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.
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have the feeling of living in a developed city, its oldest sites and tourist locations most certainly are very outdated.
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.
Arik Air runs a once a day domestic flight from Lagos to Jos and back. The Jos 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.
The old locomotive trains famed in Cyprian Ekwensi's The Passport of Mallam Ilia no longer bring the people in and the tin out.
You can get into Jos by a private car or a rented vehicle.
Public buses take passengers from particular spots.
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. Since the 2017 change in government, the roads have been safer.
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.
- Jos Wildlife Park: Covering roughly 3 square miles (7.8 km²) of savannah bush, it has since then become a major attraction in the state, attracting tourists from within and outside the country. The park has become a home to various species of wildlife including Lions, Rock pythons, marabou storks, Baboons, Honey Badgers, Camels as well as variant flora.
- Jos National Museum, Museum St, ✉ email@example.com. It was recognized as one of the best in the country. It has been left to fall to ruin, however. The Pottery Hall is also a part of the museum that has an exceptional collection of finely crafted pottery from all over Nigeria and boasts some fine specimens of Nok terracotta heads and artifacts dating from 500 BCE to 200 CE. It incorporates the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture with life-size replicas of a variety of buildings, from the walls of Kano and the Mosque at Zaria to a Tiv village. Articles of interest from colonial times relating to the railway and tin mining can also be found on display. The Jos Museum is also located beside the zoo.
A major thing you can do in Jos is Hiking because of the highlands - The Riyom rock , almost as high as The Aso rock and the Shere Hills are good places for that. There are recreational centers scattered around in the state. You could also visit the Wild life park if you are a lover of such sights. There is A National Museum and a National Library. There are amusement parks like Solomon Lar. There are a host of other beautiful things to do in Jos.
- The University of Jos has courses in most fields and has hostel accommodation.
- Plateau State University (PLASU) also offers a variety of courses.
- The state Polytechnic (PLAPOLY) also 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 center 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.
Many other private institutions also exist.
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 virtually everything you need, most especially food items and perishables. Ranging from meat to fish, fresh pepper tomatoes and onions. There are provision stores, shops for electronics, shoes, water and electricity pipes and what not. Jos is known for large scale production of Irish potatoes, you can get them in bags and other smaller measures in Gangere market which just a few minutes walk from the terminus market. 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. You can buy and sew dresses there.
There are many eateries and restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Local delicacies are also very abundant. many modern restaurants serve International dishes in case you don't feel like eating the local dishes available.
- 1 A1 Food Restaurant (A1), Bauchi Road, jos (From terminus via Bauch road A3), ☏ . A1 restaurant is a simple building with nice atmosphere. They have two different sections for their service delivery: a section for snacks and another for food. I particularly love their Shawarma, tastes good and costs only N500. You could dine in, take away or request delivery. as low as ₦500.
You may need to budget a lot if you will need to buy much in Jos, but as a normal person who just wants to have a trip to Jos, you may need about ₦50,000.
Always have a local citizen with you so to know what exactly you may need for a day.
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.
There are many hotels where you can lie low, and have a quite and interesting sleep. You may need a local citizen to suggest the best place of your description.
Most locations in Jos have 2G/3G/4G mobile network coverage. Service can be disrupted the farther you go away from the city center, and you might occasionally experience network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers in those remote areas of the city. And different networks tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations of the city at different times.
if you are planning a visit to this city, you should probably consider having multiple SIM cards preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seem to perform well than the others, though its rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.
Of the service providers is Glo (or Globacom), which boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, but that might not be enjoyable in some locations in Jos. Airtel is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network stability. And 9mobile usually also performs well in internet browsing speed but not without locational limitations.
There are other third-party internet service providers among which are:
Nigeria has a toll-free single emergency number that you can call in case of any trouble, be it fire, or anything. The response time may not be as fast as it is in your country; so you should try and be safe.
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.