Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures - Lovelle Drachman
#VisitEpe is an excursion through the heart of Lagos up North almost to it's borders as far as the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lekki. The trip organized by TravelNextDoor took off from the meeting point at the Mr Biggs located on Oba Akran Avenue in Ikeja.
The trip featured a visit to Freedom Park, Lekki Conservation Center, Lufasi Park, Awolowo's prison home on the beach.
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Meeting Point: Oba Akran
Met with other tourists at Mr Biggs. Waited for one person to join us, then headed to the next point of call.
Stop over: Maryland
Picked up two more tourists, Tomiwa instigated balloons for all the kids.
Stop Over: Ojuelegba
More tourists joined the bus.
(conversation inside bus)
Fadekemi: No, it's Ojuelegba
Bola: Ojuegba could actually work
Ayo: Yeah, it would.
Bola: Yes, look at the walls on the street, they still have the paintings of the masquerades that lived in that compound. This was a while ago when it housed masquerade culture in Lagos.
Stop Over: Teslim Balogun Stadium
Picked more tourists. Took group pictures. We had our fruit salad prepared for the trip. Then we headed to Freedom Park.
1st Point of Interest (Freedom Park): Aunty Shola gave us the history of Freedom Park. It was different coming from her, it had more details to the walls, prison cells, prison traditions, entrances (old broken entrances and the new renovated entrances).Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, Renowned Architect and renovator of Freedom Park, Theo Lawson, Tunde Kelani, and other TV faces were seen rehearsing from Wole Soyinka's "The Beautification of Area boy". We went round the park and headed out. Due to some miracle, tree climbing started and
Traffic was light after leaving Freedom Park on our way to the next point of interest.
2nd Point of Interest (Lekki Conservation Center): We arrived at LCC, got our tickets and a guide and started the long journey into the conservation center. We were visiting by midday so we didn't see the variety the center had to offer. We didn't even see our old friend. The LCC is one of the many places on our things to do in Nigeria list.
We saw Mona Monkeys and what appeared to look like a very snakelike catfish. The new Lagos Family Park had floor games of snakes & ladders, drafts and others. They also had the most amazing display of sea life. Some goldfish looking tilapia and some orange, white, red fishes. The ponds had artificial lilies on them to give shade and resemble the natural environment of the fishes.
Note: The orange/white fishes actually are reared to offer a service to the park. Ask the tour guide why they keep them when you visit.
Coming back, I looked for the crocodile (or monitor lizard); I visited the swamp but empty. Off to the next point of call.
3rd Point of Interest (Lufusi Park): I slept and woke up, and we were in a park. Beautiful, scenic, natural enclosure located off the Ajah highway.
We gathered and set to eat lunch before exploring the park.
First point of call after food was the Fern Gardens, then Park Zoo where we saw a monkey named Rocky who played a balloon ball. We finally saw monitor lizards. The Ekki forest adventure was next. We walked to the Century old Ekki tree, possibly the last one left on Lagos and most of the West. We waited for bald vulture birds but they didn't seem to like us or they were out finding food.
Mangoes on the floor.
4th Point of Interest (Awolowo's Prison Home/Museum): All too soon, we had to leave for the next point of call, Awolowo's Home Prison. At first, I thought Pelumi had planned a surprise detour to a beach resort. When I gathered this was Awolowo's home prison, I guess he must have found it easy to carry out his sentence with such beauty, tranquility and peace around him. Our tour guide later showed a picture of the building when Awolowo lived in it. (It put a lot into perspective and you appreciate what has been done to the place). A part of the wall was left untouched so you see the wall when Awolowo lived in the house. Newspaper clips of the struggles and fights of Awolowo lines the house, person effects like cloths, glass, cap and shoes remain intact in his wardrobe.
We took to the beach and had looked out at the crashing waves. There's a boundary gate close by, crossing it puts you in Contonou and crossing back puts you in Nigeria. Cool.
We appreciate our troops so we waved at this soldier sleeping, his colleagues woke him up and he waved back at us.
Lovely trip, fun fellows and a new appreciation for the city of Lagos on this #VisitEpe trip. Find pictures on Facebook, tweet at us with your comments or questions @mydnigeria. Find out about tours on our events page OR contact us about going/planning a tour for you and your group.