Visa Free Countries in Africa

A visa is an official document or authorization granted by a government to allow a foreign individual to enter a country for a defined period and purpose. Virtually all countries have some form of visa system to manage the entry of foreign nationals. However, many countries have agreements that allow visa free entry for citizens of certain countries. These agreements are often based on diplomatic relations, economic partnerships, or regional agreements.

This article explores such visa free entry countries in Africa, particularly those accessible to Nigerian citizens. We will also discuss various types of visas that are available. Let’s dive right in!

Types Of Visa

There are different visa types, each with different requirements and conditions. Your purpose for visiting a country determines the type of visa you apply for. Some common visa types include:

  1. Medical Visa

This visa type enables individuals needing medical care to enter another country. It could be to receive medical treatment, donate an organ to a family member, or undergo surgery. The applicant must, however, demonstrate that the required medical services are unavailable in their home country. 

  1. Transit Visa

During international travel, there are instances where you may need to make a brief stop at another country’s airport for less than 24 hours before reaching your final destination. This is known as transit, and passengers stopping in transit often require a transit visa. This document permits them to pass through the transit country en route to their final destination.

  1. Tourist Visa

This visa is designed for tourists who wish to explore new destinations purely for the pleasure of the experience. Holders of this visa are not permitted to work in the host country, and it typically remains valid for a short duration.

  1. Work Visa

Work or business demands sometimes extend beyond our local borders, necessitating travel abroad. A work visa becomes essential in such cases, enabling immigrants to enter a foreign country for employment or business reasons.

  1. Student Visa

A student visa is a document issued to allow a person to enter and dwell in a country for education. The admission letter from the institution is usually required to process the visa.

  1. Diplomatic Visa

This visa permits diplomats to enter a country once for official or business reasons. Unlike other visas that involve lengthy immigration procedures, this visa is issued with specific conditions and privileges, streamlining the entry process for diplomats.

Read Also: The Most Powerful Passports in the World

10 Visa Free Countries in Africa

When a country is visa free, you can travel to that country without needing to apply for any visa before travelling or upon entry. With a Nigerian passport, you can currently visit 17 African countries completely visa free. They include:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Chad
  • Ivory Coast
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Gambia
  • Togo

Let’s explore ten of these visa free African countries:

  1. Benin Republic

Benin is very close to Nigeria and shares a border with it, making it a convenient travel destination for Nigerian passport holders. Due to the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Benin, Nigerian citizens can enter Benin without needing a visa or a visa on arrival. This visa-free access allows Nigerian passport holders to stay up to 90 days.

The Republic of Benin is a fascinating destination for those interested in exploring the West African heritage. The art-inclined nature of the country’s people may just make you fall in love with this country. As a visitor, you can explore markets and workshops to see traditional textiles, pottery, bronze sculptures, and wood carvings.

  1. Cape Verde

If you love the seaside, Cape Verde is the perfect destination. Located off the northwest coast of Africa, this country boasts ten islands and numerous stunning beaches. It’s an ideal vacation spot offering excellent nightlife and great shopping opportunities.

Unlike Benin, Nigeria does not border Cap Verde. The country is not connected to the mainland and thus does not share borders with any countries. However, different international flights connect Nigeria and Cape Verde, allowing for relatively easy travel between the two countries. 

Beyond the beautiful beaches and stunning natural scenery, visitors can also enjoy the richness of the Cape Verdean culture. Cape Verdean culture uniquely blends African and Portuguese influences, reflecting its history as a Portuguese colony. The islands are famous for their music, particularly morna, a melancholic genre similar to Portuguese fado. You can enjoy live performances in local bars and festivals.

  1. Kenya

Kenya is just the right stop if you enjoy exploring nature and wildlife. The country is renowned for its spectacular wildlife, notably the Maasai Mara National Reserve and the Amboseli National Park, which is known for its large herds of elephants and stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Home to over 40 distinct ethnic groups, Kenya is also a mosaic of traditions, languages, and cultural practices. English and Swahili are the official languages, which means communication will be easier for you as a Nigerian visitor. However, learning a few basic Swahili phrases can further enhance your interactions with locals and enrich your cultural experience.

  1. Ghana

The Republic of Ghana is another visa free African country that borders Nigeria. Thanks to the strong bilateral relations between these two countries, Nigerian passport holders can enter Ghana without a visa and stay for up to 90 days. This ease of access makes Ghana a convenient and appealing destination for tourism, business, and cultural exchanges.

Ghana’s rich history, cultural heritage, natural beauty, and warm hospitality make the country a fantastic destination. Whether exploring historical castles like the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife, or relaxing on pristine beaches, Ghana offers a memorable and enriching experience. The vibrant festivals of the Ghanaian people add to the country’s cultural allure.

  1. Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) 

Ivory Coast offers a blend of urban excitement, cultural depth, and natural beauty. The country is known for its rich cultural heritage, economic vitality, and diverse landscapes. The various Ivorian cuisines further enrich the artistic experience. Dishes like the Attiéké, Alloco, and Kedjenou are culinary delights that offer a taste of the country’s diverse culinary heritage. The country is a fascinating destination for Nigerian travellers looking to explore more of West Africa.

  1. Cameroon

Cameroon is another fascinating visa free country in the Gulf of Guinea. It shares borders with Nigeria to the west, making it an accessible destination for Nigerian travellers.

Cameroon is renowned for its varied geography, which includes coastal plains, mountains, savannas, and rainforests.  Some of its vital natural attractions include the Waza National Park, which is home to elephants, lions, giraffes, and numerous bird species; Mount Cameroon, one of Africa’s highest peaks; and the Limbe Botanical Garden, among others.

The country is also known for its cultural richness and diversity, reflected in its over 250 ethnic groups and languages. This cultural richness provides a unique and enriching travel experience.

  1. Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau offers a unique and authentic travel experience with its blend of cultural richness, historical sites, and natural beauty. The country is home to various ethnic groups, each with its traditions, music, dance, and festivals. The most prominent groups are the Balanta, Fula, and Mandinka. For Nigerian travellers seeking a visa-free destination in West Africa, it’s an intriguing and rewarding choice.

  1. Senegal

Senegal, located on the westernmost point of the African continent, is a vibrant and culturally rich country that offers a variety of experiences for travellers. As a Nigerian passport holder, you can stay in Senegal for up to 90 days, providing ample time to explore the country’s many attractions. These include the Niokolo-Koba National Park, Gorée Island, the stunning pink waters of Lake Retba, and the bird-rich Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, among others.

  1. Togo

Togo is another attractive visa free destination for Nigerian passport holders. Although Nigeria does not share a direct border with Togo, the country is relatively close. Nigeria borders the Republic of Benin to the west, and Togo is situated west of Benin. Therefore, travelling from Nigeria to Togo typically involves crossing through Benin.

Togo is renowned for its diverse cultures and ethnic groups, as well as its exceptional craftsmanship. Togolese artisans are famous for creating beautiful crafts, including pottery, weaving, and wood carving. Markets in Lomé and other cities showcase various handmade goods, providing visitors with a unique shopping experience.

  1. Chad

When you hear of Chad, one of the first things that comes to mind is the well-known Lake Chad, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Lake Chad is, in fact, crucial for the region’s ecology and economy; it is a hub for fishing and agriculture. However, the country has several other exciting attractions and historical sites beyond the lake. The Zakouma National Park, Ennedi Plateau, and Tibesti Mountains are a few examples.

Read also: Top 10 Multinational Companies That Have Their Roots in Africa 

African Countries that Issue Visa on Arrival and eVISA to Nigerian Passport Holders

The following African countries do not require a visa before travel. However, you will need to apply for a visa upon entry into the country:

  • Comoros
  • Ethiopia
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Rwanda
  • Somalia
  • Uganda

Some countries also offer eVisa options, which allow you to apply, pay fees, and receive visa approval electronically without the need to visit an embassy or consulate in person. The following African countries issue eVisas for Nigerian passport holders:

  • Djibouti
  • Gabon
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Read Also: Top 20 Tourist Countries in Africa


Nigerians can explore 17 African countries without needing a visa, with options for visa-on-arrival and eVisas in many others. Whether you’re drawn to Benin’s bustling markets, Cape Verde’s breathtaking scenery, or Kenya’s incredible wildlife, each destination promises a distinctive experience. As a Nigerian, Africa welcomes you with open arms to uncover its diverse treasures effortlessly. Grab your passport today and journey to discover the continent’s wonders firsthand.

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Nororat Alan-Lodam
Nororat Alan-Lodam
Nororat is a driven law student and thriving entrepreneur. When not immersed in legal studies or growing her business ventures, she finds solace reading novels and writing content particularly for brand promotion.

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