Since I live in Lagos, it was only right that I started my tourist life here. So after some research, I decided to start with Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC).
Lekki Conservation Centre is a conservation project site which is dedicated to preserving and protecting wildlife and nature. It is situated in the Eti-Osa local government area of Lekki, Lagos state.
It is about 75 hectares and managed by chevron.
So after choosing this place, I dragged a friend along with me and off we went to be one with nature. We were supposed to leave early so we could see the crocodiles. Apparently they come out when they want which is usually early in the mornings or in the evenings. Of course we were late and didn’t get there till it was past noon.
When we got there, we were asked to fill a book with our names, time in, purpose of visit, how many people are visiting etc. I suppose this is their way of monitoring everyone who comes into the place and how many visitors they get daily. The security guard was quite friendly, and told us what to do since it was our first visit. At this junction I must say forgive my poor camera skills, I’m still learning.
The entrance gate taken from the inside. When you step in, the first thing you notice is how quiet and serene the place is, it’s almost as if you’re no longer in Lagos. We were greeted by a peacock and a turtle.
We had to go into the cone like building to pay, and in this building there are pictures of endangered animals and plants, and also people who have contributed to the project. It is also an auditorium for lectures, conferences or seminars.
You can see NCF written on the grass even though it needs some love and care. NCF stands for Nigerian Conservation Foundation. The body which the LCC project falls under.
We saw a sign on the board saying the grasslands were closed, which was disappointing. But we didn’t let it dampen our mood.
So off we went to see some animals or at least get some exercise out of it. lol. At the beginning of the trail, there’s a sign which shows the various sections of the park, their rules and opening times.
No 6 really cracked me up. Not sure if you can see what it says, but it states ‘Crocodile pool – swimming is prohibited. Survivor(s) will be prosecuted‘. In other words its a lose-lose situation.
The bust is of the founder and life president of the NCF. The plaque on it was unveiled on his 90th birthday.
There are signs everywhere (although dusty and sometimes unclear), showing where you’re heading to, or what can be found in each section
Can you see the mona monkey? They really freaked me out, they kept following us around.
This peacock decided to leave its friends and join us on our hike.
We bumped into some other visitors. At some point, it felt like I was on the set of some jungle like movie. You could hear the birds, monitor lizards and other noises but they were no where to be seen. Probably hiding or my eyes weren’t sharp enough.
I was almost sure that was a croc at the far end, but I was too scared to try and go any further. It could just be a piece of wood, but I’ll stick to my crocodile story.
Have you ever seen what a big baby looks like? No? Well here you can see one. I haven’t been on a swing in so long. The last time was probably when I went to my village as a kid, so please believe I was excited to get on this.
This can be found in the nature station. It’s meant to also be a children’s playground. According to one of the park rangers, they also plan on building a hippopotamus pond there and also one for fishes. He says there will also be dolphins. This is to ensure that when you come, even if you don’t see anything, you at least get to see those, seeing as they can’t hide anywhere.
Along the way, we picked up a tour guide. He asked for a picture and happily ‘posed’ with my friend.
He actually doesn’t work for the park. But he’s there everyday and is a member. He likes the place so much he volunteers to take people round. His name is Abu Mshelia. You can ask for him when you get there and he’ll be more than happy to be your guide. The shed like looking place you can see is under construction so families can have picnics or just chill. Now we move to what I think was the coolest part of my day.
There was a tree house!!!!! Its about 21 metres high. Of course I just had to climb it. I admit I was a bit hesitant at first.
This is sizing up my challenge and mentally preparing myself. Then up I went.
I made it all the way to the top. Can you see me? The tiny speck looking down. FEARLESS. Lol. The view from up there was breathtaking. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture because I was scared of my phone dropping into the middle of nowhere.
I had to do a little victory dance before going down to rest a little.
Part of the swamp area. We really couldn’t go there because well its rainy season and everywhere was messy. It was advised we stayed a distance. You have to admire nature and all its splendour. It really is beautiful. I was starting to get tired so I decided I wanted to head back.
On my way out of the trail, I saw a man and his son reading. If you’re a member, you can go there to pretty much do anything you want that isn’t illegal of course.
When you get outside, beside the cone shaped building, you see some artefacts and some animal bones. They are all labelled, but I’m not sure if you can see them clearly. (From top – bottom) – 1. Crockery artefacts 2. Turtle, crocodiles and snake skins 3. Whale bone 4. Turtle shell 5. Random wildlife bones.
The masquerade tree. If you’ve ever seen one, this is where it gets it’s name from, or maybe its the other way around.
For all the bird lovers out there, there’s a club for you.
This bad boy over here is 98 years old. His wife was on the opposite side. She’s about 54. They had children but it’s assumed they are dead. 😦 At first I was scared, but we became friends after. 🙂
So this brings us to the end of my visit. *whew* That was alot and hopefully I didn’t bore you.
I would say it was a good experience and decently priced. I would score it 6.5/10. This is because I didn’t go everywhere due to the renovations. I’m sure by the time all that is done, it would be much better.
You have to note though that depending on the time of the day and the season, you might not see all the animals you want so this might be something you want to keep in mind when planning to visit.
Of course not everyone is a nature lover so this might not be your own cup of tea, but if you’re into conservation and nature, I would highly recommend it. And you get a little bit of exercise in the process.
I sent a couple of pictures to my brother and he said he didn’t even know a place like this existed in Lagos. Like I said in my first post, too many tourist attractions in this country people are not aware of.
They have an information centre, so while you’re there if you have any issues, you can always pop in there.
On our way out you have to fill in the book again, with the time you left. And the peacocks came to say bye.
Things to note 1. I would suggest when going there, you dress comfortably. I saw a couple of people in heels, but if that is comfortable for you, go right ahead.
2. There are three sections on the trail: The swamp, the savannah, and the nature section.
3. The canteen is closed for now, so you can go with your own food and water.
4. For those who might want to go there, it is after the 6th roundabout in lekki, literally beside chevron round about if you’re coming from the direction of the toll gate. Just drive/walk slowly and look to the right, there is a sign board. When you also see ‘conservative toll gate’ you’re there. You cant miss it.
5. Don’t go alone. I mean I was going to, but it would have been boring. Besides how will you get pictures?
6. You can request for a park ranger
7. For those who don’t carry cash around, you can pay with your atm card.
8. You can visit their website and find more information on this project. – http://www.ncfnigeria.org/projects/lekki-conservation-centre
N1000 per visit (For our foreign readers, 4 GBP, $6 or 5 Euros)
Yearly membership is N2,500 (11 Euros, 9 GBP or $15). This allows you come any time you want during your membership year. Family membership (for up to 7) is N7,500 ($46, 34 Euros or 27 GBP)
*please note that pricing may be slightly different depending on the conversion rate at the time
*GBP stands for Great British Pound Have you been there before, what did you think of it? Anything to add or subtract? Questions?Speak your piece in the comments.