LA­GOS

THE EN­ERGY OF WEST AFRICA’S MOST VI­BRANT CITY IN­VITES A RE­TURN VISIT

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - TRAVEL - WORDS LERATO TSHA­BAL­ALA

la­gos in Nige­ria has an en­ergy that can be ri­valled only by that of hor­monal teenage boys: fre­netic, per­sis­tent and seem­ingly in­fi­nite. Some­times it can be almost over­whelm­ing – dur­ing the long jour­ney to the air­port, nav­i­gat­ing the choked high­ways and the con­stant din of hoot­ing, I had to reach for tran­quil­lis­ers. But for the most part the ma­nia is just right, and a large contributor to what makes La­gos the global eco­nomic and cul­tural force that it is. Yes, the traf­fic is in­sane and ev­ery few blocks there seems to be a charis­matic church,but what you’ll re­mem­ber most about this land of yams, jams, lit­er­a­ture and Fela Kuti’s be­witch­ing Shrine is its peo­ple: ex­pres­sive, beau­ti­ful and in­cred­i­bly kind. Go­ing back, re­peat­edly, is writ­ten in the stars.

MUNCH HERE, DRINK THERE

Lunch at Terra Kul­ture on Vic­to­ria Is­land (pic­tured, right) is a must. With an art gallery and a li­brary, it’s part of the Nige­rian Cul­tural Cen­tre and the per­fect place for hip­ster for­eign­ers. Have one of their freshly squeezed juices with the coun­try’s sta­ple, jollof rice (a spicy dish made with red pep­pers and toma­toes), and fish (pic­tured, be­low left) like I did. ( Ter­rakul­ture.com) Sky Restau­rant & Lounge is lo­cated on the pent­house floor of Eko Ho­tel and Suites on Vic­to­ria Is­land. Take in the views of the At­lantic Ocean while en­joy­ing Nige­rian fine din­ing. ( Eko­ho­tels.com) Oti’s Place doesn’t show up on Google but it ex­ists. Avid marathon run­ner Oti Bazunu has con­verted part of his house into a mem­bers-only wine and jazz bar – per­fect for after-din­ner chillas. Ask a lo­cal to hunt him down for you.You won’t re­gret it. Ti­tilola Elegba’s Fums Prints is where you should go if you

SHOP HERE, BROWSE THERE

want the best in lo­cally made Ankara fab­rics. Ms Titi, the owner, is usu­ally on hand to help you se­lect fab­rics. Ex­pect to pay about NGN4 000 (about R264) for 11 me­tres of fab­ric. And you can ne­go­ti­ate! She’s at Shop 28 in the Iponri Hous­ing Es­tate. * Note: ne­go­ti­a­tion is ev­ery­thing in Nige­ria. Even when pay­ing for a taxi ride you must be wise about how much you’re fork­ing out.

SLEEP HERE, STAY THERE

South­ern Sun Ikoyi, a fiveminute walk over the bridge from the city to Vic­to­ria Is­land, works for both leisure and business travel. I liked the re­laxed feel of the ho­tel and the friendly staff. For a week­end – check­ing in on Satur­day and leav­ing on Mon­day – you’re look­ing at just over R4 000 for a stan­dard room. And they pro­vide lit­tle touches like SA wines, atchaar and chut­ney. ( Tso­go­sun­ho­tels.com) In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal La­gos is sit­u­ated in the heart of Vic­to­ria Is­land, over­look­ing the port. It’s quite mod­ern and min­i­mal­is­tic in de­sign. Ex­pect to pay about R3 000 for a room per night. It’s def­i­nitely meant for those with slightly deeper pock­ets. ( In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal.com)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.