How was your weekend?
Although, I went camping and hiking at Omo Forest Reserve with Unravelling Nigeria. Chinyere is going to talk about her experience and then I would write about the Omo Forest Reserve in a later post.
Wow! I am writing a post for a blog on something I love doing – Travel. So last weekend, I went on a camping and hiking trip to Omo Forest Reserve in Ogun State with Unravelling Nigeria.
Omo Forest Reserve is located in Ogun State which is about 135 kilometers from Lagos. The Reserve is known majorly as a Conservation Center as it contains over 200 types of trees, 125 species of birds, elephants, antelopes and more recently discovered chimpanzees. It is also famous for its Erin Camp – where African Forest Elephants have been seen.
The journey was through the Lekki-Ajah-Epe axis as we had to pick up our Tour guides from Epe. I joined the group at Ajah. As usual the welcome on board was nice and friendly.
Now, being a veteran unraveller, on boarding the bus I looked round for my goody bag, boy was I in for a surprise, the bags for this trip – Awesome!!! We also got something new and different, instead of the usual t-shirts, we got joggers (which came in very handy the next day).
Breakfast was served, burgers and smoothies and of course the usual introductions and getting to know you on board. I follow, this blog on Instagram so it was really cool to meet the brain behind – EatTechTravel.
We made a brief stop at Epe to pick up our Tour guides – Clifford and Stella, who along with 4 other people are employees of Omo Forest Reserve. They are not only very knowledgeable about the reserve, they are also very passionate about preserving its vegetation, animal and plant life. Talking and interacting with Stella especially was very informative and humbling.
The Journey to Omo Forest was uneventful. On arrival, we were given a brief history of the Reserve at the Reserve’s office. Thereafter proceeded to have a very yummy lunch of jollof rice and chicken.
We then set up our tents, which was a very hilarious episode. Yours truly had no clue on what to do, this was my first time camping and setting up tents. I eventually figured it out with a little help from a fellow camper. Amarachi of @TravelwithaPen who had arranged her tent with a duvet and pillow had the best tent.
At 4.30pm, we set out for a tour of our immediate surroundings. During the tour, we discovered abandoned/dilapidated buildings such as guest houses, lake house, club house and golf course (yes… a golf course!!!).
The Reserve also sports a primary and secondary school to serve the educational needs of the children living within the Reserve.
We visited a Fish farm and the Pine Tree forest before heading back to Camp to prepare for the bonfire and barbecue night. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t take part in the evening’s activities as I was so tired after the long day’s activity I fell asleep.
The next day, we woke bright and early, had breakfast, packed up our tents and headed off for our hike to Beetle Hill and the Elephant trail.
I can easily say that the drive to Beetle hill was the highlight of our trip. The drive was made at the back of an old (not too rickety) pickup truck (our Guides referred to this as a “Hilux” truck). We had the wind and dust in our hair and mouth.
On the way we saw a lot of beautiful sites, most notable was the Baileys Bridge. The Baileys Bridge is iron framed with wooden rafters laid on it to ease vehicular flow at a guess, it was built just before the civil war. We saw fishermen plying their trade in the river, the truly fascinating thing about this activity was that they were paddling on round balls.
We finally made it to Beetle Hill, slathered insect repellent on our bodies and started the trudge up the hill. The hike was arduous, in some places we had to crawl on our hands and knees but we eventually got to the top.
The next stop was the hike to the Reserve Camp and the Elephant trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any elephants although we saw evidence that one had come through less than an hour before our arrival (that was very sad news). Of course we saw the elephant footprints near a watering hole.
Another fascinating thing about the Reserve is how the different shaped tree trunks. Truly works of art.
Alas it was time to head back home. The journey back to Lagos was very quiet. Guess we were all tired after the hike and trail work.
I thoroughly enjoyed my very first camping trip and as usual we were very well taken care of by the Unravelling Nigeria crew and the cost of the trip was well worth it. I have come to find that when going on trips with Unravelling Nigeria all you have to bring along on the trip are yourself, your personal effects and fun “A” game. Everything from food to drinks are taken care of.
I look forward to the next adventure with Unravelling Nigeria.
I am a lawyer. Old at heart and thirsty for adventure. Like to travel and see historical and educative places. most of all I am very very passionate about my country and believe that despite all the present challenges we will overcome. My greatest wish is to see the world.
Instagram – @natchi2
Facebook – ChinyereOkoro
Twitter – @cnokoro
Thanks for reading!