WEEK­END ES­CAPE

Hospitality 9ja - - Content -

A is­land, fter about 90min­utes drive from Vic­to­ria I was nally here. The green and yel­low am­bi­ence sim­ply com­ple­mented the en­tire tropic and noth­ing seemed out of place or stand­off­ish. Upon park­ing, I was wel­come by cour­te­ous tra­di­tion­ally at­tired smil­ing re­cep­tion­ists in an as­sort­ment of ges­tic­u­la­tions that I later learnt were a com­bi­na­tion of var­i­ous modes of greet­ing from Nige­rian tribes. This was go­ing to be a royal treat in­deed, I thought to my­self. The warm staffs served Com­pli­men­tary Palm wine as re­fresh­ment be­fore show­ing me round the 65-acre ex­panse of true African beauty.

My guide walked me through the en­tire land mass pass­ing through man­grove swamps, sa­van­nah, the Ikegun fresh wa­ter lake, and of course the ex­ten­sive palm adorned beach over­look­ing the At­lantic. Even on a hot day, the cool­ing breeze con­tin­u­ally whistling through the palms, ca­ress­ing my skin, to­gether with the birds chirp­ing sweetly as we passed the trop­i­cal forests, were calm­ing re­minders that right now I was in the cusp of na­ture. Oh! Did I for­get to men­tion the mon­keys... very elu­sive crea­tures those be­ings. There is also the re­served park that is planned to house var­i­ous di­nosaur mod­els when done (talk about a Nige­rian Juras­sic Park) .

I was shown the va­ri­ety of chalets, themed ac­cord­ingly: The Obai­le­rigi (tree house), Iler­imi (house atop wa­ter), Obieze/ Anago, Osho and Kodi, all taste­fully fur­nished with the cul­tural un­der­tone of African de­sign. One in­trigu­ing con­cept is the method of call­ing for ser­vice: a tra­di­tional talk­ing drum is lo­cated at the door of all chalets. Now, to sum­mon a staff one just beats the drum with the drum­stick and if the at­ten­dant at­tached to you is not within earshot, any of the var­i­ous staff around will promptly at­tend to you, Nifty!

Recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude swim­ming in ei­ther the nat­u­ral wa­ters or the swim­ming pool, ca­noe­ing, basketball, beach volleyball, beach foot­ball, horse rid­ing, hik­ing, ocean shing, cat­a­pult­ing, and a func­tional gym for the ex­er­cise en­thu­si­asts. At dusk, the stage came alive with per­for­mances , en­ter­tain­ing a pres­ti­gious com­pany hav­ing their gala night. The en­ter­tain­ment was sur­real and at the end of my rst day, I knew I was in for a splen­did time with na­ture. I could not wait for the start of the next day, which be­gan with aer­o­bics, and then an awe­some beach­side buf­fet styled break­fast of sev­eral light lo­cal and con­ti­nen­tal dishes in­clud­ing Ogi (corn pap), ce­re­als, Akara, Yams, Ewa-agoyin (Beans and pep­per sauce), eggs and sausages amongst oth­ers. At the end of my stay, I was cer­tain this would be the rst of many vis­its to come.

The drive was a long one, even with­out the usual weekly traf­fic as it was a Satur­day and the pres­sure had waned off the La­gos roads. Nev­er­the­less, I needed this get­away, be­sides driv­ing at about 80km/h with almost noth­ing but trop­i­cal forests on ei­ther side seemed to whis­per to my soul that the jour­ney was go­ing to be worth it and I was look­ing to have a great time, con­nect­ing with na­ture. ...Wake up to a beau­ti­ful sun­rise and have break­fast on the beach at La Cam­pagne Trop­i­cana beach re­sort

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