FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Lively Lagos

by Richard Newton

Jan 1, 2019
January 2019

IF YOU DECIDED TO BUILD a city for 16 million people, you probably wouldn’t put it on swampy land around a tropical coastal lagoon in West Africa. But Lagos (pronounced LAY-goss), Nigeria’s largest city, defied planners and politicians.

Despite concerted efforts to shift the center of gravity elsewhere (Abuja replaced Lagos as national capital in 1991), this lively, shambolic, infuriating, colorful metropolis continues to expand and thrive, establishing itself as the fourth-wealthiest city in Africa after Johannesburg, Cairo and Cape Town.

Wealth probably isn’t the thing you think of at first sight. Large sections of the city give over to smoke-shrouded shantytowns, home to two-thirds of the population. One such shanty, Makoko, spreads out into the lagoon as a vast, dense jumble of rickety wooden houses built on stilts.

By extreme contrast, a new Lagos extension is currently being built on reclaimed land adjacent to the affluent Victoria Island district. Eko Atlantic will initially be home to a quarter of a million residents, with a skyscraper skyline reminiscent of Dubai or Singapore. The new development is already creating waves in Lagos — literally. The reclaimed land altered the coastal currents and made other sections of the shoreline vulnerable to ocean surges.

Which district is representative of Lagos? Ramshackle Makoko or futuristic Eko Atlantic? For me, there’s no contest. Makoko remains the true embodiment of Lagos.

Yes, Lagos boasts an emergent middle class for whom Eko Atlantic proves the aspirational pinnacle. But the majority of the city’s inhabitants subsist from day to day in borderline poverty. Makoko, with its houses patched up with plastic sheeting and rusty corrugated iron, lapped by water swilling with pollution, seems at first sight a nightmare of destitution.

But look closer and you’ll find a thriving, dynamic community. Floating churches and schools help to provide social cohesion amid the chaotic sprawl. There are shops and basic services. Dugout canoes provide the main form of transport.

Nobody knows precisely how many people live here: perhaps as many as 300,000. With their extraordinary resilience, the inhabitants of Makoko embody the spirit of Lagos.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Nov 13, 2019

Ring in the Holidays at Kempinski Hotel Bahía

Kempinski Hotel Bahía, in Estepona, Spain, boasts a full calendar of holiday events, Nov. 30, 2019–Jan. 6, 2020.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Nov 12, 2019

JetBlue Begins Flying Airbus A321neo Aircraft

In late September, JetBlue launched its first flight from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) using its newly adopted Airbus A321neo.

Nov 12, 2019

Finnair Adds Daily Tokyo Flights

Finnair will start daily flights to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on March 29, 2020. The new flights are on sale now.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

Nov 12, 2019

Alaska Airlines Boasts New Pixar-Inspired Livery

Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.

eFlyer Deals
Nov 12, 2019

Winter Rewards in Puerto Rico

La Concha Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is offering special deals for snowbirds looking to go to the Caribbean in the winter.

Your Home Away From Home

Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.

eFlyer Lead
Nov 12, 2019

Most Airline Water Deemed Unsafe

When the drink cart rolls down the aisle on your next flight, what do you plan on asking for? According to a recent report, water quality on airlines is not something to be trifled with.