Jos is the state capital of Plateau State at the center of Northern Nigeria. Its cool climate, due to its breathtaking system of plateaux, and its colonial importance as the tin mining center of Nigeria made it a favourite tourist destination. However, recent communal and religious violence have put this on hold.
Jos is inhabited by various ethnic groups chief of whom are the indigenous Birom, the Hausa-Fulani and more recently, Yoruba and Igbo southerners displaced from other northern cities in the aftermath of religious violence. The widely spoken language is Hausa although almost everyone speaks English.
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 serices with terminuses 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.
Arik air runs a once a day domestic flight from Lagos to Jos and back. The Jos airport is located some 30km from the town so it is best to have some money for a taxi fare to town (generally about 2,500 naira)if there will be nobody waiting for you.
The old locomotive trains famed in Cyprian Ekwensi's 'The Passport of Mallam Ilia' no more bring the people in and the tin out.
There are many taxi cabs all over Jos, but they have to be shared with other passengers over defined routes. 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 'achaba' 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 achaba rides also tend to be more expensive that the taxi or bus rides but are very flexible.
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. The Jos wildlife park is not very interesting as there is hardly anything interesting to see. There are many waterfalls on the outskirts of Jos.
The University of Jos has courses in most fields and has sufficient hostel accommodation. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has its television college also located in Jos where courses in film production and editing are on offer.
The central business district is located around Ahmadu Bello Way in the center of Jos. 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 are many eateries and restaurants that offer a range of cuisines. Local delicacies are also very abundant.
Shemshak, opposite The University of Jos gates is a local favourite where the price is reasonable.
Do not go to Jos unless you are with a Nigerian. Foreigners are easy targets.