The Thriving Commercial Hub of Africa
With around 17.5 million inhabitants, Lagos is the largest city in Africa in terms of population and GDP, and one of the fastest growing cities in the world. From its inception it has been a port city, built on a collection of islands, it has expanded inwards onto the mainland giving it its two main districts. The name 'Lagos' was given to the settlement by the Portuguese, meaning 'lakes'.
When to visit Lagos
Lagos has a tropical wet and dry climate with two rainy seasons in a year, between April and June, and then in October and November. The dry season, from December to March, brings with it the Harmattan winds from the Sahara Desert. It can be both windy and dusty during this time. Lagos celebrates a range of both Christian and Muslim festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Eid Al Maulud and Eid Al Fitri. There are also several non-religious festivals such as the Lagos Black Heritage Festival in May and the Eyo Festival.
Before you go to Lagos
UK passport holders travelling to Nigeria require a passport with a validity of a minimum six months as well as a visa. Visitors are advised to consult their GP six weeks prior to travel. There is a high risk of malaria in Lagos and medication may be a good option. It's also advisable to be vaccinated against diphtheria, hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, poliomyelitis, yellow fever and possibly more. The official language of Nigeria is English and it's widely spoken by many people throughout Lagos. The Yoruba language is also spoken by many locals. The Nigerian currency is the Naira (NGN), and a cheap meal costs around 600 NGN.
Lagos airport transfer, local transport and accommodation
Murtala Mohammed International Airport is around 20 miles from Lagos city centre. A yellow taxi will take around 45 minutes to complete the journey and costs about 6,000 NGN. Rental cars can also be hired at the airport. In terms of getting around the city, taxis are by far the easiest way. Fares begin from around 400 NGN, though be sure to negotiate the price before you get in. The BRT buses drive on separate lanes, thus avoiding traffic. Tickets costs from around 70 NGN upwards. The yellow buses cost from 20 NGN, however, allow extra time for traffic congestion. A mid-priced hotel should cost around 10,000 NGN per person per night.