It turns out not everybody thinks Nigeria is riddled with kidnappers and terrorists. According to this list published by the Guardian, Lagos comes in at an enviable position at 25 of the top 40 places to visit this year, ahead of Arkansas in the US and Yorkshire in the UK. That’s something to be happy about right?
According to the article, “Lagos is emerging as something of a creative hub. In fashion, the striking colours and bold fabrics used by labels such as Maki Oh (by Maki Osakwe) and Kingdom by Caven + Etomi, are helping bring global attention to the Nigerian fashion scene. The capital’s art scene is opening up, too, with organisations such as Video Art Network Lagos curating film festivals and experimental media art events around the capital – though these are small-fry compared with the big-bucks Nollywood film industry. While it is predominantly visitors from other African countries who are drawn by Nollywood, the steady attention Nigerian films are getting in America and the UK means more international visitors will want to visit its heartland.”
“Nollywood has become a worldwide phenomenon,” says Lagos- based artist Emeka Ogboh. “People are curious to see the space it depicts.” People are coming to feel the city’s vibes and energy.”
The article panders to the art lovers out there which is great but, as much as the art scene in Lagos is a thriving industry, the city has loads more to offer the discerning tourist.
There are breathtaking beaches in Lekki and Epe that would rival any other in Africa, not to mention the opportunity to mix with a thriving cultural mix of expats and the young, up and coming class in Victoria Island and Ikoyi.
Tourists can take a trip to Badagry to see the remnants of the slave trade era, visit the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lekki or take a drive down the popular Balogun market, where you could find anything from African fabrics to unique accessories and relics, then straight to Onikan and Surulere to get a good feel for the City.
Nightlife in Lagos is full of life and activity. You’ll be spoilt for choice between the many clubs and bars that line the City from Surulere to Ikeja and Victoria Island.
One might argue that the sight of a foreigner in Balogun Market would spark security concerns or worse still, an uncontrollable frenzy. This is only because, it’s not currently the norm to have tourists in the City.
The people of Lagos and Nigeria in general are mostly civilised people who are enterprising and up for a laugh always. If the market stalls in countries like Morocco can accommodate throngs of tourists in an otherwise conservative society, then liberal and bustling Lagos can definitely do better.
If you’re worried about accommodation, there are some breathtakingly beautiful world class hotels in Lagos, like the breathtaking oriental Hotel in Lekki, Radisson Blu in Victoria Island and the Eko Hotel and Suites.
With an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius all year round, and daily sunshine of about 10 hours (in December especially), it’s perfect to visit both during Summer and Winter.
A lot of tourists take these lists serious, especially when making the agonizing decision of where their next Holiday destination should be. A lot of would be tourists would probably be skeptical about visiting Lagos, what with all the negative press Nigeria’s be having lately, but hopefully, the prospect of visiting a city that hasn’t been well worn by travelers will appeal to the more adventurous.
Mandatory Image credit courtesy of :LookslikeLagos via Instagram.