Long time no post! But I’m here guys and want to tell you alllllll about my birthday staycation to Badagry! Yes I know it’s not exactly the Maldives or Bali but if you read my post ‘The Woes of Travelling Within Africa’ then you’ll know that I’ve made it my goal to see more of Africa and, most importantly, my home Nigeria, particularly for my 30th birthday which was about a month ago.
So in October/November, I started googling for great holiday destinations in Nigeria. Checked reviews from travel bloggers and travel websites like Jumia Travel, Wakanow and Hotels.ng for some ideas of where to head to. If you’ve been to any tourist attraction in Nigeria, you’ll know that there will most likely be many flaws i.e. bad roads, poor electricity, rude staff, uncleanliness etc., and as I had already been to Obudu Mountain Resort in Cross River State and I knew the pros and cons there, I used that as my yardstick when measuring the reviews so that I have an idea of what to expect. I had an idea of what I was looking for, I wanted somewhere with a beach, so it had to be an attraction on the coast definitely. I pictured myself on the day of my birthday lying or sitting on a deck chair on a beach, facing the water, surrounded by palm trees and coconuts…
So the hubby and I decided on Whispering Palms Resort in Badagry. (For those that may not know, Badagry is in Lagos state, close to the Benin Republic border and about 3 hours away from the city of Lagos.) I was VERY open-minded and wasn’t expecting a luxury resort, but it had a beach and the journey alone seemed like a mini-adventure so I was good.
A little disclaimer guys, this post isn’t paid for, I just thought I’d share my journey with you all as I start to explore Nigeria and give my honest opinion on the places I get to see…
The journey there
We didn’t want the stress of driving to this unknown destination for about three/four hours so we thought we’d get a Taxify down there. We expected that we’d have at least five drivers cancel on us once they saw our destination, but luckily only one driver cancelled and the one that accepted had never been to Badagry but was looking to our mini-adventure lol. The journey was quite steady from Lekki until we got to Mile One, then the hell began :-(. Now I’m not a Lagosian so I can never get used to what they see as ‘normal traffic’ but this was extreme! Until we got to Badagry expressway which took about three hours on it’s own…
Now, they really need to invest in a few more road signs and clear directions to the resort to guide guests heading there. We used google map to get there and when google said we had ‘reached our destination’, all we could see was construction work. After asking a few people around, turns out it was another 10 minutes drive from there. SO yeah, if they could sort out the road and add a few more road signs, it would be very helpful and possibly increase their number of holiday-goers.
Now since going, whenever I’m asked what it’s like, I compare it to the resort in Dirty Dancing 1, with an African twist lol. (Never heard of or seen Dirty Dancing? Know that I’m judging right now…).
The first thing that comes to mind when I think back is how chilled the people of Badagry are…they just don’t take life too seriously and don’t carry their problems (and everyone else’s problems) on their head, like the rest of the country do. As long as they have their palm wine, fresh coconuts and tasty food, they’re good. The staff were very ‘interesting’. Not rude thankfully, but they still need to be trained on hospitality professionalism.
Soooooo fresh! Every meal tasted like it had never seen the inside of a fridge lol.The fish tasted like it had just been caught from the sea, cleaned, seasoned and cooked instantly. The chicken tasted like it came from the onsite poultry farm and was prepped for food that same day. You get my point now hopefully…everything tasted so fresh and was super delicious. The meals were one of my major worries before heading there but I looked forward to every meal and they never disappointed me.
As far as the bathroom and room was clean, I was good, and thank God it was. We had steady hot water and electricity so definitely wasn’t complaining. Only thing though, our shower had no door or shower curtain so the bathroom had a mini flood after each shower, so that wasn’t pleasant but not the end of the world. The rooms were laid out as little huts with your door leading outside directly so I liked that aspect. We went for the Couples Getaway Package with the Executive Room so our room was quite large thankfully. Plus the package included all of the activities offered at the resort, a fridge in our room stacked up with plenty snacks and drinks to last us for our entire stay and extra, and breakfast, lunch and dinner for two for our stay. For N60,000 per night (about £118), I’d say it was definitely worth it.
It’s safe to say that my favourite activity (if you can call it that) was the arrival crazy coconut, which we actually got the morning after we arrived, but hey! Don’t know what a crazy coconut is? It’s coconut water with a shot of Malibu served in a coconut. A combo I never thought of but it was delicious!
My next fave was the tour of Badagry Ancient Town. That place holds so much history and plenty stories. From the Slave Market, to the Heritage Museum and seeing Lord Lugard’s house (the first British Governor-General of colonial Nigeria), it was such an eyeopener and something I advise all Nigerians to take for more insight on our history.
Did I mention they gave us snacks on the tour as part of our package too? :-). After the tour, the pedal boat (which I didn’t know meant that I’d be pedalling myself around the lake…) and the trip to the zoo, the massage was VERY necessary, and also very interesting lol.
Haven’t had a ‘professional’ massage where they used deep heat muscle balm and a home massage hand machine…so yeah very interesting, but still relaxed my limbs so I guessed it served its purpose. Didn’t end up using the pool because it was full of kids but with all the activities we packed into our 2-day stay, there wasn’t enough time for it anyway.
So this was my trip to Badagry. I’d definitely go back at some point and maybe even go with a bigger party so we can make proper trip out of it. Now here are some pics for you 🙂
P.S Want to know more about my trip? Leave a comment below or send me an email, I’ll be happy to answer your questions. I’m looking for my next holiday destination so send me some ideas pretty please. Also, have you been there? I’d love to know what you thought of it xxx
Author: Mimi Osa
Mimi Osa is a Blogger, PR, Communications and Events Consultant & Freelance writer .