town and local government area in Nigeria

Badagry, also known as Gbadagri, is a coastal town and local government area in Lagos State, South West Nigeria. Being the second largest town in Lagos State, Badagry is surrounded by lakes, creeks or runlets and island, which makes beaches and resorts one of the major attractions of the ancient town. 

In 2016, the municipality had a population of about 241,000.

Understand Edit

Royal Palace of Mobee of Badagry

Badagry, which is also spelt as Badagri, is a town and lagoon port in Lagos state. It is sited on the north bank of Porto Novo runlet, an inland waterway that links the national capitals of Nigeria (Lagos) and Benin (Porto-Novo), and also on a road that leads to Lagos, Ilaro, and Porto-Novo.

Badagry is the seat of a local government council and it is inhabited by Popo and Gun peoples mainly. It rapidly became a major residential suburb of Lagos after the opening of an expressway in 1976. The area has an automotive assembly plant, and it is the site of a college, a secondary school, and several hospitals as well.

Badagry subsists largely on fishing and agriculture. In the 1880s, coconut plantations were established in Badagry and the present-day Badagry still exports coconuts, copra, coconut husk fibre (coir), fish, vegetables, and cassava to Lagos about 55 km (34 mi) away. Also, after the establishment of a factory that makes bags for packing farm products in the mid-1960s, the packaging of kenaf (which is a fibrous plant) became highly important. The area traded primarily in fish, palm oil and kernels, cassava, coconut and corn (maize).

History Edit

Badagry was founded in the early 15th century on a lagoon off the Gulf of Guinea. It was founded by the Popo refugees from the wars with the Fon people of Dahomey. It was cut out of Nigeria in 1863 and eventually added to the state of Lagos as part of Nigeria by the United Kingdom in 1901. Its protected harbour led to the town becoming a key port in the export of slaves to the Americas, which were mainly to Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. It was such a big departure point for slaves headed for French Saint-Domingue (today's Haiti). The main god of Haiti's official religion of Vodun is called Ogun-Badagri. After its discovery in the late 1720s, a British trading post was established there in the late 1820s. Consequent upon this establishment, Badagry developed as a palm-oil port for Egbaland to the north and as an importer of European cloth. It also became the site of the first European Mission church (Methodist) in Nigeria in 1842 and it remained a leading port and mission centre until the attack in 1851 by the army of Lagos when the city was destroyed by fire. That attack, together  with the constant threat of the Fon and the poor sandy soils in the area, led to the complete exodus of the town’s traders, missionaries, and farmers.

From the 1840s, following the suppression of the slave trade, Badagry declined significantly but became a major site of Christian mission work.

The first education system of Nigeria as a British colony started in Badagry where the first primary school was established by the Wesleyan mission (Methodist Church) in 1843: the Nursery of Infant Church later became St. Thomas’ Anglican Nursery and Primary School. It was founded by Rev. Golmer of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) in 1845. In 1863 the town was annexed by the United Kingdom and incorporated into the Lagos colony. In 1901 it became a part of Nigeria.

Government and monarchy Edit

Badagry is a monarchy headed by the Wheno Aholuship, a kingship headed by the Akran of Badagry and his seven white cap high chiefs. Badagry had established the institution of divine kingship (De Wheno Aholu). This had its root from its historical migration from ketu kingdom in the 15th century. From the previous De Wheno Aholu Akran Gbafoe down to the present De Wheno Aholu Akran Menu Toyi I the stool had produced 17 Akrans.

The white cap chiefs administer the eight quarters into which Badagry is divided — Ahovikoh, Boekoh, Jegba, Posukoh, Awhanjigo, Asago, Whalako, and Ganho. These quarters and the families that ruled them played prominent roles in brokering slave trade with the Europeans and Brazilians.

The title of Badagry’s royal father is Oba Akran, a kingship so influential that one of the longest commercial avenues (a 2.14-km stretch) in Ikeja, Oba Akran Avenue, was named after it.

Religion Edit

The traditional worshipping of the Supreme Being (Jiwheyewhe mawu ose) through lesser gods such as Ogun (God of iron) and Hevioso (god of thunder) is still very much practised. Being mainly fishermen, the Egun people also worship Olokuna water deity which is usually appeased for abundant fishes.

Christianity was first preached in Nigeria at Badagry in 1842 by Rev Thomas Birch Freeman. The site where Christianity was first preached then is now the "Agiya Tree Monument" beside the Badagry Town Hall.

Climate Edit

The temperature in Badagry varies from 22 °C (72 °F) to 33 °C (91 °F). The weather at the beach is always very breezy and cool during the dry season because of the coconut trees that surrounds the beach and the presence of the ocean. The rainy season is always wet and very cold, the sea level rises, it is not always advised to visit the beach during the raining season.

The best times for a visit are from mid July to early September and from mid December to late January.

Talk Edit

Egun is the native language of the people of Badagry, and Yoruba language is generally spoken but Egun is a predominant dialect of Ajara, which is similar to the Fon language, Gun is sub-group dialect that is spoken in Porto-Novo (in Benin).

Get in Edit

Badagry is between the city of Lagos and the border with Benin, popularly known as "Cotonue" at Seme.

By plane Edit

When you land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS IATA), you can hire a car. The road from Agbara to Badagry is now motorable. The fare to Coconut Beach, for example, will cost ₦1,000–15,000 (Dec 2022).

By road Edit

Ferry Men at Badagry

Travelling to Badagry by road from Lagos and Seme Border Crossing which are the neighbouring or closest towns costs the following below:

  • From Lagos to Badagry is approximately US$21-26, about an hour taxi ride.
  • From the Seme Border Crossing to Badagry is about 20 min by car or taxi ride.

Get around Edit

Map of Badagry

See Edit

Badagry Heritage Museum
  • 1 Badagry Slave and Black History Museum, Marina Road, +234 703 715 9219. Wear comfortable shoes for the 800-m walk to the Atlantic Ocean. ₦1000 admission, and ₦1500 for boat ride through the lagoon.
  • 2 Badagry Heritage Museum, Marina Gra road, off Lander road, off President Zoglo road, +234 706 100 3564. M-Sa 9AM-5PM. Comprehensive collection of the transatlantic slave trade. It was the former District Officer’s Office built in 1863. It was converted into a museum in 2002 and it contains slave trade history collections and records.
  • Because of its proximity to the ocean, Badagry became the key port for export of African slaves to the Americas. There is a small museum in the building of the first Christian mission that showcases the manacles and other relics of the hugely lucrative and barbaric trade in humans.
  • Being the "gateway of civilization of Nigeria", Badagry has lots of historical buildings of interest that has now been converted into tourist attractions. Some of them include:
    • District Officer’s Residence: it was constructed in 1870.
    • First storey building in Nigeria: it is an Anglican Missionary House built in 1845.
    • Topo Island Catholic Mission Ruins: the mission was established in the 1870s.
    • Seriki Abass Slave Baracoon: a slave cell built by Brazilian slave merchants in 1840. St. Thomas’ Anglican primary school: it was the first primary school in Nigeria. It was founded In 1843.
  • 3 The First Storey Building in Nigeria, Mission Street, Marina Waterfront, Boekoh quarters, +2348053739895. 8AM-6PM. Upon arrival, there’s a tour guide within the compound to guide around the building. The first educational system of Nigeria as a British colony started in Badagry where the first primary school was established by the Wesleyan Mission (Methodist Church) in 1843 and named Nursery of Infant Church which later became St. Thomas' Anglican Nursery and Primary School (CMS) in 1845, inside the first storey building in Badagry. The foundation of the ancient historical laden was laid by Rev Henry Townsend of CMS on the Marina Waterfront in the year 1842, and was later built by other missionaries in 1845. The building served as vicarage for St. Thomas Anglican Church and was later used by Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the first African CMS Bishop that translated the Holy Bible from English to Yoruba. In one of the two rooms on the upper floor of the building, there lay a glass case containing the English and Yoruba version of the bible translated by Ajayi Crowther. It was said that both the English and Yoruba Bibles is over 173 and 170 years old respectively.
  • 4 Agia Tree Memorial (close to the Town Hall). The Agia Tree Monument is on the site once occupied by the Agiya tree (Ogu dialect: Asisoetin). The Agia Tree was 160 feet (49 m) tall with a circumference of 30 feet (9.1 m). Remarkable for being the tree under which Christianity was first preached in Nigeria by Thomas Birch Freeman and Henry Townsend on 24 September 1842, the tree lived for over 300 years until it was uprooted by a storm on 20 June 1959. In place of the tree, an obelisk was erected in 2012 in celebration of 170 years of Christianity in Nigeria.
  • 5 Mobee Royal Family Slave Relics Museum, No. 1 Boekoh Quarters, Marina Badagry, +2348064097917. 8AM-6PM. A historical place that has detail of slave trade the history and all that happened to people.
  • 6 Point of No Return, +2348064097917. 8AM-6PM. Gberefu Island, also known as the "Point of No Return", is a populated historical island located in Badagry, a town and local government area of Lagos State. Symbolized by two poles slightly slanted towards each other and facing the Atlantic Ocean, the island was a major slave port after it was opened in 1473 during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade era. As many as 10,000 slaves are believed to have been shipped from the island to the Americas between 1518 and 1880.
    • The Slave Spirit Attenuation Well. The Slaves' Spirit Attenuation Well or Well of Memory Loss. While the well in the Brazilian Baraccoon would have served the purpose of quenching slaves' thirst, the one on the Island of Gberefu, just across Badagry, served a more sinister purpose, according to subsisting tales of the slave era. Ominously named the Slaves'Spirit Attenuation Well, popular legend suggests that in the era, as the slaves filed from their various merchants' courtyards with chains around their wrists, necks and waists from across the Marina, they were ferried on boats a short distance to Gberefu Island. From the landing at Gberefu Island, the slaves would then be filed towards what would become the last time African land would ever be under their feet. But about one kilometre from the riverside landing on the Island towards the Point of No Return on the Atlantic border of the Island, a well stands alone in the middle of the plain. Save for the roof that has been put over it to venerate its historical status along with a sign wall that proclaims its disturbing name, the well looks like any other. But its history or legend suggests that it was the beginning of the horrendous journey that would take slaves who were forced to drink from it from their native land to either their slave masters or to death.

Do Edit

Coconut Beach
  • Coconut Beach (you can hire an Uber, Bolt or Taxify to drop you at the beach if they are willing to go because of the very bad road). The beach is surrounded by coconut trees. There are holiday resorts where tourists can stay while visiting the beach. Horse rides are ₦500 apiece. Fresh coconut juice costs ₦300.
  • 1 Aivoji sea beach, +234 8082514542.
  • 2 Suntan Beach (in Badagry West, 15 minutes ride from the Badagry round-about), +234 8082514542. Parking space is great and the water front is good. You need to watch out for broken bottles everywhere. A good place for picnic and holiday.

Events and festivals Edit

Some festivals held in Badagry are: the Ajido Zangbeto cult festival, Badagry diaspora, Igunnuko festival, heritage festivals and the Badagry festival.

  • Badagry Festival. Late October. The Badagry Festival started in 1999 by the African Renaissance Foundation (AREFO) to commemorate the end of Slave Trade. The Badagry Festival has metamorphosed to become an international festival. The event reflects the significance of the ancient town during the slave trade era. It is a convergence of culture and display of African heritage. This annual festival is known to formally receive sons and daughters of Africa origin from the outside world.    

Buy Edit

Trading activities feature prominently in Badagry as the area has a good number of markets in it. The main market is the Agbalata International Market. Other major markets include:

  • 1 Oja Manogere, Cemetery Rd.
  • Hunto market
  • Vlekete market: a kind of mini night market for petty traders of foodstuffs. It's a daily market opens from around 4PM to 10PM
  • Agbalata Market: a home goods markets where especially coconut is plenty and affordable too
  • 2 Ebute Oja, 119 Fibre Road. 8AM - 6PM.

Agbalata International Market Edit

  • 3 Agbalata Market, Market Rd.

The Agbalata International Market is one of the major markets in the area. Being very close to the port and the border, it is more easy for people from far and near to gain entrance into the market, and people who from far and near come to buy and sell goods. It is like a beehive because all kinds of trading activities are done there. It has continually played a leading role in the economic development of Badagry and its surroundings.

Items sold in this market range from the town’s highly revered mat, succulent coconut, to affordable food items, such as rice, beans, garri, yam flour and pepper. It is a place where one can purchase virtually everything he or she wants and at a reasonable price, often very cheap.

There are various sections for all the traders in the market, making it well-organised and easy to navigate. Pepper and food stuff sellers are the ones an individual would first see once entering the market, while shoe sellers are at the extreme of the market. Clothe, shoe, bag and jewellery stands are in two sections. There is a section where the new ones are sold and another section where second-hand are sold. Quality clothes, shoes and bags can be bought from either of the sections but their prices are quite different. Different types of electronics are sold with full guaranty at an affordable rate. There are also various wine and soft drink shops.

Very popular items sold at the market include coconuts, fish, shoes, bags, rice, mat, (popularly called Agbada mats) often produced in various sizes, groundnut oil, as well as smuggled goods.

Supermarkets Edit

Eat Edit

Common native food to the Egun include corn flour (which is also known as "Tuwo") imoyo, azin gokun, zagbiti, and avin. The Egun people basically have similar kinds of food with the Yoruba. These items of food also include some of the Yoruba native dishes like eba, semo, amala, fufu, and tuwo, while native soups in Egun include Benin Republic Red Sauce, ground nut Soup, melon soup and also vegetable soup.

There are also various eateries/restaurants in Badagry where visitors can enjoy sumptuous meals on a cool budget. Prominent among them include:

  • 1 Ola Mummy Food Canteen, Old Badagry Express Way.
  • 2 Iya Togo Food Canteen, Badagry Round About, 99 Seme Road, +234 806 852-4122. 7AM - 7PM.
  • 3 Obog Restaurant, 14 Secreterial Road, Ajara, +234 806 325-8741. 8AM - 9PM.
  • 4 Princess Bar and Restaurant, Opposite Sky Bank, 38 Seme Road, +234 816 438-3238. 8AM - 11PM.
  • 5 Royal Delicacy Restaurant, Old Badagry Express Way, +234 813 503-0855. 7AM - 8PM.
  • Jembe Dine & Wine, at Ajara topa junction off Badagry Seme Expressway.
  • Ewa Those mobil, along Joseph Dosu way a Beach Town 9AM- 8PM. (Updated march 2022)
  • Funco Canteen public work yard bus-stop along general hospital road gadela. 7AM- 4PM. ( Updated march 2022)
  • Gabbyz Pizza & Grills, 105 Marina Rd, +234 807 952 8051. 7AM-10PM. They have pizza chicken wings fries chicken burger barbecue fish,chicken Shawarma coleslaw, salad and many other dessert and fast food. They do take away and Delivery. ₦ 500.
  • Ryhancooks, Soglo Way, +234 810 039 8096. They offer jollof rice, white rice and stew, porridge yam, beans and potatoes, coconut rice, African rice, egusi, Asun, Nkwobi, goat meat and all types of yoruba soup. They have dine in and take away.
  • Mie-Mie Taste, Joseph Dosu Way (Opposite Badagry Grammer School, Badagry. 6AM - 9PM. They offer different Nigerian dishes like jollof rice and chicken, pounded Yam,rice and moi moi,Amala,Eba,beef stew,gbegiri soup,ewedu,okro soup and oha soup, pepper soup. Its pocket friendly.
    They offer service like dine in and take away.
  • Chairman Bar and Grasscutter Pepper Soup, Shop no b7/b8 Ibereko Mammy Market, +234 803 360 3420. 8AM-9:55PM daily. They offer lots of soup dishes and swallow, like grilled fish, pepper soup, cow leg, Asun, meat and Onion, roasted chicken, Amala, ewedu okro soup, gbegiri soup, eba, Nkwobi, black soup, white soup, and many more. ₦300.
  • F M Resturant, WQ3, Ajara, Old Lagos Rd, +234 703 181 3347. 8AM-7PM. Jollof rice fried rice rice and beans egg and yam potato sauce I'm Allah Jollof pasta spaghetti moymoy grilled fish smoked fish fried fish and chips egusi, ogbono soup and many more recipes. Their services includes dine in take away delivery.
  • St Ritch Mall & Cuisine, Local Government, Beside NNPC filling Station, Adelabu St, +234 904 350 0900. 8AM-6PM. They sell different continental dishes like spaghetti salad, dessert,Nigerian dishes like jollof rice and chicken, Amala and ewedu, okro and fufu, edikaikong and pounded Yam. And many other food combination. Their meal is Affordable and budget friendly. And the environment is ok for healthy meals consumption. They do in space dine in and also take away, packages but do not do deliveries.

Drink Edit

Badagry locals, comprising of the Aworis, Egun, Yoruba and Ogu people, are known for their hospitable disposition and their famous snack, Ajogun, made from cassava, is best enjoyed with coconut water sucked from a straw plunged deep into the coconut.

  • 1 Awah-Bar, By Badagry Agbalata market, Road, +234 802 568 9653. 8AM - 7PM.
  • 2 Down Town Bar (at the front of Corner Stone Oko-Afo along Badagry Expy opposite yobo filling, station).
  • 3 Excellent Bar, 44 Seme Rd (at Badagry Roundabout).
  • 4 Mama T bar, 12 Old Lagos Rd, Ajara. 8AM - 7PM.
  • Tunics Bar, at Seme Rd Roundabout.
  • 5 Beach Town, +234 903 000-3011. 9AM-6:30PM price=.
  • AUCRL Bar, (Atah bar) Roundabout along Seme express road. 6PM-5AM (Updated march 2022)
  • Savannah Bar, water side along market road. 9AM - 11PM. ( Updated march 2022)
  • Pathfinder bar, Marina along market road. 6PM-11PM. (Updated march 2022)
  • Kalakutalah drink and wine, waterside along Agbalata market. 7PM-6AM. ( Updated march 2022).

Sleep Edit

There are a couple of hotel and Guest house accommodation in Badagry for visitors and travellers to unwind. Some of them include:

  • Double Tree Resort.
  • New Era Relaxation Centre.
  • Turessina Hotel.
  • Rollykings Hotel and Suites, +234-8135931727, .
  • 1 Soketta Hotel, Hungbeji St, +234 803 722 1953.
  • Liberty Guest House.
  • 2 Star Rise Golden Hotels, 3 Dupe Close, off Opa Farms Rd, Ajara-Agelasho, +2348064828710, +2348088160600, .
  • 3 Wole Dreams Hotel and Suites, 1-2 Olawole St.
  • 4 Luna Hotel, 14B Agric Road, +234 80 363 53606.
  • 5 Fams Embassy Suites, Ibereko Town, Lagos-Badagry Expressway (Ibereko before Limca bus stop along Badagry expressway), +234 81 400 00760, . 35 rooms, 15 suites and a penthouse. Has an on-site 24-hr restaurant.
  • La'Nova Continental Hotel, M 33, Badagry Expressway, Churchgate Bus Stop, Ayede Estate, Ibiye. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. it is a very fantastic place to stay with so much amazing experiences.
  • Zino Hotel International, 42, Alhaji Sinatu Street, Agbara Bus Stop, Badagry Expressway.
  • Sycomore Hotels Ltd, Seje Road (off Badagry-Seme Expressway) Opposite Miracle Oil Service Station Topa-Ajara, Badagry,. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon.
  • Soketta Hotels Limited, 1/3, Soketta Street, off Hospital Road, Badagry, Badagry, Lagos. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Soketta Hotels Ltd is a tourist destination of 30 bedrooms guest house . It is in the heart of the Ancient town of Badagry.
  • Savy hotel, 01, Sarah Kebbi Close, Off Badagry Expressway, Oko-Afo, Badagry, Lagos. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. The hotel boasts of a restaurant, bar and event hall.Each room is well furnished, fitted with an air conditioner, cable TV, refrigerator, reading desk with chair and a private bathroom.

Connect Edit

You would most likely find reliable coverage of the 2G/3G mobile networks in most locations in Badagry, but the 4G network might be unreliable. Signal strength might diminish further away from the city center, and you might occasionally experience a network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers in the remote areas of the city. Different networks tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations of the city at different times.

MTN, 9Mobile, Airtel (Zain) and GLO are all available service providers.

Go next Edit

This city travel guide to Badagry is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.