I really wish you could feel the excitement in me right now. It still feels unreal, but from the blog post title, you can already guess the cause, right? I will say it again though, your girl went on a boat cruise for the first time, all thanks to Visit Naija.
You can also check out how my journey to Omu resort went.
Visit Naija is a tour and travel agency set to promote tourism in Nigeria at affordable prices. In other words, their focus is Nigeria! Luckily, it is owned and run by Nigerians. Hence I am excited to see how far they can take this.
This beautiful initiative was launched officially on the 26th of October, 2019, and your girlie, was there live!!!
While I am in such a haste to tell you all that went down, I think I should start from the very beginning of how I got a ticket to the event in the first place. You would like that yeah?
So, Visit Naija as it was had invited my boss, for the launch and she was to attend with her husband. I don’t know when that arrangement was made, but somehow, she couldn’t make it, hence she passed the ticket to me to represent.
The problem though was, details of this event were only confirmed with me on Friday. Let me rephrase that, just a day to the event. What? For a moment, I was confused. Like, how in God’s name am I to prepare for this?
With the major problem being what to wear. I mean, I am a girl who likes to plan her outfit ahead, so far ahead you would think I was preparing for my wedding but you would still see me in jeans and a top, lol.
I literarily spent the whole of my Friday on Pinterest, seeking inspiration for what to wear on a boat cruise with a picture of my wardrobe content in my head. After picking out some options of what would work, next was the combining stage.
Lol, that is the stage where I check if the picture in my head plus the one on Pinterest could become a reality. After hours of fashion parade with my mum as a judge, we finally decided on a dress with a kimono jacket and a flat shoe.
I hope I did justice to the look and you are proud of me dearies. Lol, it was all I could do with less than 24hrs to plan.
That settled, then came the Day. According to the ticket I had with me, the tour was to begin at 9 am. Then according to the organizers, it was 11 am. I still don’t understand why there were 2 different timing but we didn’t begin the tour until 11:30 am.
The one day tour as planned by Visit Naija was for 3 different locations. The Nike Art Gallery, Lekki Conservation Center and The Prest Boat Cruise. I should say that I was super excited about this, I mean, one day, one cloth, 3 locations, that was a big win for me, lol.
From our meeting point, Muri Okunola Park, we headed to our first location, Nike Art Gallery in a coaster bus. Nike Art Gallery is located at no. 2, Elegusi Road, 3rd roundabout, Epe Expressway, Ikate Cross Road, Lekki.
I had seen several pictures about this location but nothing prepared me for the beauty. First I should say that I am not a fan of art, which is probably why I had never visited the Nike Art Gallery until this day.
Please don’t blame me, I barely survived fine art in secondary school. Somehow though, upon entering this building that houses over 500 artwork all made by Nigerians in Nigeria, I appreciated art in its glory.
Oh boy, it was massive. At this point, I was yet to make friends but I found joy listening to our guide talk about the story behind each artwork. Of course, we couldn’t cover all but she did an amazing job with the little time she had.
This is where I say, well done to all artists, it is not beans oh! Especially after hearing one artwork could cost over 5 million naira. Guy, I have a newfound respect for these people. No lie sha, it is worth oh!
I remember one particular artwork our guide talked about. I remember it for different reasons, one, it is a work by Aunty Nike herself, two, it is one about the missing Chibok girls of Nigeria.
This particular work is said to have taken 3hours a year to complete. Made with beads and the story behind it, when the price was mentioned, though I cannot afford it now, I would buy it if I could. It is totally worth it.
From murals to paintings to woodworks and more, there is no artwork you would not find in Nike Art Gallery. There is a rule though, you are not allowed to take pictures of these artworks alone. You or someone else must appear in the picture to prevent copyright theft.
This explains why you will see some pictures I took of artworks with my hand showing with them, lol! I had to improvise without breaking the rules.
From what I heard, visiting the Nike Art Gallery is free in case you want to visit. Though I advise you to go with a tour company like Visit Naija. For one, you get to experience it with other lovers of art, you get the special welcome we got because it was a planned visit.
You also get to see and take pictures with aunty Nike herself because she would be expecting you. Do you get?
There we took pictures with the artworks, pictures with some dresses from the gallery. It was at this point I began to feel like the tour had actually started. Visit Naija provided us with drinks and people had started to mingle.
I think I spoke to a couple of people too, thanks to us having to take pictures of one another.
After about an hour later, we were set to leave for our next location, Lekki Conservation Center. Lekki Conservation is located at km 19 Lekki-Epe Expy, Lekki Penninsula II, Lekki.
While on our way there, I made friends!!! This for me was a success because it was my first solo trip. Yeah, I try to go with friends for events like this. But on this journey, I didn’t have a choice.
I had actually convinced myself that I won’t be making any friends giving that everyone’s face seemed too strong. Imagine my surprise when my new friends told me my face wasn’t friendly too, Lol. I guess we were all just overthinking it.
With some kind of understanding of friendship between us, we made it to LCC in about 45 minutes with fair traffic.
This was my second time at LCC but I was still excited to be visiting. This was because, the first time I visited I didn’t get proper pictures, which explains why I don’t have a blog post on it yet.
So, this was my opportunity to re-live the moment and tell you all about it. But guess what?? That didn’t happen. We only had the opportunity to walk for some minutes, see some animals and we were out the next minute.
This for me was the only issue during the tour. I mean, having been there before, I knew there was so much more to LCC than what we saw or experienced. Also, I felt bad for those who were visiting for the first time, a couple of them kept asking, is this all there is to Lekki Conservation Center?
Though I didn’t reply, I knew they had missed the fun part. Luckily, Visit Naija took responsibility for this. Explaining and apologizing that due to timing, we had to leave earlier than planned.
Since they gave us some sweet palm wine after, I forgave them. Yeah, I know, I am easy like that. During the palm wine time, I had a chance to fully bond with my new friends, Yinka from Ogun state and Jenom from Kaduna. LOL!
While Jenom is a software engineer, Yinka is a graphics designer and I should say they are both cute and very single, ladies!! You heard that right! I approve of them, you have my blessings to ask for their phone numbers.
With my new close pals, my journey to the boat cruise spot was merrier. While on the bus, we shared jokes, candy, and many laughs. Unfortunately this time I didn’t take note of how long it took us to get to Prest Boat Cruise.
Taking a wild guess though, it was about 30 minutes away. Prest Boat Cruise is located at 1C Admiralty Road, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1.
On seeing the boat, I was hyped! Man, a local girl like me was going a boat? Similar to the once on TV? What? Felt like another world. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in the excitement.
Yinka and Jenom were both experiencing it for the first time too. Hence, we were three over hyped twenty-somethings on a boat, even better, it was a moving boat. Yeah, the boat did move and at that moment we spoke about Titanic. Which I didn’t understand since I am yet to watch the movie.
Please don’t ask me why oh, that is a story for another day.
Between taking thousands of pictures, shouting, dancing, jumping and just eating the life of our head (literarily), we couldn’t get enough.
But then, Visit Naija still had a lot planned for us. Funny Bone, one of Nigeria’s best comedians, was there to light up the environment with jokes and some competitions. I should tell you all that I had the best crew on the boat guys.
The energy was so much, everyone on the boat noticed us. In fact, we were nicknamed the mainland crew. And we carried the mainland flag with pride. Left to me, we were the life plug on the boat.
Though I think the Visit Naija crew kept coming through, again and again, making it easy for us to have fun. The food was on point, drinks were surplus, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, best of all, there was also ice cream.
With that much fun, I was ready to go home, alas, that was not ALL. A few minutes before 7, Fireboy, the am getting jealous singer, came on board to thrill us with good music.
One moment I remember was when Yinka said, “I can now die”, lol! Sincerely, I felt good too. I didn’t want it to end. But then, everything must come to an end.
There came the end of my tour with Visit Naija. At the end of it, what started as unplanned, ended with me having friends and memories for a lifetime.
Thank you Visit Naija, I had fun, thank you for also making provision to convey all to the meeting point for easy transportation back home.
I personally didn’t go back home with the bus, as Jenom who came with his brother, had extra space in the car for me and Yinka to ride home with them. In other words, I had a free ride back home.
That of course, was the icing on the cake for me. I made it home from the Island at about 8:30 pm, with little or no traffic.
This is the point where I appreciate all members of the Visit Naija Crew, you all were amazing. From our in house/bus comedian to the ushers to the head of affairs, you guys rock!
This is me wishing you all an amazing business venture, hope to do this with you all again.
At home, I spent a few minutes going over how my day went and I was glad. So glad to have been on tour, glad I went solo, made friends and had fun.
Going on the boat? Well, I can cross that from my bucket list now. Do I feel special? Hmmm, not really, just that you won’t hear the end of it. Would I advise you to go? Of course, biko, please go for it, if you can afford it, contact Visit Naija to find out.
This is where I draw the curtain, even though I feel like I still didn’t describe the feeling enough. I just hope with my over 2000 words, you get the gist and drop a comment on where next you think I should visit soon.
Until the next time, don’t forget to have fun!