Guess who finally went to Lekki Conservation Centre and experienced the longest canopy walkway in Africa? Me!!!
I created a page for my bucket list on the blog because I wanted a constant reminder to try new things, to hold myself accountable and to also share my experiences with you.
However, I have been unable to do much and for a long time, visiting Lekki Conservation Centre was on my list because of the amazing things I had heard about it.
Topping the list for me was definitely experiencing the longest canopy walk in Africa.
After rescheduling for over two year, I finally jumped at the opportunity presented by Visit Nigeria Now to embark on a 5 Places in 1 day Tour of Lagos. One of the places on the tour list was Lekki Conversation Centre, so I signed up immediately.
If you live in Nigeria or just visiting and looking to experience Nigerian Tourism, I recommend Visit Nigeria Now as they promote domestic/inbound tourism and can serve as your local tour guide. Their tour packages are very affordable and you are allowed to adopt an installment payment plan.
Depending on the state to visit and number of tour days, there are packages between NGN 5,000 to NGN 65,000.
About Lekki Conversation Centre.
Lekki Conservation Centre was established in 1990 and have now grown into one of Africa’s sought after tourist attraction. The 78 hectares Family Park is situated at KM 19 lekki-Epe Expressway in Lagos Nigeria and is managed by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF).
Need a landmark? It is immediately after chevron estate and just before the 2nd Lekki toll gate. You can also use google map if you decide to drive, or better still, contact Visit Nigeria Now.
The most fascinating thing about the Lekki Conservation Centre is definitely the canopy walkway which is 401 metre long and suspended at 22.5 feet above ground level.
The Family nature park also has a tree house which is 21 metre high, a large floor chess game, a draught game, Ludo game, Snake and ladder game all simulated on the floor.
There is a spot to buy coconut and a barbecue spot as well. The coconut costs 500 and the barbecue is sold depending on the amount of choice. You can also look out for the giant tortoise which I hear is 95 years old.
Visiting Time and Fees
Opening hours are between 8:30am to 5:00pm daily. Note that there is high influx during public holidays and the festive season, so it is advised to plan better during these period.
Entrance fee for adults is NGN 1000 and an additional NGN 1000 to experience the canopy walkway. Only individuals between 14 to 65 years are allowed to access the canopy walkway.
Children aged 0 to 13 are not allowed to access the canopy walkway but can gain access to the other facilities at NGN 200 as entrance fee.
Group visits with a maximum of 25 individuals cost NGN 30,000. It is also advised to visit ahead if you plan to organize larger meetups.
This nature reserve is great for picnics, team bonding sessions, small birthday meet ups and a great date idea.
Best period to visit is the dry season as no one is allowed to get on the canopy walkway if it is raining or about to rain.
My Experience At Lekki Conservation Centre.
Before visiting the Lekki Conservation Centre, I had done my research about the place, looked at pictures and had a fair knowledge of what to expect.
I had heard about the monkeys and how they attempt to collect items from visitors that are unsuspecting. I had also heard about the six stages of the walkway and was ready for the experience.
On arrival, we all (my tour mates and I) sat under a tree around the car park, while the VNN tour host went to pick up wrist bands for everyone. The wrist band permits visitors to experience the canopy walkway and it costs One Thousand Naira (NGN 1000).
Our 32 seater tour bus was not allowed to drive into the premises because of the size. However, smaller cars are allowed to park inside the facility.
We also met a couple taking pre wedding pictures in traditional attire and it was beautiful watching them pose and chuckle. The nature park is great for themed photograph.
After about 20 minutes, a tour guide from Lekki Conservation Centre walked up to us and announced it was time to head towards the canopy walk.
We got a brief for about 10 minutes and some of the things we were told include:
- Make sure both hands are free. This helps you balance/grip the railings properly.
- Keep phones and other items in your backpack.
- You might spot a snakes but it will not approach or harm you. This shook a number of people including me.
- Do not sit, run, dance or jump on the canopy walkway.
- Keep items secure while on the wooden bridge and canopy walkway.
- Make sure your backpack is not heavy.
- Only six people can climb the canopy walkway at a time.
- Do not lean against the railings.
We started off the experience by walking on a 2km wooden bridge built over a swamp. Since we had been told the area has swamp and savannah habitats, we had to be careful from this point.
We saw monkeys hanging on trees very close to the wooden bridge and already aiming for items to snatch. We heard birds chirping but there were no snakes or crocodile in sight during our walk.
Finally, we got to the starting point of the longest canopy walkway in Africa and had to get on the walkway in a group of 6.
At first, I was a bit worried about the safety and quality control put in place but then, I figured the company would not put peoples lives at risk. I began the walk somehow skeptical but began to relax as the walk progressed.
During the walk, I figured that it is best to walk with one foot slightly forward and in the center than at apart and at both end /close to the railings.
Stage 1, 2 and 3 was the ascending stage, 4 was a bit leveled and from 5 and 6 we started descending the canopy walkway. The end of each stage has a tower house to rest, catch our breathe and take pictures.
There was supposed to be a tour guide waiting at each tower house but we met them only twice. One of the tour guide had music playing and I did not fail to burst a move.
The view from the top is amazing and the experience is one which the memory will last for a long time. From the first uncertain emotion to gaining confidence and finally loving the canopy walk, it is an experience you should have.
After the walk, we went on to explore other areas of the park, relaxed in one of the many family huts available and had more interesting conversations.
Have I mentioned how amazing my tour mates are? We had barbecue, coconut water and finally had our meal (Jollof Rice, Chicken, Plantain, Water, Pet Drink And Fruit Salad) after a long wait.
We took more pictures after the meal and headed to exit the the park. The tree house is on the way out of the family park but by this time, a number of us were exhausted. We were also running out of time.
While some of my tour mates and I waited at the foot of the tree house, few people went on to climb.
Essentials for Experiencing The Longest Canopy Walk In Africa.
- Wear light and comfortable clothing. E.g T-shirt’s, shorts, trouser
- Wear light footwear. Flat surfaced footwear preferably.
- A baseball cap because of the sun. Use sunscreen as it gets really sunny from 11:00am.
- A face towel or handkerchief.
- Light backpack with water and some snacks. You can have them while resting at the tower.
- A camera to document memories.
- I feel like soft music will help to calm your nerves while on the canopy walkway, as long as you do not start dancing.
- Great company.
- Confidence and a drive for adventure.
The highlight for me was definitely the canopy walkway and I will not forget in a hurry how the monkeys made me scream and really scared.
I will love to visit lekki conservation center again just to climb the tree house and hopefully spot a crocodile too.
Share your thoughts
Have you ever experienced a canopy walkway?
Are you scared of height?
When was the last time you did something off your bucket list?
I will love to read from you.