The Lekki Conservation Center was launched by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in 1990. The conservation centre is a preservation of over 60 hectares of land at the Lekki-Epe Expressway. The conservation started as a call for the protection of the wildlife, particularly monkeys, that roamed the forest areas. Today, the Lekki conservation centre is a brawling space attracting over two million tourists annually with a revenue of over three billion Naira to the Lagos state government.
The festive period is here and the best time for families to visit parks ad other centres with bond. The makemoney.ng team took a journey to the Lekki conservation centre to offer you all the experience to expect and most importantly to answer the tasking financial budget question “is the Lekki conservation centre worth visiting?”
What to expect
The Lekki conservation centre is located 10 kilometres away from Chevron. The conservation centre is usually packed with visitors on the weekends, if you want to beat the long queues, we advise you visit on a weekday or at the very least, as early as possible on a weekend.
The Lekki conservation centre opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m, we noticed the time was strict at the conservation centre, once it’s 4:00 p.m., ticket sales stop, irrespective of whether you made it through the gate or not. The cause for the strict adherence to timing is two folds: the first being for the protection of the tourists, you recall the conservation centre is a large expanse of land measuring about 78 hectares, that’s over 40 football fields, and there are several compartments at the centre which can see tourists getting lost.
The first step you’d take is to visit the paying booth, at this point we were satisfied by the presence of monkeys interacting with tourists. Nonetheless, we were warned to be careful with gadgets and personal items, as the monkeys’ were known for stealing visitors’ items.
Tickets at the conservation centre varied for adults and youngsters. An adult is a person from the age of 16 and above. According to the conservation centre rules young persons are aged 7 years to 16 years; young persons are charged a 1000 Naira general ticket fee while adults pay 1,500 Naira, and persons below the age of seven were allowed in the conversation centre for free.
There exist other fees based on experience, the canopy climbing, which was a forest canopy that extended through the other part of the conservation centre, attracted an additional fee of 1000 Naira. Aside from the fees stated, other fees included lunch fees, and photography fees, which the cost varied according to the service providers.
The experience at the conservation centre starts with the long plank walk; while on the journey through the plank walk, the feel of an explorer positions you into a world of the jungle with more and more monkeys coming to greet tourists. The planks are made over a swamping bottom, which tour guides claimed were quicksands with a depth of a story building.
Right through the planks, some of the oldest living trees in Lagos were visible, with some trees being over a thousand years old. We believe the monkeys make up over 80% of the conservation centre’s wildlife population. Several signs warned that the conservation centre was home to crocodiles, snakes and other wildlife. We spoke to some tourists, who were regular at the park, less than 2% claimed to have seen snakes at some point, and no tourist claimed to have seen any other wildlife other than monkeys and snakes.
Walking through the plank, we stumbled on the canopy, which was an exclusive task for an added 1000 Naira pay. The canopy was an explorer’s dream, covered with netting and had a capacity of six persons.
Also, we walked further and met the tree house, a long extending tree, aged over a hundred years old. The tree house is as tall as an over 20-storey building; at the tree house’s tip was a small hut that offered tourists a view of the entire park. The tree house can only fit a maximum of six tourists at a time.
From the tree house to the next stop was an open park, having a variety of activities including chess, drafts, a fish pond, more monkeys, food, drinks and other accessories for sale. Tourists hung out in groups engaging in varying activities, this served as the right place to escape the hassles of the big city.
The conservation centre has some drawbacks with all the joys seeming too good to be true. The first flaw would be the various litter found across the forest. We counted over a hundred litter from soft drinks, to wafer wrappers and others. What was most shocking was we sighted the monkeys playing with litter, the dangers this can do to them include suffocation among others.
In addition, the Lekki conservation centre is situated at the centre of the big city, which exposes the conservation centres’ wildlife to humans. Residents at Chevron and other parts of Lekki Phase 2 have complained of monkey invasions in their homes, stealing their food items and sometimes valuables like phones and others. It is recommended that the conservation centre authorities fence the entire park to keep the wildlife away from humans.
Is it worth spending on?
Now to the big question, the Lekki conservation centre is worth spending every amount on, if you’re an explorer buff. The hidden economics in the Lekki conservation centre is that it offers the Lagos high and might be a place for fun after the tedious work-life schedule. This allows for increased revenue.
Having a conservation centre in the middle of a big city comes with varying challenges, some of which can be extremely overbearing to the general population.
Nonetheless, the conservation centre comes with many promises, which include among others a strong revenue for the Lagos state government. We recommend that increased funding be set aside to clean up the forest of litter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The monkeys were an attraction to many, this saw an increased call for the protection and conservation of the monkeys, which was centred in the big city
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation is responsible for maintaining the Lekki Conservation centre.