Mark Tolner's Travels

Mark Tolner | NIGERIA | KIEV

Lagos and Abuja were on the list of Mark Tolner's must see African destinations and recently
he had cause to visit both on one trip. Staying at the Hilton Hotel in Abuja was an eye opening
experience because of the grandeur of the hotel and the constant flow of business people and VIPs
coming and going for meetings in the lobby and restaurants.

Lagos, formally the capital of Nigeria and Africa's second most populated city (after Cairo) and is
still Nigeria's main economic and financial capital. It lies in south-western Nigeria, on the Atlantic
coast in the Gulf of Guinea and it is on this West African Coast that receives so much heavy rainfall
that many rivers and lakes are to be found flowing to the sea forming many lagoons and creeks
such as Lagos Lagoon. Lagos is home to some 10 million people and is a hive of commercial activity
with many top name companies such as Shell, BP and Texaco along with hotel chains such as
Intercontinental, Sheraton and Mandarin having a presence there.

Currently, Lagos is primarily known as a business-oriented and a fast paced community however it is
blessed with a number of sandy beaches by the Atlantic Ocean and is more recently becoming a very

viable tourist destination, The 2009 Eyo carnival which took place on the 25th April, was a step in
the right direction.

Abuja, located in the centre of the country was selected as the new capital of Nigeria in 1976 due
to the political and ethnic pressures in Lagos. Just under 800,000 people currently live in Abuja with
the population growing steadily as villagers travel to the city looking for work. Unlike Lagos, Abuja
is not a tourist destination as there is not much to see or do here although work is underway t build
an amusement park, water park and zoo. Hotel and restaurant prices here are among the highest in
Nigeria and currently business men are amongst the only visitors coming to the capital.

Arik Air, an important Nigerian airline operate regular flights between these two important Nigerian
cities and Emirates airlines offer regular connections back to Dubai Mark's country of residence
which is also home to the tallest building in the World, Burj Khalifa.