It is a convenient base for trips to the other, more traditional, old towns of the Western State.The large, traditional town of Oyo has some old Portuguese-style houses and is the site of the capital of the old Yoruba Empire.Oshogbo is the founding centre of the internationally renowned school of Oshogbo art and home of the shrines and grove of Oshun, the Yoruba goddess of fertility. The Oshun Festival takes place towards the end of August each year.

To the south, the Gulf of Guinea is indented by the Bight of Benin and the Bight of Biafra.

The country's topography and vegetation vary considerably.

The coastal region is a low-lying area of lagoons, sandy beaches and mangrove swamps, which merges into an area of rainforest where palm trees grow to over 30m (100ft).

Ikoyi and Victoria islands are also connected to Lagos Island, and both have wealthy residential areas and beautiful gardens.

The National Museum at Onikan on Lagos Island houses numerous exhibits of Nigeria's ancient civilisations and has a craft centre which sells examples of Nigerian craft at fixed prices.

In the Jankara Market on Lagos Island one can bargain for locally dyed cotton and handwoven cloth, herbs and leather goods.

The Southwest Ibadan is famous for its university and its market (one of the biggest in Nigeria).

From here the landscape changes to savannah and open woodland, rising to the Central Jos Plateau at 1800m (6000ft).

The northern part of the country is desert and semi-desert, marking the southern extent of the Sahara.

The South Lagos Lagos is a busy and overcrowded city, reputed to be the most expensive in the world.

Its commercial and administrative centre is on Lagos Island at the heart of the city, linked to the mainland by two road bridges.