Christmas is coming in full swing. It’s time to start planning for the holiday. Christmas comes with a lot of fun and joyfulness. The festive season is a period to spend time with loved ones, a period to take a break from work and enjoy with your family. ENCOMIUM Weekly presents a second part of interesting places to visit this season.
LEKKI LEISURE LAKE
The Lekki Leisure Lake is a safe seaside activity centre where kids and adults can partake in thrilling and real activities like quad bikes, jet skis, wave boat, pontoon boat, pedal boats. The beach can also be rented for private functions. You can host a birthday party there, in the same place is an ideal place to stay a weekend as they have a hotel. The lake gives you a nice view over the Atlantic ocean while you ride the quad bike and race through their dynamic dune tracks. There is a shop where they sell food, snacks and drinks, because bringing your own food is not allowed.
INAGBE GRAND RESORTS
Inagbe Grand R esort and Leisure is an exclusive waterfront resort in Inagbe Island, Lagos. The resort is ideal for family holidays, a perfect getaway for both tourists and nature lovers. Free wifi and a host of outdoor activities are available. There is accommodation and a restaurant where guests can order a variety of local and continental dishes. During leisure hours, guests may also engage in activities as horse riding, tennis, quad biking, volleyball and other ball games.
Boat sails are also available. Guests may select either charter or non charter for each round of trip. The resort is a 15-mintue boat ride away from Victoria Island and a 10-minute boat ride from Tarkwa Bay, Ilashe Beach.
YANKARI GAME RESERVE
This is an historic national park located in Bauchi State. It’s said to be the country’s richest wildlife oasis, most developed animal reserve park. It currently host 50 different species of animals and about 550 elephants, the largest herd of elephants in West Africa. The game reserve also boasts of more than 59 caves, a well system used by salves and wiki warm spring. The spring water forms a pool which is 200m long and 10m wide, containing crystal clear water at a temperature of around 31 degrees Celsius. Its available for tourists to swim in.
Idanre Hills is located in Idanre town, Ondo State. Said to be 800 years old and reached by about 640 steps with five resting points on your way to the top. It is a breathtaking landscape that also provides a window to the town’s colourful history. Tourists would enjoy the rigours of climbing the hill and can also have a refreshing swim in Arun River.
If you are adventurous enough, the tallest of the hills which rises to about 300 feet above sea level, challenges you to a climbing game, you can also dare the Agboogun footprints, which is widely believed to enlarge or contract to accommodate every foot.
IKOGOSI WARM SPRING RESORT
Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, in the heart of Ikogosi, a small, quiet town with rich, local customs, in the Western part of Ekiti State. What is mysterious about the Ikogosi Warm Spring is the fact that, flowing side by side the warm spring, is another spring, a cold one.
According to experts, it is a geological wonder to have such occurrence out of the same rock formation and this Ekiti flagship tourist destination is said to be the only one of its kind discovered anywhere in the world. The meeting point of the warm and cold springs is a unique attraction to tourists. This is a perfect place for holidays and vacation for families, as there are accommodations from executive VIP chalet to rooms of different styles.
LA CAMPAGNE TROPICANA
This is a beach resort in the Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos State. It’s a lovely hour’s drive from Victoria Island. The resort offers a unique blend of natural environments which include a fresh water lake, accessible mangrove forest, a savannah, extensive sandy beach and the warm Atlantic sea. The resort provides world class accommodation and 24 hours security. Awaiting you there are spa treatments, massage therapy, fully equipped cardiovascular gym with personal trainers, cultural dance display for guests, fresh palm wine bar and other activities including hiking, hunting, horse riding, canoeing, ocean water fishing, aqua aerobics, beach volleyball and soccer.
OBUDU MOUNTAIN RESORT
Formerly known as Obudu Cattle Ranch, is a ranch and resort in Obudu, Cross River State. The climate there is semi temperate, which is the general weather condition experienced on the Obudu plateau due to its altitude. There are cable cars from the base to the top of the plateau which gives visitors a scenic view while bypassing the extremely winding road to the top. It also has a helipad for access by air. At the base of the hills on which the ranch is located lies a newly built world class water park with state-of-the-art swimming facilities and water slides for children, teens and adults. This is an Africa sun resort, so expect the comfort and top class service which the group is famous for. Visitors can take advantage of the fully equipped gym and flood lit tennis court, squash court and 9-hole golf course before relaxing at the terrace restaurant complete with blazing log fire.
This can be located in Madakiya, Kafanchan, Abuja. The Matsirgra Waterfalls cascade from a face of sheer rock through four natural funnels. Its 25 metres tall and falls into a large plunge pool at the bottom. Locals refer to the stream that feeds into the falls as the River Wonderful. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, which is both tranquil and breathtaking. If you are lucky you will catch one of the mysterious rainbow which appear in the waterfall spray. It is a bird watchers paradise as several parrots and finches inhabit the neighbouring trees.
Omu Resort is located along the Lekki-Epe Road in Lagos State. This is a perfect place for holiday, outings. The resort has a flat fee policy which means you pay once and have access to the entire facility all day long with minor restrictions.
On go karts/quads and rides. Omu Resort has the first wax museum in Africa, first purpose built track in Nigeria with different array or karts for all ages, amusement park, horse riding, quad biking, darts, a zoo with 40 animals from around Africa and lots more. The resort provides food, but you are also allowed to bring your food.
Located in Lagos Island, this used to be a prison yard but was remade to stand for something better, alive and peaceful. You will see the prison cell tiny as they are, which have now been converted to stand for sellers. Dance performances, live music, soccer watching are available for view. The new Freedom Park is located on the site of the colonial prison where prominent Nigerians had their jail terms during the colonial era. This prison was used by the British colonial masters to torture, imprison and hang in the gallows, those that opposed colonial rule of Nigeria including Herbert Macaulay, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Michael Imodu, Sir Adeyemo Alakija and others.
It’s a memorial leisure park dedicated to preserving the Lagos colonial heritage. The park provides Open Air stage, Amphi theatre, Pergola cell, skeletal cells, food court, ponds and fountains, historical statute, museum complex, historical displays, souvenir shops, resource centre, court yard, etc.
BADAGRY HERITAGE MUSEUM
This is a one storey building that houses the artifacts, records and culture of the Badagry people. Objects in this museum dates back to pre-slave era, slave era and post-slave era. The people of Badagry wanting to keep their heritage intact and as a reminder of what happened in their town decided to resist huge buyouts of some of the things they hold dear and have instead decided to put in the museum items that are unique, old and valued historically. At the museum, the tour guide will take you on a trip through eight gallies all named for different periods of the slave era. It is often said that the African story did not begin with slaves and this museum shows it. You will find the culture 8 records of the people who inhabited Badagry long before the settlers came and changed everything.
Located on Admiralty Road, Lekki, Lagos, Fun Factory is like Chocolate Factory where all they do is churn, create, make and have fun day. With a range of activities to choose from, it’s a day to really give up to having the best of fun alongside the family or loved ones.
OLD OYO NATIONAL PARK
The park’s name is derived from the ancient capital of the Yoruba empire, Oyo Ile. Two forest reserves were combined to make the park, the upper Ogun and the Oyo Ile. Initially game reserves, the forests were then promoted to National Park statutes, nowadays the park span over 2,500 square kilometers in total. Abundant with a diverse range of both flora and fauna, the park is home to creatures such as baboons, antelope, bush hogs and many more. It is also a fantastic location for bird watching. For those who want to get close to nature, the Akoto Tourist camp within the park boundaries offers visitors the chance to stay in chalets. The camp has a swimming pool and recreation centre for guests to wind down after their day’s adventures. There is also a restaurant providing both continental and African cuisine, jeep tracks for safari trips and, for those who are interested in learning more about the creatures that inhabit the park, there is also a wildlife museum.
Situated 17 kilometres from Ikom, Cross River State, is the Agbokim Waterfall. A collection of seven cascades which pour over a cliff creating an impressive seven part waterfall. If you are lucky you will catch the falls at a time when the mist drifting from the crashing water conjures up rainbow colours.
The waterfall is enclosed in a lush, tropical rain forest. It’s an ideal spot for a picnic or to escape to a tranquil spot to be with nature, providing plenty of secluded spots that are perfect for bird watching or just enjoying the sound of the water. The falls have been selected as part of the country’s seven wonder of Nigeria project.
AZUMINI BLUE RIVER
Named after its gorgeous sapphire waters, Azumini Blue River in Abia State has stunning views, crystal clear water, abundant sandy beaches and opportunities for canoe rides. Recognized as the most clean and clear expanse of water in Nigeria, it’s easy to spot fish darting underneath the transparent surface settle down on some of the chairs or beach umbrellas that are available or relax on top of a blanket next to the crystalline water. Starting off a calm, still expanse of water, the river later grows more wild and becomes a tumultuous terrain of white water rapids. It is at this point the scenery becomes the most spectacular. Popular with locals and tourists as holiday spot, you will watch local kids jumping and diving like fish into the smaller steams surrounding the Azumini. It’s a perfect place to bring and share a picnic, perhaps to grill some freshly caught fish.
AWOLOWO PRISON HOME
This museum located at the Lekki Free Trade Centre is the home prison, Nigerian leader, Obafemi Awolowo was sentenced to. Awolowo seemed to have been at peace as the environs of this museum is set on the edge of a beautiful beach. At the museum, you will see items of clothing worn by Awolowo, his glasses, shoes, cap, trousers. You will also see before and after pictures of the museum so you appreciate the work done in renovating it. Directly opposite the museum is a beach where you can picnic and absorb some sun.
AWHUM WATERFALL AND CAVE
Situated in Awhum town is the Awhum Waterfall and Cave. The water cascades over an outcrop of granite where it then forms a stream. Lining the steam are several caves. The 30 metres high waterfall is said to have healing powers and the capability of dispelling satanic or evil forces. A section of the waterfall stays warm throughout the seasons. For these reasons, the falls have become a place of Christian pilgrimage and a prayer centre. Awhum is a valley town surrounded by rolling grassy hills, valleys and caves. The caves in particular make Awhum’s beauty unique.
Located in Daura Road, Abuja lies Zuma Rock. Taking pride of place on the N100 bill, Zuma Rock is one of the top tourist attractions in Nigeria. Rising imposingly from the flat topography of the surrounding area, this colossal granite monolith is hard to miss, with its position towering above the long highway into Abuja. Standing at 625 ft tall, this Nigerian landmark is a must see on any trip to nearby capital Abuja, it is visible from anywhere in the city. There is a place to eat and drink at the rock and there is also light entertainment to pass the moment.
Ibeno Beach is situated in Akwa Ibom State. Stretched out next to the Atlantic Ocean, Ibeno Beach is 90 kilometes of natural white sand, promoted as the largest stretch of beach in West Africa. Sun bathe next to the sea and enjoy blissful solitude as this beautiful beach stretches out for miles. You can come here for some peace and quiet, or if you are looking for a fun place, bring your family and friends, of course for your picnic. Off shore, coral reefs gleam in the water snorkel around them, or take part in some water sports like jet skiing. You can also find good surfing spots along this stretch of coastline.
Situated in Kwara State, Owu Waterfalls is the steepest natural water in West Africa, cascading from a height over 330 feet over a rocky cliff and into a cool plunge pool below. The falls has acquired the nickname, ‘Wonder in wilderness.’ The scenery surrounding the falls is stunning in its own right. A tropical rain forest, home to a wide range of plant life and wildlife, some of which is exclusive to only a small pocket of West Africa.
THE LONG JUJU SHRINE OF AROCHUKWU
A long time ago, when West Africa was broken into different kingdoms, Ibinu Ukabi of the long juju shrine was used to judge the perpetrators of crimes. In the kingdom of Arochukwu, those at trial would enter the temple complex, and wander through it, ready to face the judgement of Chukwu (God). It acted like a court, mediating the society of the old kingdom. A dark kilometer long series of tunnels, the site is still primarily a religious one, and only secondly a tourist attraction. Some deeply unpleasant but mysterious features include the Throne of Judgement, where Chukwu would decide on the fate of a person, the Tunnel of Disappearance and the Red River, which turn coloured when a person was killed. In the 15th Century, European powers started the slave trade, and West African middlemen used it to their advantage. Those condemned were not killed inside the shrine but were secretly sold on into slavery.
– NKECHINYERE IBEMERE