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Road trips, especially in the company of friends, are adventures worth having, at least once in a lifetime. What makes them even more successful is when the logistics are just right and the routes carefully chosen. There are a lot of ‘off the beaten path’ road trip options in Lagos that the adventurous can enjoy over the course of a weekend, and we’ve picked out a few of the best.
Ijebu Kingdom is made up of quaint little towns and villages that stretch between Lagos and Ogun State. The best route to take is through Lekki. Start your trip by checking in at the Lekki Conservation Centre, a nature reserve with about 78 hectares (193 acres) of flora and flora that also features a museum and extensive library.
Take a detour to Epe Fish Market and explore the many fresh-water species available. Down the Epe Highway is Eleko Beach, one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in Ogun State. Along the route are fishing villages with beautiful pre-colonial and colonial architecture that are great for taking pictures.
To maximize the road trip, consider planning your trip around Ojude-Oba Festival, which is held annually in Ijebu-Ode, three days after the Eid Festival, and treat yourself (and your friends) to a veritable feast of the senses, with beautiful costumes, cultural dances, egungun displays, horse rides and music.
This road trip will take you through Ibadan, one of the largest cities in West Africa. Not only is the city built upon seven hills that give you a vista of inner Ibadan, it also holds a large percentage of the history of Nigeria. Both the first university and teaching hospital are located within its borders, both with beautiful layouts, and you can visit the old airport at Samonda.Take breakfast or lunch at either Kokodome Restaurant or Café Chrysalis, swim at and explore the beautiful Agodi Gardens, then head out to Oyo town.
The royal palace of the Alaafin of Oyo is open to visitors at certain times (the murals on the palace walls alone makes the visit worthwhile) and there are celebrations of gods going throughout the year. Your trip will end on a triumphant note at the Old Oyo National Park, which not only holds the relics of Old Oyo Kingdom, it has a nature reserve that holds various flora and fauna native to the southwestern part of the country.
Osogbo is suffused with art. Batik, carvings, avant-garde oil on canvas and old methods of painting are features of this artsy town, and this is aside from the gorgeous Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove – one of the last sacred forests in Yoruba Land which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
To make this road trip worthwhile, make plans around the Osun-Osogbo Festival, during which Osun the god of Osun River is worshiped, and revel in the beautiful sight of the Arugba Osun carrying the sacred calabash to the grove, a prayer for the cleansing of the land. Not only is this road trip a delight to the senses, it can also be considered a spiritual journey.
Another road trip that is both adventurous and scenic can be taken through Ife to Ekiti. Ife is known as the origin of the Yoruba race, and the palace is a must-see as you drive through the town on your way to Ekiti. Ekiti is a collection of small towns and villages surrounded by hills. Effon-Alaiye is a magnificent sight, a town built within hills and surrounded by picturesque forests.
Some other places that can be visited during your trip are the Ikogosi Waterfalls and Warm Springs, and the Erin Ayonigba Fish River in Erijiyan that contains different species of fresh-water fish. The river is sacred to the people of Erijiyan and fishing is forbidden.