Sokoto: A desert location in the Sahel, offering history, culture, and vibrant markets
Sokoto is an exotic destination in northern Nigeria. The desert-situated city is home to more than 2.5 million people who are the lifeblood of the destination’s local trade and commerce. Sokoto offers you fascinating history, vibrant shopping scenes and incredible scenery. The top attractions include the Sultan of Sokoto Palace, the Sokoto Museum, and the Goronyo Dam.
Are you ready to experience the interesting northern parts of Nigeria? Because cheap flights to Sokoto are available for a limited time! Sokoto is the home of Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport (SKO), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre of Sokoto. Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport serves the Nigerian airline of Arik Air. There are no flights from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Sokoto, but 3-hour, 40-minute connecting flights from Abuja are available.
Popular flights to Sokoto
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Sokoto
Nestled in the Sahel, Sokoto promises you amazing surroundings. Visit scenic locations such as Goronyo Dam and the ruins at Surame. Treat yourself to an adventure from this remote setting.
Sokoto is also home to a number of fascinating sites, revealing the rich history of the city and surrounding area. There’s the Sultan of Sokoto Palace, built in 1808, and the Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio, constructed after 1817.
Traditional African Artworks
Discover a part of the culture of Sokoto, by checking out the indigenous African art, including works of terracotta, as well as the exhibitions and tours at the National Gallery of Art.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
1 ZAR = 26.14 NGN
Hausa / Fulfulde
Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport (SKO)
GMT + 1
Type D / G
Best time to visit Sokoto
Sokoto experiences what is known as a local steppe climate. You will barely experience any rainfall. Due to high levels of humidity, temperatures are hot throughout the year. The best time to visit Sokoto for the coolest temperatures is July to September and December to February. Take note that there is slightly more rain from July to September. If you’re visiting between December and February, you may be able to witness the Argungu Fishing Festival, which takes places in February or March on the Sokoto River.
Weather & Climate in Sokoto
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
Sokoto is the capital of the Sokoto State. The destination’s name, of Arabic origin, translates roughly to ‘market’, and the city certainly lives up to its name with its vibrant market scenes. Sokoto sits in an iconic location, in the magnificent Sahel, surrounded by sandy savannah and secluded hills.
If you’re looking to explore the more remote areas of Nigeria and discover a different way of life, Sokoto is the place to go. A number of the city’s attractions are historic, with venues you can check out including the Sultan of Sokoto Palace and the Tomb of Usman Dan Fodio.
The busiest scenes in Sokoto are the markets. Some of the best to explore, thanks to their size, quality, and quantity, are Kasoa Dankure, Kasoa Rubber, Kasoa Ndaji, and the Old Market. Shop for fresh ingredients, local produce, clothing, jewellery, electronic devices, and more.
Step away from the buzzing scenes of Sokoto’s markets and discover the fascinating natural areas surrounding the city. There are the historic ruins at the Surame Cultural Landscape and the breath-taking scenery at the Goronyo Dam.
Other places of note in Sokoto are the National Gallery of Art, the Sokoto Museum, and the Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Museum.
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In addition to your passport, you will need a visa to visit Sokoto and the rest of Nigeria. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return date, and that there is at least two blank pages for entry stamps.
Ensure that you receive all the routine vaccinations before travelling to Sokoto. These include your yearly flu shot, as well as for measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, and varicella (chickenpox). You will also need a yellow fever certificate. It would be wise to additionally get vaccinations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and malaria.
Sokoto enjoys a high level of safety, but since the population is Islamic with conservative values, take care to be respectful at all times. If you visit during election periods, follow the news on where the rallies take place so that you know which areas to avoid, since these events are reputed to become quite volatile.