am surprised at all the talk of recommendations without taking the writer’s budget into consideration. $500k, does that include flight cost or not? and 2 Weeks at that cost?? Now. I don’t know about SA (my hubby refuse to go there because of xenophobia), but 2 weeks with 500k and if that includes flight budget then I can tell you that ain’t going to get you far not in dubai anyway like someone clearly pointed out that is approximately $1000.

    On another note, someone mentioned Rwanda air, has anyone flown with them? I know someone that works for them that keeps advertising them but I will be honest Rwanda anything sounds scary to me.

    • Toyosi

      January 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Yes I have. My first flight to Dubai was RwandAir and it was amazing. I later found out they are being managed by same body with Delta Airline. Although they didnt have entertainment on board at that time but the passenger will have a smooth ride especially as a first timer

  24. chic wen sabi

    March 10, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Dear Poster, i think your budget can be sufficient….though, i have never been to SA,but been to dubai about 6times…….dubai is very beautiful and very safe *someone said skyscraper in middle of a desert….she ia a wannabe…..she has never been to dubai*…..however, since you guys are 3, you can book just an hotel room *3 beds at Deira city…..most of the hotels there are bed and breakfast…… i recommend you shop for a cheaper fare * can assist *though, i noticed that that their visa rate is quite high….but from the airport they provide a free pick up. As for transportation …. I recommend that you to make use of their train …is way cheaper…… i can recommend where you can change some of your Naira in Nigeria to their currency* DERA* is way cheaper than taking dollars there…..cos if you buy anything with dollars they will give you their currency as change.
    i will recommend the following tourist site with less money or nothing…
    1… visit dubai mall, Deira city mall, Emirate mall…….
    2. Dubai zoo at Jumeira…..the gate fee is a token …
    from dubai zoo you can walk down to dubai marine beach at Jumeira……and you dont pay to go to the beach
    3.. or rather get an hotel that has a club, swimming pool….but they are quite expensive
    4….You can visit the dubai aqaurium inside dubai mall… quite expensive
    5. visiting the sahara desert is quite expensive too…
    6… Visit their gold skol…..cant get the spelling……is where GOLD is sold… entrance fee
    Their food are quite cheap, even the Africa restaurant…….ask questions for guide…..pipo are ready to assist.

    Least, i forget, Dont forget to take your sun glasses there and hat…….

    with this am sure you guys will have a swell time…and thank me later

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