Thursday, May 4, 2017

Places to Visit for a Cultural Experience in Nigeria

Nigerians and foreigners agree on one thing alike about the country, and that is its vastness of cultures and the uniqueness of it all. But if you want to experience the cultural diversity that Nigeria has to offer, where do you go? Where can you see it all? We share with you amazing insights on some of these places, across the different regions of the country. You would want to bookmark this and plan your trip around Nigeria accordingly. Heads up, forget about Lagos, but don’t forget to remember Lagos.
Kano Durbar
The Durbar Festival was introduced in colonial times and was celebrated in the major empires of the Hausa city-states of Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria and Bida. The festival is celebrated three days after the Muslim Eid-El-Fitr holiday and is marked by a parade of beautifully adorned horses and riders who make their way through the city from the city square and unto the Emir’s Palace. Of all the cities who hold the Durbar Festival, that of Kano is the most colourful and biggest.
Argungun Fishing Festival
To mark the end of a 100 year long period of hostility and bad blood between the Sokoto Caliphate and the Kingdom of Kebbi, the Argungun Fishing Festival was initiated to commemorate a period of peace in the waters of the town of Argungun in Kebbi. The festival lasts for four days and sees thousands of fishermen descend on the Argungun River aiming to make the biggest catch from the river. The festival includes music, dance, exhibition of locally made art and craft works as well as water sports competitions.

Ojude Oba Festival
The Ojude Oba Festival is celebrated in Ijebu Ode three days after the celebration of the Muslim celebration of Eid-El-Kabir. The festival attracts indigenes of Ijebu Ode from all over the world for a period of music, dancing, eating recognition of notable sons and daughters of Ijebu Ode who are installed with one title or the other.
Calabar Festival
Birthed in 2006, the Calabar festival has transformed the face of tourism in Cross River state. Hotels in Calabar are always reported to be fully booked during this period. The festival features troupe parades in colorful and very creative costumes, music performances, stage plays and several other events lasting through the entire month of December. It has been called Africa’s biggest street party and always strives to live up to that tag at every year’s event.
New Yam festival
The New Yam Festival marks the beginning of the new harvest season which happens around the month of August. The New Yam festival is observed by several cultural groups in West Africa but is chiefly celebrated by the Igbo’s of Eastern Nigeria and the Idoma’s and Tiv’s of the middle belt region of the country. Activities to celebrate the festival, which may last from one day to an entire week, depending on the community includes yam eating, traditional rites by the king of the community, cultural dances, and masquerade display.
Osun Festival
Held at the end of the rainy season in the Osun Oshogbo Sacred Groove, the Osun Festival is a weeklong period of festivity in honor of the river goddess Osun who is the deity of fertility, love, and sexuality.
Eyo Festival
Eyo Festival is celebrated in Lagos and is also referred to as the Adamu Orisha Play. The Eyo Festival sees the emergence of the Eyo Masquerade who are all dressed in white and are said to represent spirits of the dead. The masquerades make a procession through the heart of Lagos, from Idumota to the Iga Idunganran, the official residence of the Oba of Lagos where they pay homage to the King.
If you want to watch the festival book a hotel room in Lagos Island, get a suite with a good view and you can watch the entire length of the procession from your hotel room.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cheap Hotels in Lekki You Should Have on Your Radar

Lekki is considered an expensive part of Lagos. And that isn’t an entirely wrong notion. With prime real estate worth millions of naira in the area, every other thing from pubs and restaurants, to dry cleaning and day care for kids could be considered a bit on the high side. Especially in comparison with the rates and prices in other parts of Lagos. But despite being known for being the domain of the rich and wealthy, hotels in Lekki are well priced and there are a good number of luxury hotels, offering an amazing range of services, whose prices and room rates are still very affordable.
I’d take you through a run of 10 of these hotels very quickly. If you are on business in the area and in need of accommodation in Lekki, these hotels are great to spend time in, not too pricey and with good facilities. These prices are as seen on hotel booking site in Lagos, Jumia Travel.

Limeridge Hotel
Plot 10, Chevron Drive, Lekki, Chevron Drive, Lagos.
Price: N13,000
Amenities: Air Conditioning. Pick and Drop. Room Service. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Noah's Ark Hotel & Suites
Plot 14, Lai Yusuf Crescent, off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Price: N12,000
Amenities: Internet. Air Conditioning. Swimming Pool. Room Service. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Pelican Hotel Lekki
By Chevron Round about, Chevy View Estate, Lekki, Lagos.
Price: N10,400
Amenities: Internet. Air Conditioning. Pick and Drop. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Axor Suites Hotel
16/17, Olugborogun Street, Beside Conservation Centre, Second Toll Gate, Off Lekki Express Way, Lekki.
Price: N11,000
Amenities: Air Conditioning. Swimming Pool. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Zasarii Hotel
13, Cornlius Odunjor Crecent, behind Union Bank, Chevy Estate, Off Chevron Drive, Lekki.
Price: N13,500
Amenities: Air Conditioning. Internet. Swimming Pool. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge. Room Service.

Topaz Lodge
9 Ichie Chris Onyekwuluje, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Price: N14,400
Amenities: Internet. Air Conditioning. Room Service. Pick and Drop. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Lekki Heights Hotel
1 General Ogomudia Boulevard, Off Babatunde Ajose, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.
Price: N13,500
Amenities: Air Conditioning. Swimming Pool. Internet. Room Service. Pick and Drop. Restaurant, Bar and Lounge.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ideas on Traveling on a Budget

If you are tired of the hustle and bustle of Lagos, traveling could do you some good. It would give you a great deal of time to relax without having to think of work, family pressures, bills, traffic, noise pollution and all the factors that make Lagos one big place of constant cacophony.
But where do I travel to?

I don’t even have the money. I know that’s what you are thinking.

But you do not need so much to travel these days, all you need is to figure out where to go and a solid plan and budget to work with.Moremi Statue shot by Mosimi of EatTechTravel

So how do you figure out where to go?
First, think of friends that you have outside Lagos. They could be serving, in school, starting life or a business outside Lagos. From Akure to Lokoja, to Jos, Enugu, and Bayelsa. Wherever these friends and family may be, your travel destination is already sorted.
Secondly, talk to them about your visit. Tell them of your intentions to come over and rest, maybe also to complete your book of poetry or read the hardcovers you bought at Ake Festival last year, or to just change your environment, eat and sleep without waking up to alarms at 5am, suggest also that they pay for one leg of your trip. What are friends for? You would be surprised that they would agree to it. If not in whole at least in part.
Now that you have had one leg of your trip paid for, you have reduced expenses on your travel which is great right? By road, most places in Nigeria can be reached with under N10,000 by bus. By flight, however, between N20,000 and N50,000. More expensive if you are doing major cities like Abuja to Calabar or Abuja to Port Harcourt, or Lagos to Abuja. If you are doing this destination, I don’t get, go to the inner states, and leave the major cities out of your travel that’s where the real experience is.
A third note to consider when traveling on a budget is to eat home meals. Food is ridiculously cheap outside of the major cities and you would do well to avoid big restaurants and eateries while there. Do home cooked meals unless you made a hotel reservation, but even with that don’t do room service. Find one of the cheaper restaurants, where the regular folks go to and get yourself a good meal.
While on your vacation, do not give in to the temptation to always be on the internet. You might find yourself buying another SIM card to switch to a stronger network reception in your new area, inevitably buying more data and perhaps fuel for the generator when your devices are out of juice. If it goes out of juice, let it stay out of juice until power is restored. Sleep or go out and enjoy the sights of your new environment. Interact with nature and speak to the locals. It’s a better experience than pressing your phone like you do every other time.
Also, if you traveled during leave, come back a couple of days early so that you might get yourself back into the rhythm of work. You may need to clean up the house, do laundry or your trip back may have one or two unintended delays.