The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Up the creek (without a paddle)!


Yesterday we went up Badagry Creek again. It is so beautiful and I thought that some of you might like a little glimpse of the Nigeria which I am discovering, outside Lagos.

These are a few of the residents we met whilst waiting for the boat to be put in the water…

Agama agama africana – male West African rainbow lizard…

…and female, I think

There are lots of these birds around but I don’t know what they’re called.

Okay, the boat’s in the water now and Danny has put the fuel aboard…

Leaving Lagos now…

Soon the ships give way to mangroves and palms…

With just the odd passing flotilla…

There are small villages between the creek and the Atlantic Ocean

And more mangroves and palms!

Ah! Here we are at the mooring…

And here is the welcoming commitee…

…ready to accompany us through the village…

…to the beach house.

Most Sundays, little Mary drops by to say ‘Hello’…

And yesterday, she brought her Mum and her little brother, too!

The house looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean…

…where there are many working fishing boats.

After a walk on the beach, time to sit in the shade under a coconut palm…

Perhaps not such a good idea!

Sadly, it’s time to go.
Thanks, Collins, almost forgot the plates!

’Bye, everyone – See you all next week!

It’s been a wonderful day…

Dangerous place? We don’t think so…

Just a little bit of the history of these people…
Around 1730 the King of Lagos invited Portugese slave traders into his kingdom. It is known that most of the slaves transported to Brazil, Cuba and Trinidad came from this area and were exported from Lagos and Bagadry. For over 100 years the Kings of Yorubaland continued to sell these (their own) people and others into slavery. Nigeria was annexed by the British in 1861 when the then King, Dosunmu, refused Queen Victoria’s request that he put an end to the slave trade.

Today, these beach plots are owned by the village communities. They are rented on long term leases and the beach houses are built and maintained by the communities at the householders expense.

More blog posts by karenfranceafrica

Previous post: First purchases!!!

Next post: Down the Expressway (with a paddle!)



Ace Blog Karen...Nice to get the history of the place as well no matter how unpleasant.

21 Nov, 2011


Oh wow what wonderful blog Karen! So nice to go with you on that wee journey..looks idyllic! The poeple all seem really friendly too. I;d also love to see that markets you go to.
thanks for the trip! :)

21 Nov, 2011


Well you can drop me off for a couple of months if you want, actually make that three : )
Lovely place, thanks for the blog n great pics. Really gives a sense of how lovely the place is. I love exploring the real cultures of places. and just look at that street, no litter there and the village is so neat and tidy.

21 Nov, 2011


yeah i noticed that too Stevie!

21 Nov, 2011


we're just savages compared to them and we dream all our lives of a view like that..bonkers aren't we

21 Nov, 2011



21 Nov, 2011


Thank you Pimpernel, Pixi and Stevie!
This is real life in West Africa, which we never seem get to hear about in Europe...

You are so right...the villages are very clean and the villagers are so friendly and welcoming. And it's all bringing revenue to the community...

It's a real shame about all the plastic debris which is washed up on the beaches every day, though. There's not much that they can do about that... :(

21 Nov, 2011


Really enjoyed that Karen, thank you.

21 Nov, 2011


Thank you Cinders...I'm lucky to be in a position to experience and share it :)

21 Nov, 2011


Hi J! They do seem to be genuinely happy. Also helpful - if anyone breaks down on the water, one of the villagers will be there immediately to help out.

Cooking is all barbecue...cooked for you whenever you want it (those goat sausages yesterday!)

Maybe, I'll get around to painting it - one day! lol!

21 Nov, 2011


what a wonderful blog karen, thank you! its just fascinating to see from your beautiful photos just how life really is there.
those children are just gorgeous!
thank you so much for taking me with you on your amazing trip, i have put it on my favourites so i can go on the trip again and again

21 Nov, 2011


I'm so glad you liked it, Sticki! Wee Mary is a darling...I've promised to teach her how to swim, next time she's back. Her father works in Lagos but she, her mother and her brother were just visiting a while.

Nigeria gets some pretty bad press...but it's nice to show that it's not all like that... :)

21 Nov, 2011


Aw thats nice of you she looks cute :)

21 Nov, 2011


Thank you for that was lovely. I particularly enjoyed seeing the children and the villagers waving you off. It must be quite an adventure...I hope you are enjoying it. Are there any dangerous creatures in the creek? Crocodiles? Pirhanas? Nessie? you know what I mean! :)) p.s. I love the lizards!

21 Nov, 2011


What a lovely blog, and a wonderful place to live. It's nice to see different countries, and ways of living.

21 Nov, 2011


Aw, Pixi - she's lovely. She so wanted to go into the pool - but was so scared! We managed up to her waist this time - as long as I promised not to let her go! :)

Thank you both, KS and Hywel! As I say, it's a side you don't get to see very often...apart from in 'tourist' Africa.

KS - thankfully there are no crocs, sharks or pirhanas! Phew!! There are catfish and (tho' I wish they hadn't) someone told me that there are sometimes barracuda in the creek since it goes back into the ocean somewhere after Benin!

21 Nov, 2011


Lovely blog Karen, I enjoyed having a look around and learning a bit of their history.
Lovely photo`s as well, thakyou for sharing...

21 Nov, 2011


Thank you, Lincslass :)

The history of how the slaves came to be sold was a bit of a surprise to me. I had always thought that the Europeans had rounded people up and stolen them away...

Now I'm wondering if this is where the expression 'sold down the creek' may have come from...

21 Nov, 2011


Gorgeous blog Karen....I was there with you :)
Little Mary was a wee cutie!
Looks just like my SIL's village - I spent 8 days there - was the best time ever.
The kids put our lot too shame - never bored and never moaning about having to do things!
It's amazing how different things are once you get out of the cities..isn't it?
Never knew that about the slavery trade either - I always thought the same as you - too many tv shows I think.

21 Nov, 2011


Hi Scottish and thank you.

You are so right! The children play and laugh - but I think that they call ALL their dogs 'Elvis'! lol!

Lagos is not like this...but this is only 20 minutes up the creek!

I agree, too many TV shows and too many news programmes which only show 'bad news'...

21 Nov, 2011


Amazing blog Karen! So nice to see and have misperceptions corrected.
Any special plans for tomorrow?? :0

21 Nov, 2011


Thanks Lil and........maybe (don't know what tho').......! ;)

21 Nov, 2011


Fantasic blog, thanks for sharing it. :o)

21 Nov, 2011


Aw bless her wee socks!

21 Nov, 2011


A most enlightening blog, what a wonderful experience for you.

22 Nov, 2011


Hi Plantoholic and Dottydaisy and thank you both!
It is a beautiful trip up the creek and quite unlike anything I expected...

Yesterday, I had a very different journey by road...gridlocked traffic all the way!!!

23 Nov, 2011



23 Nov, 2011


Same thing today...

23 Nov, 2011


Oh,that looks just idyllic,Karen..loved it all..and those children are just beautiful..happy little faces..I do hope Mary manages to learn to swim! :o)

23 Nov, 2011


All the villagers are nice people, Bloomer :)
...and beginning to realise just how lucky they've seen now what the city is like!
Paved with gold?? lol!

24 Nov, 2011

Add a comment

Recent posts by karenfranceafrica

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    17 Aug, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    27 Oct, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Mar, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 Sep, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Jun, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    1 Feb, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 May, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 May, 2011

  • bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009