The Point of no return, Gberefu Island, Badagry – the original slave route
The Point of No Return is the spot where slaves were shipped to an unknown destination during the colonial slave trade regime. It is located in Gberefu Island which is a few minutes boat ride from the Badagry Marina.
Gberefu Island is located in the coastal town of Badagry. A city that shared a border with the Benin Republic via Seme border. The significance of this island cannot be overemphasized as it was a major Slave trade hub in the 20th Century. Badagry is a quiet and beautiful town with lots of history and it is also the home of Gberefu Island Point of No return. The Point of No Return is the original slave route to an unknown destination which is usually Europe or American where they serve as slaves.
History of Gberefu island
The history of Gberefu island can be dated as far back as 1473 when it was opened as a slave port. Ever since it’s a grand opening, the Point of No return witnessed the influx of thousands of slaves from Africa to different parts of Europe
The Gberefu Island is about 5 minutes boat ride from the Badagry Marina which features some of the top tourist attractions within Badagry.
The Gberefu Island also known as the Point of no return is an iconic island during the slave trade era. This Island witnessed slaves from different West African countries. A journey to the Point of no Return will bring you up to date with the history of what happened over 400 years ago. You will better understand the history behind slavery and gain more insights into how the slave trade business run. It will also help you appreciate freedom and see the wickedness of humanity towards humanity.
Badagry is home to so many tourist destinations and historical sites which can be dated as far back as the days of the colonial and slave trade rule.
Journey to the Point of No Return
The Journey to the Point of No Return, Gberefu Island, Badagry starts with taking a boat ride from the Badagry Slave Port on the Badagry Marina. The boat ride from the Badagry Slave Port is less than a 5 minutes boat ride to the Gberefu Island port. From The Gberefu jetty, the hiking begins where you will do a fifteen to thirty minutes walk along the original slave route down to the Point of no Return. Along the route is the Attenuation well. This is one of the major attractions of Gberefu Island.
The Slavery – The History of Slavery in Gberefu Island
The Slave journey usually starts from the Vlekete Slave market where slaves are auctioned.
Slaves are usually people that are kidnapped, captured, prisoners or spoils of wars. They are usually bargained and sold to slave masters who then sell them in exchange for guns, umbrella, mirror, canons, ceramic plates and jugs, porcelain, wine, brass, kettles, gin, alcohol etc
The Journey usually begins from the Badagry Vlekete Slave market to the Seriki Barracoon where they are kept till the slave masters return to buy more slaves. Once the slave masters arrive and an agreement has been reached, then they take a boat ride across the lagoon to Gberefu Island where they have to walk with heavy chains tied around their necks, waists and legs. This is usually the hardest part of the journey because you could have up to 100 slaves being tied together using a single chain and made to walk long distance. This is done to prevent them from escaping. On the journey to the Point of No Return Lies the attenuation well where they will be forced to take a quick drink.
Attenuation Well – Another School of Thought
This is usually the final drink before heading into the ship. Legend and history have it that the Attenuation well has magical powers that will make anyone lose their memories when they drink of it. A school of thought explained this is why it is usually difficult for them to revolt or fight the slave masters during the trip since they outnumbered the slave masters since they.
Another School of thought claimed the water was probably drugged with a substance that made them inactive during the journey making them weak to even revolt against the slave masters. This is usually because ships could take as high as 700 slaves which are only controlled by about ten to twenty slave masters. Whichever it is it doesn’t take out the fact that the slaves are hypnotized during the trip and then regain consciousness when they get to their final destination. Then they are taken to the Point of No Return where they are shipped off to an unknown destination. Once they get to the destination, they are traded and sold again to farmers and other people who buy them for various purposes. They ended up serving their masters for the rest of their lives.
Tour to The Point of No Return
Your visit to Badagry will not be complete without visiting the Point of No Return. The journey starts by getting to the Badagry roundabout you will see the Drummer Boy Statue. Drive to the Badagry Marina where the slave Port is located. Then you will take a three minutes boat ride to Gberefu jetty which leads to the Original Slave route. Along the original slave route, lies Attenuation well, which is still in existence today. You get a chance to see the well that has the power to make people lose their memory.
After walking down the slave route, you will see the third sign with the inscription, The Original slave route of the Point of No Return. Then you start hearing the splashing of water this means you are finally getting to the point of no return. On walking some few kilometres is the sight is one of the most beautiful architecture welcoming you to the Point of no return which has now been termed the Point of Return.
Lots of Things to See and Do
You get a chance to see the well that has the power to make people lose their memory. After walking down the slave route, you will see the third sign with the inscription, The Original slave route of the Point of No Return. Then you start hearing the splashing of water this means you are finally getting to the point of no return. On walking some few kilometres is the sight is one of the most beautiful architecture welcoming you to the Point of no return which has now been termed the Point of Return.
The Point of no return witnessed over 10,000 slaves being exported to Europe, America etc
There was two major slave route in Nigeria back in the Colonial slave era, the Badagry and Calabar slave Port. However because the Badagry slave Port is more popular and lucrative, most traders prefer to bring the slaves to the Badagry slave market from different parts of West Africa.
About the Point of Return Resort
The Lagos States government under the leadership of the former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, decided to convert the Point of No return in place into a beautiful world-class resort centre. The place will feature several adventurous activities and where tourist can lodge in chalets while learning about the history of Gberefu Island. However, the ex-Governor of Lagos Ambode who abandoned this project that would have changed tourism in Badagry forever. Anyways the views are amazing, as you walk towards the Point of return, you start to appreciate freedom, nature and the peaceful atmosphere in what used to be a no go zone.
Things to Do at The Point of No Return
Badagry has a lot to offer and here are the few things to do in Badagry, Lagos
1. Take a Walk through the original slave route
2. See the attenuation well which is still in existence till date
3. Take A boat ride to across the Marina Lagoon
4. Organise a picnic
5. Take A walk by the beach and enjoy the beautiful view
6. Get to see the point of no return
7. Take Beautiful Pictures at the Beach
8. Get to see the first storey building in Nigeria
9. Visit the different slave museums
10. Get to see some relics from the slave trade era
Best Time To Visit The Point Of No Return
The best time to visit the Point of No Return is off rainy season. This is usually between August and March. However, you could also visit the Point of No return between April and July, just ensure you do no go on a rainy day.
Location/Address of Point of No Return
The Point of No return is located in Gberefu Island, opposite the Badagry Marina, off Mobee Street.
How to Get to the Point of No return
The Point of No return is located in Badagry. Depending on where you are coming from. If you are coming from abroad to The point of No Return, you need to get a flight to Murtala International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. If you coming from outside Lagos, then you need to either board a bus or flight to Lagos. Check out cheap flights here.
Anywhere from Lagos find your way to Badagry using either a Bolt (Taxify) or Uber. You can get cheap or free ride when you use this code as a first time user.
Bolt (Taxify): WWW1N
In conclusion, When you get to Badagry roundabout, you turn left into Joseph Dosu Way. Drive down the end of the road then turn left at the Fishermans statue roundabout. Then Locate Mobee Street. From Mobee Street, You take a boat ride from the Badagry Slave port to Gberefu Island Jetty. Then from Gberefu Island, you do the twenty to thirty minutes hike to the point of No return
The Badagry Slave Tour Package
We can take you to Badagry to experience first hand the Badagry experience. This tour package features an all in one Badagry experience. You will get to learn more about the Slave trade business, get to see relics from the slave trade era that is still in existence today. This Badagry slave trade tour features
1. Visit the Badagry Heritage Slave Museum
2. Vlekete slave market In Badagry
3. Agia Tree Monument (The Spot where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria)
4. Visit the Mobee Slave Relic Museum
5. Seriki Abass Slave Barracoon (The Slave Prison)
6. The Badagry Slave Port
7. The Point of No Return
9. The first administrative block in Nigeria,
10. The Miracle well that has been in existence since 1932
We will pick you from your hotel or the Airport with a fully air-conditioned bus or car, you will be ushered to Badagry with lots of interesting stories about the culture, history and diversity of the cities. You will learn about the over 400 years of slavery in Nigeria
You will get a rare chance to see and feel some of the relics
You will also get professional photoshoots throughout the journey
Above all, You also get a chance to see The first translated Yoruba bible, first well which is still in existence till today, If you choose to spend more time in Badagry, we can lodge you at a first-class resort in Badagry.