What I love the most about traveling within Africa is noticing the many similarities from one country to another, while having a sort of culture shock when I experience the specificities that make a city, region or country unique. My stay in Lagos was an outstandingly memorable experience, without exaggeration. Beside the excitement we all have when traveling to a new country, I totally fell in love with the energy, people and places I had the chance to explore. One of the highlights of my trip was the Lekki Conservation Centre, a nature reserve and eco-tourism site located on the Lekki Peninsula. It’s one those places that leaves you speechless, amazed and peaceful.

The nature lover that I am was beyond excited when my friend suggested to take me there on my first day in Lagos. We arrived in late afternoon and were lucky enough to make it before the last tour of the day at 5PM. I highly recommend coming early, preferably in the morning. It gives you more time to enjoy the park and wildlife. Our tour guide Kingsley, a very enthusiast and insightful man, took us on a hour-long tour through the reserve along with a group of approximately 20 other visitors from all age groups. At the entrance of the resort, a boulevard of coconut will lead you to a cone-shaped building which serves as the auditorium for lectures, conferences, and seminars. It is also where visitors pay the entrance fees: N1000 per adult. Group rates are available on demand.

The first thing to expect when visiting Lekki Conservation Centre is to walk. The site, established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in 1990 as an initiative to protect the wildlife and mangrove on Nigeria’s South-West coastline from the threat of urban development, covers a land area of 78 hectares. We walked for at least 2km on a trail boardwalk, in the middle of savannah, with old and giant trees surrounding us. It is so calm and peaceful that you could hardly believe that you are at the heart of a busy city. Perfect to escape the hustle and bustle of Lagos’ every day life.

Several monkeys and birds species can be spotted in the trees. Crocodiles and snakes can also be found here, but I haven’t seen any. The main attraction of the reserve (and my favorite so far) is the Canopy Walkway, which is 401 meters long and 22.5 meters high above the ground. It can be really fun until you look down. It’s reputed to be the longest walkway in Africa and the second largest in the world. Once you reach the top, you will enjoy a stunning and panoramic view of the park. Adventure lovers will love it. Those afraid of heights should give it a try too. What is life without challenge?
P1130274.jpg

Because walking through the forest can be exhausting for children and adults, there is a picnic area and a children’s playground. My only regret is that this huge land is not used at its full potential. I believe so much more could be done in terms of activities and facilities to make the reserve more attractive. Also, I would have expected to see more animals.

In the family park, there are two ponds: one for tilapias and one for exotic fishes. It is extremely beautiful! I would recommend any nature and adventure lovers to pay a visit. It’s also a wonderful place to spend time with your kids and/or lover. So if you ever go to Lagos, make sure you stop by. If you have already been there, please share your experience with me!

The pros:

Calm and serenity
Beautiful rainforest
Amazing tour guide
Location is pretty easy to access
The canopy walkway: a must-try
Picnic areas and family games

The cons:

Apart from monkeys, not many animals can be seen
The park could be better maintained
Lack of signage in the park
Just a few activities available