Ecotourism: LCC’s Re-opening Draws Foreign Tourists To Nigeria

Nigeria’s ecotourism industry is gaining global recognition as many foreigners visit the country to enjoy good times at some of the ecotourism sites, especially in Lagos.

For instance, on Good Friday, the Lekki Conservation Centre, LCC, was a beehive of activities with dozens of tourists from the US, China, and some European and African nations including Senegal gathered to have fun.

After about 2 months it was shutdown,the LCC was reopened on the 29th of March ,which is Good Friday amidst large turnout of fun seekers inclusion local and foreign tourists.

Among the foreign tourists who visited the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos were John White and his wife.

Another was Adam Helelly from Europe but based in Senegal. Although Adam came alone, he did not feel lonely as he met and bonded with other Europeans that he met at the center.

In an interview, Adam and John who said they had a lovely experience, explained that they learned about the ecotourism center in Lekki, Lagos, and decided to visit Nigeria for the first time to enjoy the Easter Holiday there.

“I have heard a lot of stories about this place. I read on social media that the center has lots of wild species. So today I have come to see”, said John.

On his part, Adam said, “It was a lovely experience. I really enjoyed the canopy walk. It was longer than I expected. The height was amazing, I love heights”.

The tourists toured interesting spots at the centre including a Family Park filled with various recreational games like Chess, Ludo, and draft.

Others are fish ponds, a Treehouse, and a canopy walkway, which is the longest in Africa.
The Canopy Walkway which is 401 Meters long and 22.5 Meters above the forest floor has seven ladders or coaches.

Hundreds of other fun seekers from different parts of the country were also sighted having swell times.

They said they were happy that the centre was eventually reopened on Good Friday about two months after it was shut down.

Reacting, the Head of Communications for the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, Mr. Oladapo Soneye confirmed that the center had reopened upon completion of the renovation work.

Soneye explained that the practice at NCF is to shut down the centre for routine maintenance after the yuletide celebrations, but the duration was longer this time because of some repair works that were carried out.

He said, “NCF owns Lekki Conservation Centre. We shut down to achieve our regular maintenance objective. After every festive period, we normally shut down for routine maintenance to be sure that the facilities are in good order. So, in the course of our maintenance, we discovered we needed to do some repair work. Then Lagos State government officials came around to also inspect. It is just to ensure that our tourists and visitors have a good experience”.

“Lekki Conservation Centre was established in 1990. It’s more than 30 years old. Since then, it’s been funded by Chevron Nigeria Limited. It’s been an ecotourism centre where people come to relax. People also come for research, education, sites, and so many other purposes. People who come here usually have wonderful experiences. Any visit here is a memorable experience”.

The NCF Head of Communications noted that the foundation remained committed to sustainable conservation and protection of the LCC which sits conspicuously on the Lekki-Ajah Expressway.
He said that efforts were made to ensure that interesting wild species at the center including crocodiles, giraffes, monkeys, snakes, and Asian fish are intact.
“The easiest animals to find here are those Mona monkeys that jump up and down because they are social animals. They easily relate with people. But we have more than that. Here we have crocodiles. We have all manner of species of snakes, and two fish ponds, one for tilapia and the other for coy, Asian fish.
“We have a Tree House which is the tallest tree in this forest. You can climb to go and sit on top of it. The most interesting part is the longest Canopy Walkway. I know that this is not common everywhere. I want to invite people to come around “, Soneye said.

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