The day started like any other – beautiful, bright and sunny – a lovely Wednesday in the city of Lagos. Holiday activities and festivities were at fever pitch. The sun blazed hot during the day while the night time unleashed harsh harmattan wind. It was a perfect weather for the holidays. We slept late into the morning and played late into the night. It was that time of the year you wished could last forever. But we had other plans, like planning a day of experiencing Africa’s longest canopy walkway.
The D-day finally came, that fateful day we set aside to explore Lagos island by experiencing Africa’s longest Canopy Walkway. The plan was to begin from Lekki Conservation Centre where the walkway is situated, then make a stop at the beach and the national museum before finally nestling into the cinemas. Well, how that finally turned out is a story for another day.
Getting to Lekki Conservation Centre was easy, traffic was light and we got there on time. We headed to the ticket office just to buy the regular ticket for sightseeing, but alas a new facility had just been commissioned the week before. And here we were standing before an official who was persuading us to buy an extra ticket just to experience this new wonder.
For starters, Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) is one of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation’s foremost conservation project sites. Sitting majestically on a 78-hectare stretch of land, this 21-year old conservation education centre has attracted both local and international tourists. The site also serves as a resource and research centre to individuals and organizations, thereby fulfilling the dream of its founders which is to be a biodiversity conservation icon and environment education centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
Back to our tour. We bought the tickets and joined other tourists who were being addressed by the tour guide ahead of the tour round the facility. As we walked along, the hyperactive monkeys gave us a rousing welcome as they jumped from left to right, up and down, strutting their stuff. These amazing creatures were indeed a sight to behold, prompting a perfect opportunity for some photo ops. Don’t be surprised if a monkey joins you for a selfie shot. They’re that friendly. And if you’d love to warm your way into their heart, then come along with some bananas or even donuts. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they snatch such treats from visitors.
So we finally got to the mouth of the walkway and our heart pace increased. Okay I’ll speak for myself, I was perhaps the only one entertaining some modicum of fear. I had to shrug it off. It came back again. But I had just done a 122ft bungee jump in Uganda few months earlier, so what justification do I have to be afraid of a 22.5 feet high canopy walk? I had to pull myself together as I braced for the journey ahead. After reading the instructions on the big signpost we ‘set sail’.
I took the first step and my heart skipped. I laughed out loud to contain the fear as I took the second step. And then the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, until I finally overcame the fear. The walk was exciting as I grabbed the net-railings with both hands on either side.
We took pictures and ‘celebrated’ at each resting tower after completing each stretch. What’s more, the panoramic view of the forest canopy was amazing. The sight of the tall mangrove plants and trees were stunningly captivating. It was yet another demonstration of man’s ability to conquer nature, pitting you head-to-head against the tall vegetation and flora littering the landscape.
For adrenaline-junkies, this is a perfect rendezvous to catch some fun. And for acrophobias (people with fear of heights) who’d love to conquer their fears, this beautiful facility is a safe spot to begin. It was designed with the highest international standards and it is safe for persons aged between 14 and 65. Come to think of it, who doesn’t like to make history? You’ll surely be proud to tell your friends about your adventure on Africa’s longest Canopy Walkway. It’s an experience you will definitely never forget. Cheers!
Sam Adeleke is a Creative Writer. He has a passion for creating value by telling stories through the written and spoken word as well as still and motion pictures.