You have less than 48 hours in Lagos, but you have heard of this wonderful city that never sleeps and it will be an injustice to yourself, in fact a travesty if you did come to Lagos and never experienced some of its thrills. So you want to know from In the City, other than what is in the offer in the magazine as to what is happening in Lagos for the month, what other things you can do in such a short period. And by the way you are staying on the Island.
And we say you have come to the right source, and we are wondering if you have had breakfast, because if not you might just want to start with that. And please do ask for an authentic Nigerian breakfast. This is what we love about this city and the country; we got food! Do not do any bread, tea, sausage and sorts, do different this time, do Lagos.
What’s on offer then you ask? Here are the things you can ask for; pap (made from corn) ensure it is served with milk and some sugar, and if not already made with some ginger, ask for some ginger powder to spice it up if you are into the exotic. You can chow this down with fried yam, plantain, kara( fried bean cake)and moimoi( soft bean pudding). You could also ask for some Agonyi beans jazzed up with plantains, which you can also eat with eko (sort of a soft corn pudding). Should you want something a little bit peppery, you will not go wrong with yam or green plantain pepper soup, done with fish or goat meat. Just remember there is a reason it is called peeper soup, so go easy if it is the first time. Masa dipped into some sauce and washed down with fura de nino will not be a bad idea should the mood catch you. Okay let’s rest the food talk, am getting hungry.
Fortified, you roll, and if you are into museums and art galleries welcome. You can either pay a visit to the National Museum (no website; on Awolowo Road, Lagos), stocked with many national treasures. Glistening royal crowns and brass collections from Benin City are popular exhibits, as are the Nok Terracottas, full-size clay heads, animals and figures, most dating from between 500 BC and 200 AD. A nonprofit crafts center on the grounds offers woodcarvings and batik textiles for sale. Or you can visit some of the private art galleries, such as Nike Art Gallery at Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Didi Museum at Victoria Island where you can not only feast your eyes, but also be able to purchase works of art that you can take home.(Check City Guide pages for proper address)
It’s nearing lunch hour, but you can take in a thing or two, and this time I am assuming you love nature. Voila! Lekki Conservation center calling. Operated by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (ncfnigeria.org), and opened in 1990, the center is a place where travelers can experience a vast wetlands preserved for viewing wildlife, including monkeys, exotic birds and native crocodiles. Spanning more than 192 acres, it is one of the few environmental preservation areas in Lagos, featuring natural vegetation forests, swamps and savannas. An elevated boardwalk gives visitors a closeup view of the swamp, bird habitats and a variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Adventurous guests can climb a ladder to access a tree house perched within a towering Pakiabiglobossa, a perennial deciduous tree also known commonly as a dawadawa tree. Children and families enjoy the nation station at the end of the boardwalk, featuring a picnic area and outdoor games area. And all of this smack on Lekki Expressway (opposite Chevron Head Office).
Now that you are truly famished, enjoy again the culinary feast that abounds in Nigeria. Find a place that fits your mood and wallet and have yourself a good time. What’s on offer is too numerous to mention, remember the breakfast, you were kind of confused at the array, so for lunch, just ask for the simple such as jollof rice, yam porridge, eba, amala, pounded yam, tuwo e.t.c and soup ( egusi, vegetable, oha, efo, edikankon, afiaefere, groundnut) okay this is overwhelming, but it is what it is, you know, simply good food.
Satiated and feeling good, why don’t I suggest a cool down like no other, by plopping yourself down like a king/queen in one of the beaches that dot the Island, where you are going to be waited on hands and foot with opportunities to swim and rent beach huts. You could make a choice between Oniru Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Eleko Beach,and Alpha Beach due to your time constraint, because if you did have more time an array of choice of beaches await you the stretch of the peninsular and beyond. There are also plenty of opportunities to sample local street food from stalls dotted along the beaches, including suya, which is skewers of meat cooked on an open fire, seasoned with local spices and peppers. Yeah, it’s been a long beautiful day and did you say, what have they been complaining about Lagos? Wee traffic on the way and solicitations here and there, but this happens in most places this populous. Same thoughts here !