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Nigeria - Top Tips

Super Seven

1. Lekki Conservation Centre This is a nature reserve located in Lekki with plenty of biodiversity on show. Established in 1990 by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and has been an ever popular spot since for both locals and tourists. This place has both swamp and savanna habitats with the mona monkeys stealing the show. Other residents include crocodiles, snakes, monitor lizards, plus giant rats and hogs. Worth noting that this is a great bird watcher spot too! For the brave, there's also a twenty-one meters-high tree platform.

2. Nike Art Gallery Also located in Lekki and spanning across a five-storey building, this gallery was the biggest surprise for me in Nigeria. I wouldn't say I'm the biggest art fan by any means, but wow there's some impressive pieces in here. Founded by artist and designer Nike Davies-Okundaye, but the gallery features work by over 500 artists. There's actually five Nike Art Galleries spread across Nigeria in Lekki, Lagos, Oshogbo, Ogidi and Abuja. The art work outside the main entrance is literally made from pieces of scrap and junk.

3. Local Market The markets across West Africa are famed for being the most colourful in the world, and they didn't disappoint. I went to a couple of different ones, but the bustling city of Lagos was the pick of the bunch. There's bright colours in abundance on both the stalls and the clothing of the sellers. My advice is to head up on a rooftop where you can take panoramic photos of the markets in full flow.

4. Makoko Floating Village For a real authentic experience, I'd recommend visiting a local village. I chose Makoko, which is a stilt village close to Lagos. This community is built in a lagoon with the houses high up on wooden stilts. Many of the locals migrated here from Badagary and The Republic of Benin with fishing being the main trade. This definitely isn't a tourist spot, but if you have a local contact, you can hire a wooden boat and head down the lagoon passing locals in canoes. Although this is a unique spot for photographers, worth noting that the locals are not a fan of seeing large cameras snapping away.

5. The Longest Canopy Walkway in Africa Located within Lekki Conservation Centre is a canopy walkway dubbed "The Longest Canopy Walkway in Africa". Whether this statement is accurate or not is debatable, but the walkway is fantastic all the same. There's six towers that rise over 22 feet each, which are connected by a series of suspended walkways. The total length of the walkway is 1,315 feet, which gives this walkway the title of the longest. You'll get great panoramic shots of the reserve all along the walkway!

6. The Redeemed Christian Church of God This place is by far the biggest church I've seen anywhere else in the world! Okay, so it doesn't look like a traditional church due to the structure, but The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is a pentecostal megachurch located on the outskirts of Lagos that has an average attendance of 100,000 people. There's a fascinating article in the New York Times about this place. Back in 2008 there were 14,000 churches and 5 million members in Nigeria, further spanning across 80 countries.

7. Lagos Island City Tour During my time in Nigeria I actually enjoyed a city tour of Lagos. The city has mixed reviews among travellers due to the busy hustle & bustle daily chaos, but there's still some worthwhile spots. Located on Lagos Island, The Cathedral Church of Christ is a stunning piece of architecture, as well as the uniquely designed Central Mosque. As the years pass, tall buildings are slowly taking over this metropolis, but you can still get traditional views of the city from the bridge connecting Lagos to Victoria Island.

Accommodation Advice I found accommodation in Lagos to be much more expensive that I had anticipated. I would recommend staying on Victoria Island as there's a number of good quality hotels. Park Inn by Radisson Serviced Apartments hit the spot for me. You're always going to get a good standard with the Radisson brand without putting a huge hole in your wallet. Traffic is notoriously busy on the island and this was also well located for accessibility.

Food Factor Terra Kulture was my top restaurant pick. This place doubles up as a Nigerian Cultural Centre as well as a restaurant serving local cuisine. The local beans and plantain chips were awesome! The place has a great vibe with friendly staff, but it's also much more than a restaurant, as you'll be able to brush up on your knowledge of local culture and history.


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