Harmattan is a cold, dry wind that blows around December to January in Nigeria. It usually brings with it a heavy fog in the morning and a lot of dust particles when it blows in the afternoon. This is typical of southern Nigeria or mountainous regions which are more humid than the northern desert plains.
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In the north, it is basically just cool air in the morning and night and windy dust particle breeze in the afternoons during harmattan. This weather variation impacts how Nigerians manage and travel during the dry season.
How? Here are a few things you should know about travelling during harmattan season:
Flights Might Be Delayed or Grounded
During harmattan, the weather becomes hazy, which reduces visibility for pilots. This unforeseen circumstance at the time of a scheduled flight is the reason most flights are delayed or grounded. This might mean cancellation of flights till the weather clears up. Sometimes, the flights may be rescheduled for a later date. There may be more last-minute sales of tickets because some people would rather travel at another more convenient time or use another form of transportation instead of travelling at a later date. If you lack the patience for the hassles of air transport during the harmattan season, then opt for other modes of transportation.
Dress for the Weather
Thanks to COVID-19, wearing a nose mask is now a trend. During harmattan, you will need it to protect you from dust particles that cause sicknesses and allergies. Just wear a face mask to cover your nose and a scarf or cap to protect your hair from the dust.
Also, this season is best for layered dressing. You can wear a chiffon top with a jean jacket on a pair of jeans for the morning. Then take the jacket off in the afternoon and put it back on in the evening when the cold seeps in. Your jackets can have long sleeves and a thickness to combat the cold while your outfit can be breathable materials like cotton. With this, you are dressed to accommodate both the heat and the cold.
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In harmattan season, becoming parched in normal. So if you must travel, make sure you carry your bottle of water or buy ice blocked water from those sellers along the road. Keep water with you at all times to sip on and stay hydrated. That way, your skin and lips won’t become too dry and start cracking.
Likewise, use body creams with high moisture and some oils on your skin. Don’t forget to use your sunscreen too. For your lips, take your lip balm container with you and apply after drinking water or whenever your lip feels dry.
Conserve as much energy as possible during your trip because if you work yourself up, you will sweat and lose water. Also, don’t drink too much water so you don’t urinate too much during a trip.
Drive With the Windows Up
If you’ll be going on road trips, harmattan season is the best time to drive with your windows up. To do this, you need a vehicle with a functional AC system. This way you are not inhaling a lot of dust particles as you drive for long hours. The AC will help with regulating the temperature because the heat gets more intense as the day goes by. You don’t have to be outside for the dust to settle on you during harmattan season. Having the windows up helps to reduce dust deposits on you during the trip.
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