The Lekki Conservation Centre provides a safe haven to the beauty that is nature, with animals running around freely. As the name rightly goes, the reserve is located in the Lekki axis of Lagos state, just before the second Lekki toll gate.
The first thing that struck me about the place is how well maintained it is, with labourers on ground fixing damages as trivial as a crack in a pavement. There are waste bins at every corner and staff at alert to remind tourists not to litter. Existing for over two decades, the reserve still looks as good as new. Nigeria does have some maintenance culture after all.
Another thing to take notice of are the trees and I’m not talking about flowers. You can be rest assured that your car would not get blazing hot as there are lots of tall thick trees to give it enough shade. The air in the reserve is nothing like the congested Lagos air. With my eyes closed and a smile on my face, I sucked in as much delicious fresh air as I could muster.
The staff members are also quite friendly. Our tour guide, Garrick was more than happy to show us around. He took us through a wooden bridge-like walkway that led us to a canopy walkway but sadly, some of our co-tourists had to leave us at this point as there are certain restrictions to get on the walkway, in terms of health, age and phobias.
Now this is where it gets interesting. The canopy walkway is the longest in Africa with 401 metres in length, stretching across a mangrove forest. The walkway which took about 13 people and 6 months to construct starts off at about 7 metres above the ground and got higher as we progressed. According to Garrick, the trick is to avoid looking down. Keep your eyes straight and enjoy the view. There are different towers where one can rest and enjoy the view. At the highest point which is about 22 metres above the ground, Garrick congratulated us for our bravery and encouraged us to enjoy the view and take pictures. We were overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at this point.
After some brief shenanigans, we began to descend and found ourselves at the Savannah which is a different world on its own. I dashed for the famous fish pond to have a look at the colourful Tilapia fish I had seen in a lot of pictures. Sadly, I couldn’t get any good pictures of them.
It was an all round refreshing experience and I hope to come back someday soon but this time I would be sure to go with a tube of sunscreen and a bottle of cold water. Indeed, it is beautiful outside.