Known as the heartbeat of Africa, Lagos is the epitome of energy and movement, with its labyrinth of districts (the mainland, Greater Lagos, Lagos Island, and Victoria Island) all connected by bridges. Now brimming with nearly 17.5 million people, the city is well on its way to becoming the world’s third largest city by population.
Lagos (the word means "lakes" in Portuguese) was annexed as a British colony in 1861 and remained under British rule until Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Before colonial rule, it was a Yoruba kingdom; it still has a ceremonial sovereign, called the Oba of Lagos. Until 1991, Lagos was the capital of Nigeria and thanks to its history of trade and the country’s wealth of natural resources, Lagos is still the commercial heart of the nation.
History buffs can delve into the somber past of the region by heading west to Badagry, an important port in the slave trade. From there you can visit Gberefu Island, known as the Point of No Return, and walk the slaves' route across this poignantly peaceful island.
For nature lovers, Lagos offers stunning beaches, beautiful waters, and impressive landscapes. The bustling city also has many parks, museums, and markets for you to explore, as well as a fine array of local and international cuisine. Those in need of a cultural fix can dive right into the world-famous arts and music scene.