The school session is out, and my cousins absolutely cannot wait to begin their end of term vacation. I had promised my two favorite girls (ages 8 and 17) to spend their vacation with me. It was convenient for me as I usually take my 4-weeks’ work leave in August. On the second Sunday, the school term ends. I have already booked a morning flight for the girls on Ibom Airlines departing from Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, to Murtala Muhammed Airport 1, Lagos.
Ibom Airlines currently flies 6 Nigerian cities: Uyo, Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Lagos and recently Port Harcourt, with more expansion opportunities.
Although I live in Lagos, I have had little time to tour the city. To immerse myself fully into the vacation for that touristy feeling, I will book a two-bedroom Airbnb at Lekki, and after picking up the girls from the Airport in Ikeja, I will book a cab, and we will drive to our Airbnb in Lekki. We will embark on a family-friendly tour of Lagos. We may stop by one of the many fast-food restaurants along the Lekki-Epe Expressway and grab a quick bite. For travellers who would prefer a hotel stay, a quick Google search will help you choose a hotel convenient for you.
I have curated an itinerary of activities and places we would visit throughout our three weeks vacay.
Week 1: Lagos Island
Monday: We will kick off with a visit to the famed Nike Art Gallery. The girls love art, and this will give them a chance to see Nigeria’s culture through the centre’s diverse collection of art.
Tuesday: A visit to the Palms Mall for an all-inclusive shopping experience is our next spot for the second day of vacation; we will window shop, eat ice cream, pizza and grilled turkey and pose for pictures.
Wednesday: The girls and I will go swimming in the afternoon and then settle in for a movie night at any of the cinemas dotted around Lekki. We may even visit a karaoke bar and sing the night away. We plan to stay out a bit late to give the girls a feel of the Lagos nightlife but ensure safety.
Thursday: Energy levels are picking up! Today, we will visit the Lekki Conservation Centre and burn out the calories accumulated throughout the week.
Friday: Paintballing is a fun way to spend a Friday. The girl that gets the most hits will cater to the others for the rest of the day. I hope I don’t lose my bet.
Saturday: We will spend the day by the sea today. Any of the beaches in Lekki will be a hit spot, or we can throw caution to the winds (literally) and visit three or four more.
Sunday: After service, we will do a city drive, exploring Ikoyi through Victoria Island to Lekki and Ajah. If we are fortunate and don’t get stuck in Lagos traffic, we may even get to Epe.
Week 2: Lagos Island
Monday: We will rest during the day and then visit any night bars along Admiralty Way and enjoy roasted fish, fries and mocktails while staring at one of Lagos famous landmarks: the Ikoyi Link bridge.
Tuesday: We will spend today and tomorrow at one of the many beach resorts in Ajah. We will engage in the water sports like canoeing, kayaking, snorkelling etc. or relax under a sunshade by the waterside.
Wednesday: On our way back from the resort, we will head to a buka and try the traditional Yoruba meal; abula: amala, ewedu and gbegiri with ogunfe and orishirishi.
Thursday: Full day ahead at the famous Balogun market and a chance to see the landmark Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina. We will get lost in the market jamboree shopping for souvenirs and gifts items for a special visit tomorrow. A vacation in Lagos is not complete if you don’t visit the Balogun market. Although I want them to experience the market, I know that it is not an ideal location for young girls, so that I will take extra precautions.
Friday: Today, we will visit the Makoko community. We will donate our gifts and say a prayer or two with them. I want the girls to have a sobering perspective of how life is different for others born into less ideal circumstances and learn gratitude.
Saturday: Another day to spend at the beach, but we are headed to Ajah this time. I especially love the beaches at Ajah, and I’m sure the girls will love it too. Horse riding is an absolute necessity.
Sunday: Today is our last day for the Lagos Island vacation. We will set out for mainland Lagos and check into a hotel in Ikeja. We can either take the Ikorodu Expressway or pass through the famous Third Mainland Bridge. When settled, we will relax at a spa and maybe explore the fine dining options the hotel has to offer.
Week 3: Lagos Mainland.
Monday: We will visit the Ndubuisi Kanu Park, enjoy a picnic in nature’s ambience, and then stroll to the nearby Ikeja City Mall to shop, see a movie, and grab a quick bite.
Tuesday: Rest day. We will order in, put our feet up, Netflix and chill all day.
Wednesday: Today’s activity will take us to the outskirt of Lagos. A visit to the Hi-affected Amusement park, where we will enjoy an adrenaline-fueled day of roller coasters, swings and sweet treats.
Thursday: A bit of culture and history will take us to visit the Kalakuta Museum and Fela’s Shrine. Unfortunately, we cannot stay for the live performance of the renowned AfrobeatS superstar Femi Kuti at Fela’s Shrine.
Friday: Since we are all about history, a visit to Jaekel House, a museum for artefacts of the old Railway Corporation. We will also realize rail trains.
Saturday: The holiday is gradually coming to an end is quickly ended. These past three weeks have been full of fun and activities. A visit to a lounge, and we will eat, laugh, take pictures and reminisce on all the good times we’ve had over the weeks.
Sunday: It’s goodbye. The girls depart for Uyo, of course via Ibom Airlines. For me, I will spend the next week preparing to return to the office.
END NOTE: we can tweak this itinerary to accommodate a large family or alone vacationer for adult company, including nighttime activities like clubbing, bar hopping, concerts and festivals, an overnight stay at the beachside. Parents and guardians can organize to have their children attend holiday lessons or learn to play various instruments or learn a new language for 2-4 hours on weekdays during the vacation. Several educational consulting firms offer such services, and parents can choose the offer most convenient for them.