I woke up on Saturday morning around 6am feeling a little drowsy; I must have slept a bit late. But I had to get up, a new day had come. I shook off the impending lethargy and stretched my hands and feet, got into my gear and took off for my morning jog. I was back home by 7am and as I stepped into my room, it screamed at me to keep it tidy which I did. I can’t stand it whenever my room shouts.
I started thinking about the trip I planned to the Lekki Conservation Centre, as I took care of other house chores; I was going with a friend and we were both carless, so how do we get there via transport? I silently prayed that God should bless me with a car, and I wasn’t hazy about it, I asked him specifically for the Nissan Qashqai 2008 Model. I love that car to the moon and back.
It was now 11am and we had planned to leave the house for 12Noon, then I had some impromptu visitors (cool friends) who encroached into our plans, so I had to call my friend to reschedule for 1pm. It’s amazing how some friends just think that they can just crash your programme all the time. No hard feelings, I love them regardless.
We finally started our journey from Iju Ishaga to Lekki by 1:20pm and we made it to CMS by 3:30pm. We decided to take a bike from CMS all the way to the Lekki Conservation Centre to save on time as we all know that you can’t predict Lagos Traffic. The bike ride was an experience in itself, enjoying the cool breeze as it brushed past your face and you leave the traffic behind.
So we made it! Here we are at the Lekki Conservation Centre. It was a real escape to the peace and quiet, an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the very crazy and noisy Lagos metropolis. We were greeted by lovely peacocks on the side lawn and a giant centuries-old tortoise. The monkeys were everywhere. They really felt at home and paraded the entire resort.
We still took our chances, placed our bet on nature and bought our tickets at N1,000 each after one of the managers had explained to us that we might not be able to gain access to some parts of the reserve either due to flooding or maintenance. So off we went, starting our expedition with the Trail Board Walk which was built over the nature reserve.
As we later learnt, the trail boardwalk was constructed in 1992 to enrich tourist’s view of the vast resources of the nature reserve which is encapsulated on a mangrove terrain. The trail stretches a length of 2 Km.
Some of the side attractions along the trail are swamp outlook, bird hide, rest stops and the tree house. The rest stops serve as rest points and picnic site for small groups of visitors. They are located at about 250m apart on the nature trail boardwalk.
The Tree House is one of the most fascinating features one can ever come across in an ecotourism zone. The tree house, stylishly seated on a stout dawadawa tree rises above 25m. A well protected ladder is ruggedly mounted behind the tree to enable nature enthusiasts reach to tree house to savour the panoramic view of the tree canopy. It was cordoned off, so we couldn’t get to enjoy the view, anyways, maybe next time.
At the end of trail boardwalk seats what is called the Nature Station – a recreation island in the middle of a forest. It has a semi-enclosed block structure containing the indoor picnic facilities and conveniences. The outdoor has outdoor game facilities for the amusement of adventurous visitors.
This was where our eyes were opened to one of the astonishing beauties of nature; we almost didn’t come this far as the path was flooded and muddy at some point and we almost gave up and turned back. But thankfully, we summoned up courage and we got here, ushered into a world of great aquatic beauty.
Amidst the several recreational facilities at the Nature Station seats two large ponds; a Tilapia Pond and a Koi Pond. The former wasn’t really spectacular, but the latter was really a sight to behold.
I would just let the pictures speak as I don’t have the words to describe the experience. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s really better experienced than expressed.
We spent so much time just admiring the fishes and the splendour of nature and how all this ultimately affects our environment and time elapsed with no significance to us. We later found ourselves back on earth and we realized we had to be at a rehearsal later in the evening. So we started the long walk back to civilization through the 2km trail board walk, and we were greeted courteously by monkeys as we sauntered across.
Back at the office complex, we settled for a meal of Jollof Rice, Plantain and Beef at the Canteen before we headed back into the hustle and bustle of Lagos. It was such a great experience; I will definitely be back at the Lekki Conservation Centre.