I really should stop keeping you guys waiting for my promised follow up posts. I ran into Lord Josh, the great hehehe, yesterday and he almost tackled me about my promise to put up this post. Let me confess. I also created some video to accompany this post but its been in post production and I was just gonna wait so I could drop gems for you guys but hey, it makes my next post even more fun. How are you guys? really? All good? Well Fed? Feeling loved? If so, doxology! Ha Please ignore me, I am in the feels. Anyway to the post!
On the 29th of December, 2016 I embarked on this Memorable trip to the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos, Nigeria. The memories from that trip will live with me forever and ever. It was an awesome experience with my friends and family from The In His Steps Movement. I am proud to be associated with these folks any day. A little background information about Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC)
Established in 1990 by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, LCC has grown to be a prominent tourist destination in Lagos, Nigeria. This is even made apparent in the fact that it is an urban nature park with diverse range of plant and animal species, quite rich actually and enticing if you are one who loves adrenaline rush. It sits on an impressive 78 hectares land area (approximate size), extending from kilometer 19 along the Lekki-Epe Expressway and ends up a very close distance to the Atlantic Ocean near Okun Ibeju Village, Eti-Osa Local Government Area in the Eastern district of Lagos State.
One of the most exciting facts about this place is that it boasts of the the longest canopy walk in Africa. This provides an avenue for adventure and adrenaline rush because it is quite wobbly actually from such great heights. The canopy walkway weaves in and out of the natural Rain Forest and provides and avenue to traverse it cleanly. I emphasize CLEANLY because I want to encourage people to use the trash can as much as possible and protect this environment. On one of the towers on the Canopy walk I saw an empty PET coke bottle. GUYSSS!!!!!!!
Not taking anything away from the canopy walk, if you are not feeling up to it because you are too scared (hey, I am not judging….chicken), You can do the nature trail which weaves beneath the dense vegetation and affords you an opportunity to be closer to mother nature.
The trip to LCC wasn’t that much of a distress to us because it is actually quite easy to locate, even on google maps. Although we chartered a bus for this purpose and I will take this opportunity to say a big well done to the Lagos State Government for the LAGBUS initiative. It was a smooth and comfortable ride down to the place although going forward I want to request if the buses could be priced a bit cheaper? 60, 000 naira is not beans man!
Getting there, the first impression you might get is that, this place looks ordinary but the truth is that it is very far from ordinary. Exceptionally far! We had these birds welcoming us initially
The waiting area before the room where you would purchase your tickets or passes has a mini museum where you get to read about the Conservation Centre and other Natural reserves across Nigeria. I think I even saw well preserved exoskeleton of a tortoise. Creepy!
Your passes are actually like a wrist band and It costs N1000. (One thousand Naira) if you just want to do the nature trail. You need to shell an extre thousand naira if you want to do the canopy walk. So I just saw budget N2000 for the experience, per individual. You get two wrist bands, one green and one Pink but on this day they were out of pink wrist bands so I got only looking like this:
The canopy walk however has some strict rules and regulation though, the minimum age required for getting on is 14 and the maximum is 65. The guide at the entrance actually told us we could all get on at once and so we went in teams of 7. We were 42!!! If you have a fear of heights, I mean a morbid fear of height DO NOT GET ON. This thing will test you. As expected it is quite wobbly, even more wobbly in some parts.
While walking I switched to my telephoto lens because I was well aware of the fact that i Might see some wildlife in the trees and soon I was rewarded. I started seeing Monkeys doing their thing.
There was time for some lovely poses too!
*side eye though*
The Open Field
If you are bold enough to complete the canopy walk, congratulations. You will be rewarded at the end of you trail with an open field bearing gifts. LoL! I joke. Really though descending from the canopy walk is a small length of the Nature trail and then an open field with huts and gazebos where you can cool off and have a picnic. I saw a jungle gym that has been disused with a warning for us not to use it. I wonder why though. There is a crocodile pool too with a rather compelling and riveting warning. “Do not swim in the crocodile pool, survivors will be prosecuted” So I decided not to swim anymore (don’t roll your eyes)
We had time to play games and crack jokes too
There was a playable scaled up chess board complete with all the pieces
Things you should know
Hours: Open Everyday 8:30am – 5pm
Gate Fee: Yes. N1000 for the Nature trail and N1000 for the canopy walk
Can you bring your own food? Yes, but clean up after yourself
The Animals are in free range but kept away from the people area although you are advised not to lean so close to the monkeys, you might lose your valuables.
Try and stay hydrated while doing the canopy walk.
Use the bins. They are positioned strategically, do not litter!
The Lekki Conservation Centre is an intense experience and I would do it again given the opportunity. I hope the place is maintained and keeps evolving. I like the fact that it isn’t like many other places where they try to commercialize everything as much as possible. I mean when you got to some places, they don’t allow you bring in your food but instead force you to buy from vendors within the premises.
On that note, I didn’t see any souvenir being sold. I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand it is good, on the other hand what if I would never be able to come there again in my life and I want to have something to remember? Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough but for what it’s worth, the experience will be so ingrained in you mind, you probably won’t need a memorabilia.
That’s it for this post y’all. Please don’t forget to leave a comment and share. If you have been here before, write us about your experience on AjalaTales1@gmail.com.
Images are Copyright of Okeowo Adebanji (@BanjyteImagery) and Okizle(@Okizle) for Ajala Tales Blog.