A visitor’s preference for the beaches in Lagos is determined by a number of factors. These include the serenity of the environment or a lack of it and the energy exuded by the scenery. While the latter is defined by nature, requiring little or nothing to change, the former is largely regulated by the management in charge of the beaches.
Take, for instance, Oniru and Elegushi beaches located at Victoria Island and off Lekki Express Way respectively. While both are privately owned, their ambience is significantly different. Elegushi beach appears to be rowdy, a combination of traders, beach guards, loiterers, and visitors in their numbers and loud music blasting from bars lined up in a row from the entrance gate. Apart from the bars which also offer an assortment of drinks and spicy dishes, hawkers move around with unrelated goods from beads, leather slippers, and wood carvings to beach shorts and ice cream. There are also photographers and horse riders who market their services to visitors, and a rickety but functional Ferris wheel. As a result of this rowdiness, with people coming and going in hundreds during the weekends, it is sadly not out of place to find that the beach is littered, although one can also find cleaners who rake up dirt and bury them in holes that they dig in the beach’s sand.
Oniru, on the other hand, might seem to offer visitors more privacy –though this is largely affected by time. The environment is not strewn with hawkers or disturbed by very loud music during the day. Visitors also have the alternative of renting tables, seats, and umbrellas instead of going into bars.
Though there are some things held in common by both beaches like entry and parking fares, bars, refreshments, horse-riding, Ferris wheels and the rocks which serve as both breakers and seats, striking is the disparity in the natural attributes seen in both seascapes. Elegushi’s boisterous blue waves with white caps roll and crash against sloped shores of coarse yellow-brown sand. The energy she gives out is exciting, attracting visitors to run or swim in the lighter areas of its currents. However, they do so at their own risk –there are no lifeguards and not a few lives have been lost to the sea from these shores. But Oniru is more like a stretch of less coarse grey-white sand on slightly elevated shorelines. This difference between the two shores can largely be attributed to the sand-filling of Victoria Island in which Oniru Beach is situated.