Get ready to bake. It’s hot or humid in Lagos all year round. Not warm. Hot. Only from mid-December to January does the city cool off, when the Harmattan winds bring a plague of dust instead. When you arrive at the airport, have your sunglasses and hat ready. And skip the airport taxis: you’ll have to walk an unreasonable distance in the heat to get to their lot, sweating buckets. Plus, airport taxis are can be a little worse for wear, with unreliable air-conditioning. Get an Uber or Taxify, and ask your driver to crank the AC up to the max.
Pay tribute to a local legend. First-time visitors to Lagos must make a pilgrimage to the New Afrika Shrine, a monument to the city’s best-known musical ambassador: Afrobeat pioneer, activist, and all-around legend Fela Kuti. In the 70s and 80s, Kuti taunted Nigeria’s military government with his hugely popular music. Stung by some pointed criticism, in 1977 the army general sent 1,000 soldiers to raze Kuti’s compound and self-declared republic, which housed his family, band members, recording studio, and a nightclub. In 2000, Kuta’s son, Femi, built the New Afrika Shrine in the spirit of his father’s original base, not far from the old premises in Ikeja. Now, it’s a shrine to Kuti’s life and an open-air club venue with a lively program of music, gatherings, and good times. Come for the education, the atmosphere, the snacks, the drinks made from local herbs—and really fat blunts.