Going to Lagos – Handy Tips for the Smart Traveler

by Enitan Doherty-Mason

I come from an old Lagos family but have been absent long enough to be able to observe the city with relative objectivity which allows me to offer sensible information to the clear headed smart traveler. The fact is Lagos is “big city” and an expensive city at that. Think New York or Tokyo when you think of the cost of things in Lagos. Lagos comprises the Island and Mainland. The smart traveler quickly learns to appreciate the entire city of Lagos as a whole, recognizing that the larger part of the population live in more affordable areas of the mainland. I hope my tips will help smart people navigate Lagos more readily. Smart people seek practical solutions to challenges and keep their ego well in check. Please keep in mind that services, prices and fees listed are subject to change; these are independent businesses that I have tested and found to be smart finds. Hopefully you will find this information equally helpful when you are in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s the little things that make a difference in the quality of your time in Nigeria

Best Taxi service by a private individual
Mr. Adeleke – Phone # 0702-511-1220
Mr. Adeleke charged me N6,000 for service from 9 am – 6pm
This gentleman is worth every penny of a tip you choose to give him.
He is a very decent, organized, punctual, clean and respectful man.
No air conditioning but the price and the driver’s attitude makes up for all of that and some.

Best Service by Cab Company Driver
Mr. Obafemi Oduselu – Phone # 0803-524-7977
The company charges hourly rates. It’s a metered cab service.
Younger man.Great attitude!
Newer vehicle and has air conditioning.

Home Delivery Fast Food – Good Food
Delivery fee is typically N200
Chicken Republic (Several branches through out Lagos) – Nice chicken centered menu
ChefVys (only in Yaba @Moleye and Hughes Ave intersection) – Nigerian dishes, pastries etc

I am sure there are other restaurants that deliver but I used these two for home delivery and liked their food.

Best Price on Bottled water – Delivery can be arranged
N450 per case
Mrs. Adejoke Fadina in Ikeja- Phone # 0802-318-4074
I like to buy up to 10 cases at once. I store a case in the freezer for drinking and keep a bottle in the bathroom for brushing my teeth because I don’t trust tap water in many neighborhoods for brushing my teeth. Tap water is okay for taking a bath and washing clothes; I prefer not to drink it but you may feel differently.

Best Cyber Cafe Service
Cool Cafe located on Etim Inyang Street near Cool FM Radio Station in Victoria Island

Cool Cafe is as safe as you can get in a public shared computer situation in Lagos. The staff is polite and professional. Using their computer costs N400 per hour when I was there. Each printed page was N80. The high cost of using this cyber café makes it a less likely target for people to lurk around with the hopes of stealing other people’s information.

Granted there are many less expensive cyber cafes in most communities, this one is spacious, quiet, well organized, clean and effectively air conditioned environment. Great place to do serious work on the computer.

Large Size Copies and Emergency Word Processing to Go
Xerox – 12/14 fatai Atere Way
Matori Industrial Scheme
Oshodi Lagos

Xerox located in Matori is the place to go. For a reasonable fee you can have photocopies made and you can use their computer for word processing if you know your way around a computer and the available software reasonably well. Don’t expect a comfortable seat as your work area but you will be glad to have an understanding staff available. When you print things out keep in mind that the American letter sized paper is not the norm in most places.

Phone Card Savings – Wholesale Phone Card Centers
All the phone cards can be purchased just about everywhere but if you’ve got the gift of gab or simply prefer to communicate in complete sentences even when you send text messages, you can save a reasonable amount of money by purchasing your phone cards from whole sale dealers who offer discounted rates. I purchased wholesale phone cards in Mushin on Palm Avenue simply because it was on my travel path. Go in to shop armed with up to N10,000 per visit depending on how much you use your phone.

Yummiest Caterers

Mrs. Sola Kayode – Phone 0803-834-6135
Small chops, main meal and 1 glass of Chapman will cost you N1, 500.00 per head. Mrs. Kayode adds a few extra/free plates as gratis.
Mrs. Kayode offers excellent food, friendly and polite service. She will cater to small and large crowds.

Friendly Foods – Phone 01-765-8548
Small chops and main meal is N1,500. It wasn’t clear if this included a Chapman drink. This caterer clearly does not serve smaller crowds because the person I spoke with promised to call back but never did when I inquired about a service for 10 to 20 people.
The food is excellent.

Find A Good Read while Grocery shopping at Shoprite Supermarket

ThisDay Media Center in Lekki is one good place to while away time while your partner/other half does the grocery shopping…mhmm or a great place to pick up a great read or two. This multi-function Media Center has computers (laptops and desk tops) available for use and will also laminate materials for you both for a fee while you wait. You will find some interesting book titles here. I purchased several books here, among them a copy of The Abyssinian Boy by Onyeka Nwelue for N800. Prices are average.

Finally I encourage you to have a great attitude, be flexible and you’ll enjoy your time in Nigeria. If you are an internet junkie, bring your own laptop and subscribe to an internet service; it’s worth the price. An alternative to your own lap top is a safe and reputable cyber cafe. As with travel to all other countries, take more money than clothes; it will always work out for you.

Yours on the go,

Sisi Eko – Enitan

P.S. Tune your radio to Wazobia FM while you’re in Nigeria. It is truly a listening experience.

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