Border town, beaches, and a bounty of history are synonymous with the town of Badagry. This destination is easily accessible via the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and the journey itself is colorful. An hour and a half away from Lagos, set off early in the day to enjoy the experience.
Museums and history interwoven
A visit to the cluster of museums in Badagry Town will teach you about Nigeria’s role in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Meet Williams Seriki Abass, a Nigerian man who lost his name when sold to slave traders at Dahomey and built a reputation as a middle man for a Brazilian slave trader. Reflect on the value of human life as you examine goods bartered for humans and the tools used to ensure that captured slaves remained in that state. This is a sobering tour, but there is a lot to see and learn. The Badagry Heritage and Mobee Slave Museums have also preserved relics from that era.
A town of many firsts
The first storey building in Nigeria is a walking distance from the museum quarters. A knowledgeable guide is on hand to introduce its first occupants to you. Step back into the corridors of history as you feel old coins that were used by the early missionaries who lived in Badagry. Discover the story of a young boy who was captured as a slave, taught to speak several languages and will grow up to translate the first bible written in Yoruba.
An Island with a troubled past
Prepare for a long trek as you enter the Slave Port of Badagry. For a reasonable fare, you will be transported by boat to Gberefu Island, the location where slaves were held prior to sailing on boats they never returned from. Aptly, this trek is known as “The Point of No Return”. A symbolic reddish clay well known as the Attenuation well is along this route. Find out more about its role in the then nearby slave market of Vlekete and resist the temptation to drink its water. You will be rewarded with an expansive view of Badagry’s famous palm trees and cream sandy beachfront at the end of this trek.
The Perfect picnic spot
This may be an excellent spot to set up lunch items for a picnic as you enjoy the freedom of the island’s beauty. Drink fresh coconut water straight from a gourd and feast your eyes on the handcrafted gems locals have made using the items sourced from the island. You just may find the perfect gift and souvenir from your trip to Badagry.
Beach Hotel anyone?
If you must head out of the town before dark, then do so. Otherwise, take your pick between the famous Suntan Beach and the serene Arakhab Beach Resort. A dinner of freshly caught fish roasted on the grill and served along with sweet potato fries will be a high note to end your visit.
WATCH a 90 seconds vacation video to Badagry
Budget for 2 (N5, 000 to N30, 000)