The Bar Beach, yesterday morning:
Many rightly refer to Lagos as the city that never sleeps. Characterized by over population, noise, business hub, cultural diversity etc. the city is most celebrated for its liveliness and hot spots which distinguishes it from other cities in Nigeria. Among the many features that can only be found in one of the most populous cities in the world, the Beach remains the most outstanding.
Bar Beach, Kuramo Beach, Lekki Beach, Alpha Beach, Eleko Beach, Akodo Beach, Badagry Beach, Agaja Beach, Ilashe Beach, Whispering Palms, Lighthouse Beach, Atlas Cove, Ogogoro Island and Tarkwa Bay are some of the private and public Beaches in Lagos (some of them are not so enticing anymore though…).
These Beaches serve as a good spot where Lagosians and Tourists let their hair down and feel the earth under their feet. They turnout in tens on weekdays and in hundreds on weekends, but during festive holidays or other public holidays the place is besieged by both rich and poor itching for an opportunity to bask in the glory of nature. You will see lovers strolling on the white sand, families sitting under the Palm trees with their picnic basket, youths swimming in the wave of the calm ocean or religious groups/spiritualists offering sacrifice/sun worshiping (in some of the public Beach).
Uniquely located in different parts of Lagos, each Beach appeal to a varied audience- For example, the Kuramo (named after a small lake which lies behind it), Eleko Beach and Tarkwa Bay are often patronized by the masses while Ilashe and Whispering Palms (a holiday resort near Badagry) are exclusive Beach resort accessible only to those who can afford it.
Tarkwa Bay, a sheltered Beach located at the entrance of Lagos Port is one of the best public beaches in Lagos. It is easily accessible by boat from Tarzan Jetty at Maroko or through Falomo Bridge on Victoria Island. Many love Tarkwa Bay because of its calm aura, which makes it possible for children to swim. Also, the white sand is not as coarse as of other Beaches, thus people find it more comfortable to walk or lie on.
Like Tarkwa Bay, Lekki Beach is a popular Beach on the Island. It is accessible through the Lekki-Epe Expressway, around Ilasan Housing Estate. The Beach has small huts/shelter made of palm fronds that are available for hire (at meager price) by tourists and other visitors.
Meanwhile, another serene Beach for Lagosians who love to live big in an exclusive environment is the Halem Sea Side Resort on Kuramo Beach or Ikaare Island or Satellite Town. Like Ilashe and Agaja Beach, this exclusive Beach resort is open to people looking for a place to take-off for a short vacation while maintaining a sense of community feel.
Farther away from the Island and the buzzing of the metropolis is the Badagry Beach. People who visit the Badagry Heritage Museum or Slave Port often maximize their trip by heading down to this famous Beach. The horse ride, fresh-looking coconut begging to be eaten, not-so-clean but calm atmosphere makes it an attractive place to unwind.
But oh! I must warn you though… Some of the Beaches currently need a serious makeover. Like some public infrastructures in Nigeria, some of the public Beaches are becoming a little unattractive. I mean, the place is sometimes left to the care of domineering “touts” and petty traders. To walk into the place, one has to go through the loud and bossy street urchins who demand ridiculous amount for entrance fees, depending on your demeanor or outward appearance. In the early hours of the morning or late at night, spiritualists and other religious “consultants” take over the public space. They are seen carrying out different sacrifices and prayers to the god of the sea, for people who consult them. But if you can look beyond these inadequacies, the public beach is a good spot to hangout, socially with friends. And help the government and those in charge make the beach more visit-able for others by cleaning up after your “celebration.” As the saying goes, “be the change you want to see in the world.” Or better still, create the change you want to see on the Beach- don’t loiter, don’t dump dirts or leave your space untidy, avoid patronizing or engaging the services of touts, street urchins and prostitutes, report any suspicious behavior to the right authorities immediately, etc.
In terms of proximity, Bar Beach and Kuramo Beach are located at the heart of business in Victoria Island. However, Lekki Beach, Eleko Beach and Akodo Beach are located around the Lekki Environ. Still on the Island, Tarkwa Bay, Halem Sea side resort, Lighthouse Beach, Ogogoro Island and Atlas Cove are closely knitted around the Port entrance. The whispering Palms Beach and Holiday resort, Badagry Beach and Suntan Beach are all located in Badagry. But no matter where you reside in Lagos, one of these Beaches are near you, if not at your door step! So maximize the upcoming holiday season, let your hair down and feel the earth under your feet at the Beach!