Epe is an Ijebu-Yoruba town and Local Government Area (LGA) in Lagos State, Nigeria, located on the north side of the Lekki Lagoon. This location has always facilitated the development of a fishing industry, commerce, and agriculture. It is located next to the Lagos lagoon with 294 rural and 24 semi-urban communities.
Epe is a traditional settlement of the Ijebu people (a subgroup of the Yoruba) was established by the mid-18th century as the chief port (slaves, cloth, agricultural produce) for Ijebu-Ode, the capital of the Ijebu kingdom. Epe was drawn into nineteenth-century Yoruba power politics and then into international diplomacy with the British when it was occupied in the mid-nineteenth century by Kosoko, the indomitable exiled ruler of Lagos. When Kosoko returned to Lagos, not all his adherents followed, and their presence produced far-reaching changes in Epe politics and society to this very day. In 1892, Epe was the embarkation point for the military expedition sent by Sir Gilbert Carter, the governor of Lagos, to defeat the awujale (the Ijebu political and spiritual ruler) at Ijebu-Ode.
Modern Epe is a collecting point for the export of fish, cassava (manioc), corn (maize), green vegetables, coconuts, cocoa, palm produce, rubber, and firewood to Lagos. Special leaves useful in preserving kola nuts are trucked to Ijebu-Ode, Shagamu, and the other main kola-shipping towns. Epe is best known for its construction of the motorized, shallow-draft barges that navigate the coastal lagoons. Fishing is a major occupation. The town is served by secondary schools, several hospitals, and a health office. At the 2006 Census, the population of Epe was about 181,000.
Epe lies on the north bank of the coastal Lagos Lagoon and has road connections to Eti-Osa/Ibeju-Lekki (Lagos Island), Ijebu-Ode, and Ikorodu. There are 3 ways to get from Lagos to Epe: by taxi, bus or ferry.
There is also ferry route services that can get you into Epe, the most popular one is the LagFerry, a popular ferry system by the Lagos state government.
If touring around Epe, be sure to be accompanied by a tourist guide who is familiar with the routes. In most urban areas in Epe, there are street signs on every single street corner making it easy to locate places and landmarks. If you are going out at night, be sure to go in groups, and stick to known routes. The major means of transportation within Epe are Motorcycle popularly known as Okada and Tricycle.
If you are not on a tight budget, you should hire a tricycle which usually comes with a driver, usually available from most of the major hotels. The price varies from driver to driver, but it should be ₦500–1,000 per hour, you will be expected to haggle. Talk to the drivers and find one you think will be able to communicate best with as they will be able to tell you things about the places you pass.
Motorcycle riders offer more of a drop-off service, and it is not the best option for someone touring the town with the expectation for the rider to talk about various location history. The service charge is ₦150-300 per trip (drop-off).
- Epe Fish Market: Epe is home to the most famous fish market in Lagos State
- Awolowo Museum: A historic ode to a time gone by
- Epe Mangrove: A relaxing river ride amongst lush forest
- Sungo-Eredo: An ancient site that emphasizes the rich history of Nigeria
- Lagos State University, Epe Campus, Lasu Rd106101, Epe. A campus for Lagos state University, the campus is solely for the 'Engineering and Agriculture student', also inside the campus is an Army Barrack, tourists to Epe could explore and see this facility.
Epe might seem like a journey but it is a fast-rising destination for a proper staycation for Lagos residents. Below are things to do when in Epe.
- Resorts and spa: Epe is home to Epe Resorts and Spa which gives a wonderful experience of privacy, lush greenery, pools and relaxation.
- Take a relaxing ride through Epe Mangroves: You can spot the mangroves in the Epe creek that starts somewhere at Ajah and extends to the main town of Epe. Mangroves are shrubs or trees that grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving/brackish waters allow fine sediments to accumulate.
- Epe Recreation Center, Shade St, 106101, Epe. A very beautiful recreational centre in Epe, you should go there and do all sort of recreational fun
Unless you are in a supermarket or restaurant/bar with fixed prices, you will be expected to negotiate the price you pay for an item down to the lowest the vendor would sell. Due to basically no traffic in Epe hawkers usually camp at a spot selling anything from fresh food items like tomatoes, fishes, vegetables, potatoes to drinks. Expect any high-end clothing and accessories brand names (Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, etc.) in these informal markets to be fake, and should you wish to purchase them aim for a very low price. Shopping at the local market is usually done with cash as they don't have POS machine for cashless transactions, supermarkets, restaurant/bar accepts cashless transaction such as POS and money transfer.
If you hold a Visa, MasterCard credit/debit card you can withdraw cash in Naira from various ATMs around Epe. Most banks' ATMs accept both Visa and Mastercards. The banks with branches in Epe include; Firstbank, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, United Bank of Africa (UBA), Polaris Bank and Keystone Bank.
Foreign currency, U.S. dollars, pounds sterling, or euros is best exchanged in Lagos before travelling down to Epe. In Lagos, there are various places for Foreign currency exchange usually located near large hotels and the airport. These are not formal bureaux de change and you will need to negotiate the exchange rate. It is strongly recommended that you count your money in front of the exchanger, and don't be afraid to walk away if you are not happy with the deal. Be wary of your safety in money-changing areas, and take care to make sure you are not followed when leaving them.
There are formal bureaux de change in the various banks, and you can rest assured about transacting with them, although their rates may be slightly higher or lower than the rates outside.
Some of the good places for shopping are:
- Benjude Supermarket: Aiyetoro. M-Sa 8AM-9PM
- BenCee Pharmacy: Aiyetoro. Daily 8AM-9PM
Local markets in Epe can allow you to experience local markets and purchase things that are peculiar to the locals. You can visit the famous fish market of Epe and buy Adire materials.
- Ontario Restaurant in Poca road along Access Bank road. Meat pies, scotch eggs, jam donuts, chicken, jollof rice, fried rice, cake, sharwama, and hamburgers can be found here.
- Skolas Restaurant in Ayetoro opposite Keystone Bank. Western fare such as hamburgers can be found here, Nigerian delicacies such as jollof rice and moin moin, swallow, and other Nigerian delicacies are more popular.
- Jubilee Charlet is the perfect location for chilling out with friends over a drink and side dishes like chicken and chips, peppered snail, pepper soup, catfish, and lots more.
- Merseyside is a perfect location for watching football and chilling over a drink and side dishes.
- Amala Express, Down hill , L.A.S.U, Epe Campus Epe LGA, Lagos, ☏ . For your local and continental dishes.
- CEO Kitchen, 28 lagos road Epe, ☏ . 7AM-9PM. They offer different fast food meals like;Chicken pie jollof rice chicken rice and beans porridge fried rice and peppered chicken chicken and chips spaghetti and Jollof and their meals are very affordable and also budget-friendly they also do dine-in delivery and takeaway. ₦₦.
- Ola Oluwa moi moi and food canteen, 87 Ayetoro rd, Epe, ☏ . 7:30AM-10PM. They offer,Fried rice and onion egusi soup vegetable soup rice and turkey toasted chicken fried fish roasted fish porridge yam plantain porridge moin-moin and many other locally consumed dishes. They also do dine in and take away. ₦₦.
- Jesus is lord Restaurant, Alhaji Oshodi shopping plaza epe 1 Akusola street Epe, ☏ . 8AM-10PM. They offer different delicacies local dishes and various type of fast food breakfast special and other African dishes source like amala egusi, ogbono ewedu,rice, ofada, adalu and many more. They also do dine in and take away. ₦₦.
- 1 Jubilee Chalets, Chalet Road (off Obafemi Awolowo Road, Oke Oyinbo), ☏ , email@example.com.
- 2 Ontario Food Place, Km 10, T-Juncture, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway (Km 10, T-Juncture, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway), ☏ . Nice bar and hotel services that also offer good food services. They've also got some of the best bread in Epe.
- Mersey Side Hotel Bar, opposite Odo obara secondary school, Awolowo Rd, Epe, ☏ . They have a very nice bar, where you can go into and have a very good drink
Epe has some good hotels that will serve the purpose of sleeping at night, and many more are being built.
- 1 Procare Suites and Resort. A hotel on the beach with dry cleaning/laundry services and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Free self-parking is available onsite. The hotel has three room types: a deluxe room with a double bed for US$30 (₦15,000) per night, a standard room for US$36 (₦18,000) per night, and a classic room for US$50 (₦25,000) per night. All three room types come with free WiFi.
- Jubilee Chalets Epe, Ogunmule Akinlogba Street, 106101, Epe, ☏ . The hotel room costs US$73-100 (₦30,000-41,000).
- Mersey Side Hotel, opposite Odo obara secondary school, Awolowo Rd, Epe. A cool hotel in Epe.
- Magville Hotel, 2, payinegba avenue, behind local government, old palace Epe local government, ☏ . Cool hotel in Epe area.
Lagos has become a lot more secure spot to visit than it used to be, with the state spending gigantic financial plans on security with police watch vehicles, CCTV cameras (however this isn't generally the situation), etc. In any case, be careful with arrangements or organizations that sound unrealistic (particularly messages mostly via e-mail requesting your assistance), and don't transparently display your assets, particularly in broad daylight places.
Epe being in the outskirts of Lagos is a very safe town due to its small ratio of people, everyone is practically like a family in Epe due to close proximity. While it is rare for a tourist to be a victim of a violent crime, it is still wise to stay safe and be alert, especially during late-night outings. Stick to crowded streets and make sure to go out in groups as against going out alone.
Lagosians are generally nice and friendly people where the majority readily offer directions if you are lost.
Lagos still has its fair share of street beggars (both the old and young), people with psychological disorders, etc. If someone approaches Lagosians for money, what most of them do is ignore the person or continue to walk at a brisk pace.
There are police officers who are corrupt and inefficient so it is best that you stick to places and people you know and avoid going anywhere without a trusted guide if it is your first visit.
As tourists, you should also ensure you ask questions before going into Epe at night, due to the fact that some nights, there are usually traditional practices ongoing and as thus curfew is usually announced on such nights and everyone is expected to remain indoors. However, this only occurs once in a while, one still needs to be careful and informed about such situations.