A session with Funmi Oyatogun, a vibrant young African woman on a mission to uncover Africa for Africans. She trained as a human geographer and environmentalist with a double B.A from University of Colorado and an M.Sc from University of Edinburgh. She is an explorer, a writer and an entrepreneur whose work and stories have been featured in renowned publications such as S.E.E Africa, TW Magazine, Travel Africa Magazine, The Guardian Nigeria, The Nation Nigeria, Bella Naija, We are Africa Travel and now here in The Announcer Magazine. In 2016 she founded the booming TVP Adventures- a company that operates some of the most adventurous travel packages across Nigeria, Africa and is leading the pack of adventure travel packages for budget travelers, out of Nigeria. They currently operate tours to over 50 locations in Nigeria and Africa.
As an adventurer, she has climbed mountains, sailed seas and documented fascinating stories of people and places in Africa. So, let’s read her views on few things and then get to read one of her amazing essays that will enlighten you.
On the effects of a single and recurrence travel experience on an individual, Funmi believes that travel does so much for us as humans. It is the best form of education and allows us connect with the humanity of others across the world. When you travel, you experience new places and cultures in a way that is vibrant and more vivid than in a book or film. You learn that you are one significant part of a significant whole, and everyone is playing a significant role in their own world. She said Travel helps you break through your challenges, empathize with difference and explore God’s beautiful world.
When asked about taking risks and planning, she said there is an element of risk in everything we do but certain itineraries push boundaries. We never put our clients at TVP Adventures at risk. Everything we do is secure, everywhere we go is safe. I also believe in a healthy respect for nature and people so we wouldn’t try to outshine nature in a quest to climb a mountain or sail a sea. Everything we do, including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, is safe. Planning and risk taking don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Looking at Nigeria, the many states and the so many beautiful natural endowments in some areas, the thought of possibly harnessing the beautiful endowments in a particular state and turning that whole state into a tourist and travel destination isn’t something that Funmi will support as she believes that every corner of Nigeria is blessed with natural and cultural heritage. This means that each state has at least one thing that is worthy of note and that can become the fulcrum of tourism in the state. “Name it, Nigeria has got it. Hills, ocean, desert, culture and so much more. So, I believe each state needs to build an ecosystem of activities and destinations”.
Finally, here is an amazing travel guide by Funmi Oyatogun for everyone who would love to do something outside of their house in and around lagos.
Can You Really Go on a Daycation with Only 20,000 Naira? Here are 10 Things to Do Around Lagos on a Budget!
Every time I create a guide, people seem to suggest that I should create another one for an even slimmer budget. Alright, challenge taken! The question is: “how low can I go?” Well, can you really go on a daycation with only 20,000 Naira? Folks, the answer is a resounding yes! I really want us to see the amazing opportunities we have to explore beautiful Africa. Guess what! Lagos is a great place to start! You don’t have to break the bank to give yourself a treat or to explore nearby tourism destinations. So, here we go:
Up Your Game at Upbeat Center:
Africa’s first trampoline park is a hit for both adults and children. It is a place where you can play like a child, jump on trampolines, play trampoline sports, take dance classes, throw a party for adults or kids, and lots more! After a few trampoline experiences in other countries, I looked forward to the day when I would be able to replicate these experiences at home. Then, Upbeat Center opened in Lagos. This is a place I will return to over and over again. You do not need to be fit at all to explore Upbeat, even though fitness junkies find this place to be the ultimate haven. See that little boy feeling me? I was feeling myself too, no lie. I don’t want to ever lose my youthfulness and I found the exact place to stay young and fit. As a certified trampoline park enthusiast, I can tell you that Upbeat Center has UPPED the game for family fun and fitness. Cost: from 3,500 Naira.
2. Take a Lagos City Tour :
Sometimes you need to explore your city as a tourist. We have tours at TVP Adventures that allow you get lost in the fun! You’ll find packages with all sorts of combinations of Lekki Conservation Center, Nike Art Gallery, Kayaking, Lekki Arts & Crafts Market, National Museum, Tarkwa Bay & lots more! Cost: from ₦14,500
3. Go on a Lagos Cruise:
Lagos is surrounded by water. In fact, the city gets its name from the Portuguese word for ‘Lakes’. So, an excellent way to explore Lagos is by taking a fun cruise. Every day, Prest Cruise hosts 2.5 hour cruises at lunchtime and at night. I went on a nightime cruise and the view along the Lagos Lagoon at night is spectacular. The buffet is included in the cost and so are the drinks. Grab your friends and enjoy a true Lagos party while cruising Africa’s hottest city! Cost: from ₦14,000
4. Join a Day Hiking Experience to Oke – Ado Awaye:
There are two suspended lakes in the world and one of them is in Nigeria. That’s a lake on a mountain. Can you believe that? This gem is hiding in our backyard and few people have explored it. You asked for a tour after I shared my experience here and I listened! So, join the day hiking experience on May 19, 2018 with TVP Adventures and Nothing to Do in Lagos. Contact me for more information and to make a booking. Cost: ₦21,000
5. Host a Picnic at Lekki Conservation Center:
Many people have heard about Lekki Conservation Center because this nature reserve boasts Africa’s longest canopy walk! It is a fantastic thrill experience. However, this is also a vast nature reserve where you can relax and unwind with a group for the day. There’s even a tree house to bring out the child in you. Grab your food and drinks and enjoy an outing with family or friends! Cost: from ₦3,000
6. Get Lost in Nature at LUFASI Park:
This is a gem that many people don’t know about. At LUFASI Nature Park, you can host a picnic in a lush forest setting, ride horses, play sports, learn about conservation and even pluck mangoes! Also, you can ask to plant a tree; something everyone would love to experience. 🌴Cost: from ₦1000
7. Explore Abeokuta:
I wrote a short thread about how Ogun State is positioned to be one of the top tourism destinations in Nigeria because of its proximity to Lagos and the wealth of tourism resources it possesses. The capital city of Abeokuta has nature, culture, history & art ALL IN ONE! We have made several visits to Olumo Rock, Adire Market, Olusegun Obasanjo Public Library & the best museum so far in Western Nigeria: Hubert Ogunde Museum. Hubert Ogunde is considered the grandfather of Nollywood and the museum is where EVERYTHING about his life has been preserved. This place is so fascinating, I learn something new on each trip. He also had 17 wives! Learn more about him in this story I wrote about him. Cost: from ₦18,000
8. Spend the Day (or night) at Tarkwa Bay:
If you like beaches, let me tell you a secret…Tarkwa Bay is nice but Lighthouse Beach is REALLY nice. Take a boat to Tarkwa Bay & walk to Lighthouse where the sand is white & clean. Great for picnics & camping. Canoe boats from CMS, cost ₦600 (round trip per person). Canoes from NAPEX CarPark VI, cost ₦1,000. The big boats cost ₦4,000. Beach entry costs ₦300. Beach seats cost ₦1,000. This does not include food, drinks, entertainment & lodging (if you’re spending the night). I especially love the beach packages to Tarkwa Bay at TVP Adventures because you get a great deal for an all-inclusive experience. Everything is taken care of: the boat ride, beach lodges, meals, barbecue, drinks, entertainment, bon-fire, horse-riding, yoga and lots more. Look out for Tarkwa Bay packages!
9. Spend one night at Jubilee Chalets, Epe:
Remember my weekend experience at Jubilee Chalets in Epe? Guess what? If you spend only one night and go with a friend, you can cut your costs further. The resort is Lagos’ finest budget resort with a picturesque swimming pool, tennis court, football pitch, nightclub and restaurant serving delicious meals. The rooms are also spacious – in fact, they are bungalows. Contact me so I can share all my special deals with you inclusive of Epe Mangrove tour and other Epe highlights. Cost: from ₦23,000 (only slightly over the 20k limit)
10. Finally, BADAGRY:
What’s a Lagos day-cation list without Badagry? A tour of Badagry shows the slave route with an eye-opening tour of relics, museums, Point of No Return & Nigeria’s first storey building. Also, the best beaches in Lagos are in Badagry. GUESS WHAT! We at TVP Adventures are going again on May 29, 2018. This public holiday is the best time to combine a historic tour with a fun day out. We only have 15 slots so kindly contact me to secure your booking. The cost is inclusive of: AC Bus, breakfast, lunch, drinks, water, professional trip photography, TVP Adventures goody bag, lots of fun & all tours (Point of No Return, Slave Relics, First Storey Building, Beach Hangout)! Cost: ₦19,000
So, folks, you to can get a holiday on a budget!
You don’t want to miss out on something beautiful and interesting that is already happening in Nigeria. Get more travel guides and tips from Funmi Oyatogun and TVP Adventures or better still plan a travel with them. Get in touch at www.funmioyatogun.com and www.tvpadventures.com