If you follow me on any of my social media accounts you would have noticed that I’m currently on a trip around a few countries in Africa for the next few weeks.
I wanted to share some thoughts while on the road to answer some of the questions I’ve been getting so far around Nigeria and I think it would be great to do this for the other countries, compare notes of the different experiences and share my perspective as I go.
So I went to the part of Nigeria called Lagos State. My frame of reference for the post will be derived from this. I have never been to any other state and there is a possibility that you may have had a different experience to mine due to geographical location, ruling tribes, size, etc.
The first thing you will most definitely notice when you depart from plane is the humidity. Given that I arrived at Murtala Muhammad Airport, although it’s situated in the Mainland, it’s really close to the Islands and the ocean and it’s positioning near the equator makes for hot and humid temperature. If you’ve been to Dubai, it’s not as hot, if you’ve been to Duran, it’s more humid and I hear it’s quite similar to Thailand in terms of it being constantly overcast, but that could just be the time of year Im traveling in.
The second thing I can guarantee you’ll notice is the chaos. You walk out of the plane into the airport and it’s like you’ve just walked into the twilight zone. EVERYONE is shouting at you and each other, running somewhere (I guess to collect their bags at the carousel) but you will notice, it’s vibrant and it’s buzzing.
You then get to passport control and you wish to die. It’s the longest queue, there’s no aircon, never mind a fan. Natives are shouting (again) at you and each other, there’s a tribal “war” that can subtly be noticed between the men controlling the different areas and the ones trying to escort you through the “priority lane” and the faster you wish to leave the more frustrating it will get.
My experience was made so much more bearable as I had some company and Protocol (invest in protocol!!!!). We quickly adjusted to the chaos and realized the possibilities of being stuck at the airport for at least another 4 hours and started cracking jokes about Malaria and some local celebrities we had flown in with.
Top 2 tips here:
Do not check in any bag. You won’t find it at the carousel
If it’s your first time, organise Protocol, if not to and from the hotel, just get it for your arrival- it can be intimidating as a first timer.
On the way to the hotel
Okay, the one thing I must tell you here is that there is traffic in Lagos at any given time. I arrived at around 8pm local time and there was backed up traffic on the highway that I spotted as we were landing. The trip to the hotel was 28km away, Thank God for Protocol who moved all the traffic aside for our driver. It’s great.
Definitely my take outs in this section are the restaurant in Lagos called The Lagoon where I tried some cheese naan, grilled crayfish and jollof rice. The view was incredible and reminded me so much of Venice and the grand canal. The company was also fantastic!
I also had time to sneak in some Cold Stone ice cream which was just Devine and totally worth all the calories!
What happens in Lagos stays in Lagos
Lagos by far exceeded my expectations. As I write this post in Ghana, I can definitely reflect and say although very loud, Nigerians are way more fun, out there and friendlier than Ghanaians (and they make the best Jollof rice 😂). I had a great time, made more friends than I can count, and my fellow Jordies made it incredibly memorable.