Making a pilgrimage to Israel from Nigeria is a dream for many in Nigeria.
But it can also be a reality.
I’ve put together 5 essential tips for Nigerians wanting to visit Jerusalem (the capital of Israel…). Check them out below.
Now, the first thing to understand is traveling to Israel from Nigeria is hard to do independently.
There are no direct flights between Israel and Nigeria. This means that you would need to fly indirectly (via Istanbul or Addis Ababa) and the cost of the flights alone is extortionate.
There is help at hand though, courtesy of the Nigerian Government and, more specifically, an organisation called the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission (aka, the NCPC).
In short, the NCPC is responsible for supervising pilgrimages from Nigeria to Jerusalem and subsidises the cost of such trips significantly. In other words, pilgrimages made through the NCPC will be much much cheaper than traveling alone.
The NCPC offers trips to Israel twice a year: the “General Pilgrimage” which takes place between October and December and the “Easter Pilgrimage” which takes place between March and April.
But when is the best time of year to visit Israel?
This is really a question of personal choice.
The Easter Pilgrimage offers beautiful weather during the Israeli springtime. Events such as the Good Friday Procession in Jerusalem and the Sunrise Service at the Garden Tomb take place at this time of year.
The General Pilgrimage allows Nigerian Christians to experience the Holy Land during the holy Yuletide period. At this time of year, the towns of Nazerath and Bethlehem light up in honour of Christmas and represent a sight to behold.
The NCPC also offers a “Family Pilgrimage” which takes place in August and a “Youth Pilgrimage” which takes place in July.
We’re often asked by our readers: What is the cost of going on a pilgrimage to Israel from Nigeria?
During 2016, the cost for an individual Nigerian making pilgrimage via the NCPC was 473,940 Naira for the General Pilgrimage and 461,440 Naira for the Easter Pilgrimage.
The cost of the family pilgrimage depends on the size of your family and ranges from 896,561.60 Naira to 2,982,517 Naira.
There’s no doubt that the cost of a pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Nigeria is not cheap. But thanks to the NCPC, it costs a hell of a lot less than it might do otherwise.
So get saving now and, fingers crossed, a trip to Israel might come sooner than you think.
In order to apply to visit Jerusalem via the NCPC, you will need to fill in the NCPC Application Form.
I warn you that the NCPC Application Form is very long. You can either print and send the form to the NCPC in the mail or submit the form online.
You need to fill in a number of pages, including personal details and various declarations. In addition, you need to do as follows:
Got all that?
I know, it sounds like a lot of work. But keep in mind that close to 14,000 Nigerian Christians go on pilgrimage to Israel from Nigeria each year.
Doctors and nurses stand the chance to participate in a pilgrimage to Israel from Nigeria for free as part of the medical team.
Each year, the NCPC runs an exam that you will need to pass in order to be part of the medical team.
The NCPC does not allow past participants to re-apply. Also, please note as well that the NCPC does require its medical team to be currently practicing medicine at the time of application.
Updates regarding the NCPC medical registration process (including exams and their results) are announced on the NCPC website.
Have you participated in the NCPC pilgrimage from Nigeria to Jerusalem? If so, please write below and let us know about your experiences in the Holy Land.