Badagry is a coastal town which lies between the city of Lagos and the border of the Republic of Benin, Seme. It is a historic town that is symbolic of Nigeria’s journey to independence. The town was a major slave port and market on the West African coast, exporting no fewer than 600,000 African slaves to America. Now, Badagry is a center for tourist attraction where people from far and wide come to explore its momentous sites, interesting landscapes, cultural artifacts and relics from the slave trade era.
1. Visit Badagry slave museum
This building used to be the District Officer’s office, during the colonial era and was built in 1863. It has now been converted into a museum, which carries a large compilation of slave trade artifacts which are quite informative and fascinating to see.
2. Visit Mobee Museum
Mobee museum is one of the oldest private museums in Nigeria. It is divided into nine galleries which are arranged consecutively to tell an insightful story of the slave trade period.The galleries include the Introduction, Capture, Facilitators, Equipment, Resistance and Punishment, Industry, Integration, Abolitionists, and Badagry. The Mobee family was the family that preserved the items in this Slave Relic Museum, and as such, the museum was named after them.
3. Take a picture at the Agiya tree monument
The Agiya tree Monument is the exact location where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria, by Thomas Birch Freeman and Henry Townsend in 1842. The monument used to be a massive Agiya tree that served as a safe haven and a town square for both secular and religious activities. The monument now stands tall at the heart of Badagry and is a great spot to take group pictures.
4. Go shopping
If you’re a haggler who is obsessed with great bargains, you will be carting away lots of goodies at the Badagry market. They have fancy clothes, jewelry, make-up, weaves and even food items at affordable prices that will tempt you to purchase them.
5. Learn French
You can learn French at the Nigerian French Village in Badagry. The Nigeria French Village was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1991 as an Inter-University Center for French studies. The Center offers a variety of programmes with the directive of providing a Language Immersion Programme.
6. Visit Vlekete Slave Market
Built-in 1502 by the Portuguese, the Vlekete Slave Market is another captivating historical landmark in Badagry. At least 18,000 slaves were said to have been sold at this market. Also, at the Slave Market is the Vlekete Shrine, which was famous for resolving disputes and trying accused individuals during the trade era.
7. Take a picture at the first Nigerian primary school
The first primary school in Nigeria, St. Thomas (Anglican) Primary school is located in Topo, Badagry. The relics of the school building can be found on Topo Peninsula till date. It was built in Badagry in 1845. Later on, the first secondary school was built in 1955 and named Badagry Grammar School.
8. Check out the Point of no return
Beyond the Badagry Marina is a historic Island where slaves were held before being sold into slavery. The road that leads to the ‘point of no return’ is characterized by loose sands. Slaves were usually made to walk the journey as they were being led to the middlemen who awaited them. These middlemen waited with ferries and canoes to transport the slaves to other parts of the world. Take a boat ride through Gberefu beach and a 25-minute walk to get to the point of no return.
9. Visit the first Nigerian story building
This building which overlooks the marina waters was built by Reverend Henry Townsend of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1845. This building once served as the official resident of St. Thomas Anglican Church. It was in this building that Samuel Ajayi Crowther, translated the Holy Bible from English to Yoruba.
10. Stay at Whispering palms resort
Take a break from history with this beautiful conference resort center occupying about 8 acres of land at Iworo, Badagry. The resort lies on the Lagoon and you’ll love its sand, palm trees, mini zoo, mini pool, beach front and the sound of chirping birds.
There is also a large choice of cuisines from Nigeria to Continental- including exotic dishes like coconut shrimps, Spanish paella, Cantonese chicken, Ogbono spiced with Ugu and bitter leaf etc. It’s a fun and serene recreation facility which you’ll love to spend your weekend.
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