Street Foods in Lagos Nigeria West Africa

Street foods are popular in most cosmopolitan metropolis. Lagos, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria West Africa, is no exception. Unlike food trucks that exist on the streets of New York City, the roadside food vendors in Lagos operate from makeshift facilities ranging from an open charcoal grill on a small bench or table or a wheelbarrow full of fruits and vegetables to umbrella facilities tucked either directly on the street or on a sidewalk with sizzling grilled meats, vegetables or pastries sending their aroma all over the place.

Most often, these makeshift facilities obstruct not only pedestrian traffic but also vehicular traffic and contribute to some of the notorious traffic problems of Lagos. Street trading is very popular in Lagos. It is said that you could actually buy ‘anything’ you want in traffic or on the streets in Lagos.

These foods however fill a niche in the sense that street foods are cheaper than restaurant foods. They are fast, available on the go, and often affordable. You can make a choice of the size or portion of the food that you want. Restaurants are usually far away from most road traffic or offices and could be time consuming to order and sit down for a prepared meal. Street foods are usually on ‘the go’ and consumed as you walk away or in the car ensnared in traffic!

There is hygiene issue with these foods. They may be covered but most are open to the elements allowing dust, splashed mud and water particularly during the rains, flies and insects to settle on the foods. People touch them to find what they need thereby transferring germs from their hands to the food. Vendors tend to use their bare hands to receive the cash and handle the food simultaneously which forms a real potential for germ transfer. The surroundings are usually dirty.

It is a brisk business and some of the vendors swear about their ‘substantial’ income from these businesses. There is very little or no overhead. They generally transfer their makeshift facilities back to their homes or a nearby storage at the end of the day only to bring them back the following day. Some hawk their wares on their heads and go from store to store to ply their foods. They may carry a small stool allowing them some comfort as they move from station to station. I understand that there is some harassment by local law enforcement and health officials.

Foods sold this way include but not limited to fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, Agbalumo (African star apples), bananas, Ube (African or bush pear), Kola Nuts, bitter kola etc, fried foods such as Akara and Dodo, pastries or dessert foods such as the famous ‘puff puff’, donuts or doughnuts, meat and fish pies, fish, eja kika, shawarma, hotdogs or sausages, grilled foods on local grills such as chicken, Bole or roasted plantains, roasted corn or maize, yam, sweet potatoes, Ube (African or bush pear), suya (grilled meat on stick or kebab), fully cooked rice and beans with stew and Ewa Agoyin or local brown beans with stew. These foods are nutritious with careful selections but be suspicious of the hygiene!   

I have chosen to present a few of these street foods so that you can have an idea of what goes on, on the streets of Lagos.

Each of these foods are appropriately labeled on my dreamstime site https://www.dreamstime.com/mfomojola_info under street foods lagos. Enjoy!   

Five Cowries Creek Lagos Nigeria

 The Five Cowries Creek (FCC) is a sliver of water, perhaps can be described as a distributary of the Lagos lagoon which separates Lagos Island and Ikoyi from Victoria Island (VI) along the South Western Coast of Nigeria, West Africa.

FCC joins the Lagos lagoon in the west along the Lagos Marina and in the East around Lekki Phase 1 Estates in Lekki peninsula with VI to the South abutting the Atlantic Ocean. There are three bridges on the FCC; the link bridges from Lagos Marina and third Mainland Bridge to Ahmadu Bello Way VI, Falomo Bridge from Alfred Rewane Road Ikoyi to Akin Adesola Street in VI and the Lekki Ikoyi link bridge connecting Alexander Road Ikoyi to Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1. It is about 10 km long.

Major commercial streets abut the creek on both Ikoyi end and VI end. On the Ikoyi side of the creek are Awolowo Road, Falomo roundabout, Bourdillon Road and Alexander Road with the smaller Queens and Oyinkan Abayomi drives. On the VI side are Ahmadu Bello way, Walter Carrington Crescent, Ozumba Mbadiwe and Maroko Roads, Lekki-Epe expressway extending to Admiralty Way in Lekki Phase 1.

Major clubs, entertainment outfits, restaurants, hotels, churches and commercial and financial establishments are present along these roads. Smaller residential streets are also present. Boats of various sizes are plentiful on this creek and add to the attractions. A major ferry terminal, Five Cowries Terminal, is on the Ikoyi side adjacent to Falomo Bridge. Lagos motor boat club is on Awolowo way. The boat waves on the creek could be very fascinating. These roads and the creek are a beehive of activities at night and a sight to behold when the full power of night light is unleashed.

I have spent some time photographing the major attractions on this creek both during the day, at the blue hour and at night. These streets are more beautiful at night hence the emphasis in this photo blog is on the night along the FCC!

Photos featured here include those of the Marina Ahmadu Bello way link bridge, the Westwood hotel, Lagos Motor Boat Club, Walter Carrington drive, Wings Office Complex Oando PLC headquarters, lagoon restaurant, Radisson Blue hotel, Five Cowries Terminal, the Civic Center, Civic center Towers, Nigeria Law School Lagos, Caverton heliport, 1004 flats, Falomo bridge, Ikoyi Lekki suspension bridge, the Oriental Hotel with lots of other hotels and banking facilities on Maroko and Ozumba roads.

Feed your eyes and enjoy the photos.

Lekki Conservation Center (LCC) Lagos Nigeria

The Lekki Conservation Center (LCC) is located in Lekki peninsula Lagos state. It is the flagship project of the privately funded Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) which was founded by Late Chief S. L. Edu in 1980.

The vision of the NCF as presented on their website is "A Nigeria where people prosper while living in harmony with nature".

LCC is a nature park, a preserved portion of Lekki peninsula in its original form comprising a mangrove swamp and a Savannah grassland located at kilometer 19 along Lagos-Epe expressway in Lagos State. It has a 2 kilometer boardwalk and a 401-meter long suspended swinging canopy walkway through the mangrove swamp and a family pack in the Savannah grassland.

The 2 kilometer boardwalk meanders through the mangrove swamp with resting spots along the boardwalk for nature and bird watching. There is a jungle of tall trees of various types forming canopies in the mangrove swamp.

The canopy walkway is said to be the longest canopy walkway in Africa. The foliage bio-diversity in the mangrove swamp is better appreciated as you walk along the canopy walkway. At the highest viewing station, the Atlantic Ocean comes into view on the southern front of the nature park. The surrounding developments could also be viewed at this level. There is a tree house within the swamp which also allows better appreciation of the foliage biodiversity at the canopy level.  

The Savannah grassland has a family park with gazebos, barbecue stations, floor games and Tilapia and Koi fish ponds.

On the day we visited there were a few birds and animals. I was very impressed with the biodiversity of the nature park. It was a lot of fun going on the swinging canopy walkway and looking as far as the eyes could see above the flora canopy. Climbing the tree house was exhilarating for members of our group who were strong enough to do the vertical climb. It was also fun seeing the fish scramble for food as our tour guide fed them. I have a better appreciation for the original form of the land in the Lekki peninsula before the sand filling and the massive developments ongoing on this peninsula.  

We did a few photos. It was difficult to capture the excitement of walking on the boardwalk under the foliage canopies and the suspended canopy walkway and taking in the fresh scent of the mangrove swamp and the humidity. I wished I had a long sleeve shirt on to avoid the insect bites which were expected in this setting. My long pants helped anyway! I recommend a pair of hiking shoes. Please enjoy these photos. Your feedback is welcome.

Further information could be obtained at Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC): Treasure on the Peninsula, Proud ...

www.ncfnigeria.org/projects/lekki-conservation-centre