Tag Archives: Nigeria

A holiday in Namibia

Namibia is a beautiful country in South West Africa and it’s a magical spot recommended for nature lovers, first time visitors and even returning travellers, whether young or old! There are a variety of fun activities for all to do.

Namibians are proud of their amazing wildlife, the country is well known as the home to iconic Safari destinations. This includes the famous self-drive safari tour, where visitors pick up a car from the airport and drive themselves to tour through these wildlife parks. Some tourists prefer this because it is less pricey.

Namibia till date, holds the highest Cheetah population in the world, which are the fastest land animals on Earth. They are considered to be in danger of going extinct by the International Union for Conservation. The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia is working hard to protect these endangered species.

The oldest desert in the world is found in Namibia and no it’s not the Sahara desert. Research shows the Namib desert in Namibia is believed to be the oldest desert in the world. It’s a coastal desert along the shores of Western Namibia about 1600 km long. The desert has been dry and arid of life for more than 50 million years! The Namib desert is well known for also having the highest sand dunes in the world. A sand dune here can be as tall as 300 meters which is like a building with 100 floors, about the height of a skyscraper! There are lots of activities to do, ranging from climbing the Dunes 45, airplane tours or balloon tours over the Namib desert and quad biking over the golden sandy desert.

       

Namibia is actually a coastline country and has plenty beautiful shores with over a thousand miles of coastline. However, swimming in the beaches is not safe for people or tourists because of the rich marine life in the waters.  This is due to the cold strong waves of the ocean, being capable to sweep swimmers away. However it’s coastline is more suitable for professional surfers with surf boards, who want to explore the waters and high waves.

The famous skeleton coast in Namibia is  known for it’s dark past of ship wrecks due to it’s rough tides from the violent Atlantic ocean.  Though survivors made it out of the ship wreck to land, there was a large mass of dry sandy desert with no water, food or shelter waiting to welcome victims. Hence very few made it out alive of the desert and there are skeletons of animals, whales and ships littered all over this coastline.

Today in Namibia, the Skeleton Coast is a tourist hot spot littered with beautiful luxury lodges for tourists who come for sight-seeing of the desert and the ancient ship wrecks. This coastal desert tells a special story while being truly, tragic, sad, beautiful, historical and unique at the same time.

     

On the 13th January 2022, Mr Humphrey Geiseb, the Namibian high commissioner to Nigeria, paid a courtesy visit to Nigeria’s Minister of information and culture Lai Mohammed in Abuja.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed used this opportunity to also voice out Nigeria’s interest in partnering with Namibia to boost tourism and culture between both nations. The Minister remains hopeful that the MOU between both nations would be implemented as soon as possible.

The Minister also assured to promote healthy working relationships  between Nollywood and the Namibian film industry. He also received the kind gesture of the Namibian government to assist in improving the Elephant conservation in Nigeria as Mr. Geiseb emphasized that African wildlife is in danger of extinction. Lai Mohammed appreciated the Namibian government for supporting the country with 279 wildlife animals in accordance with the already signed MoU in cooperation of wildlife.

It seems a new tourism and cultural chapter between both countries is about to unfold, especially with Nigeria taking tips on wildlife preservation from one of Africa’s wildlife gurus, Namibia.

Mr. Humphrey Geiseb, the Namibian high commissioner to Nigeria also recounted and appreciated the support gotten from the Nigerian government when Namibia was fighting for independence. He also made clear that the Namibian-Nigerian joint commission would hold meetings to analyze and work towards all possible means of cooperation between the two countries in the future, these areas including tourism, beef infrastructure, creative industries, oil and gas sectors and animal conservation.

English is widely spoken in Namibia, their local dishes are delicious and foreigners are warmly welcomed  to the country. The Landscape of Namibia is second to none, having almost all types of landscape ranging from mountains, to savannah grasslands, deserts and beach coastlines. A lot of untold wonders to discover in this fascinating Southern African Nation. A trip to Namibia is well worth it.

The Lure of the Middle East

Over the years the Middle East has transformed into one of the most loved tourist’s destinations in the world. It has a global impression of having some of the world’s best holiday resorts, airlines and airports for travel. It is a major travel hub for passengers to connect to another flight and has a reputation for luxurious spots for vacations and relaxation.  Among Countries in the Middle East, Nations like the UAE and Qatar  are among top world class in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries. Dubai is also a choice destination for a lot of Nigerians with 3 hours time difference .

   

The United Arab Emirates where Dubai is found stands out as one of the most visited countries in the Middle East and the world, with over 20 million visitors each  year. Of all the oil rich nations in the Middle East, UAE has been able to establish one of the world’s most successful tourism industry.

The world famous Dubai is like a bright shinning magnet that attracts travelers and visitors from all over the planet. It is almost shocking to hear one has not visited this astonishing city, with all that has been told and heard about it. However why do you think travelers desire to visit Dubai over and over again? 

Before setting foot into Dubai, visitors already have this idea of experiencing heaven on earth and getting to explore one of the globes most futuristic cities and to relax in luxury resorts. Dubai may have already set awesome tourists standards for the world to follow. To the extent, people who haven’t visited already have an imagination of what to expect and when they do visit their expectations are often met.

 

Majority of Nigerians love to take a holiday off from work in this amazing city. It’s no surprise that 56% of the total visitation of Africans to Dubai are Nigerians and they were thrilled with the news that the United Arab Emirates had lifted it’s travel ban off Nigerian inbound flights, granting access of flight routes from Nigeria to UAE and vice versa. This officially became effective on 29th January, 2022. The travel restrictions were put in place late last year, by the UAE government to help control and prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the new Omicron variant. Passengers travelling to Dubai must still present a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate and also receive a PCR test upon arrival. 

World Food Festival 

Dubai  hosts multiple world class events like the recently held Gulfood Festival, that was from 13th to 17th February 2022, which is the world’s largest annual food event that brings together international chefs and leading food flavors  from different continents. Nothing less than 120 countries exhibit their national food and dishes, professional chefs, well-known restaurants and Food and Beverage startups secure their spots and showcase their culinary art to the global hospitality and food industries.

Gold Souk

The famous Gold market in Dubai, also called the Gold Souk keeps tourists flocking in and out. This market is known for a wide range of classy jewelry made from gold, diamonds, silver or other precious stones.  The Gold Souk is one of the largest gold markets in the world, with over 300 retailers and lots of visitors dropping by to either purchase gold or  just sight-see the beauty of this glittering market place.  The gold pieces found in this market are sold 60% cheaper than any where else in the world, hence Dubai got it’s nickname “the City of Gold”.

Cultural Diversity – Something for everyone

What’s most interesting about Dubai that makes it so unique from any other country in the world, is that Dubai has a bit of every destination in the world added to it. It highlights cultural diversity from around the globe in a fascinating way. Dubai has an indoor Ski Slope, even though it doesn’t snow in this desert region country, you can find artificial snow in the indoor Ski Slope. The popular Dubai Safari Park has over 2500 animals from different species including elephants, rhinos, lions and so much more, paying homage to the African wildlife safari.  There is also Lego land and Bollywood park in the Dubai parks & Resorts. This shows how welcoming Dubai is to visitors from other nations and who wouldn’t love the feeling of being welcomed in a home away from home.

Man Made Events and Festivals

Dubai has a lot of events e.g. shopping festival, Jazz festival and a host of others  always happening within its walls and a constant attraction to the whole wide world. One of such is Dubai Expo slated from October 2021 to 31 March 2022 with an estimated visitor arrival of 8,067,012. The visitors in their millions will surely impact the nations economy. The Dubai expo offers daily shows, restaurants with world-class cuisine with different countries exhibiting and giving you a taste of their homeland.

Now tell me why you will not want to go to Dubai .

How to lighten your suitcase when travelling

 

The holiday season is upon us and somewhere right now, some how,  many of us have our empty luggages waiting to be filled up and carried off to that amazing Christmas destination!

If you are a chronic over packer like most people out there, you would be thinking of what to put in or not put into your suitcase to avoid making it unnecessarily heavy and full of items you don’t actually need for your trip. Relax over packers, you’re also covered!

To begin with, being at the airport with an over-weight suitcase heavier than an elephant is an annoying and costly experience, especially when you’ve tried your very best not to over pack. Airlines have a baggage allowance policy for each passenger and exceeding the baggage allowance costs extra money.

Here are some tricks to help you organise your luggage with just what you would need for your next trip and still stick to the allowed baggage policy.

 

1)      Forget about the just incase outfits : Many travellers, both female and male, usually have this urge to put in extra outfits in their suitcases for the unexpected occasions that may turn up. This particular packing habit needs to be dropped as you will most likely pack up a lot of clothes you do not need and most likely will not even wear during your trip.

2)      Arrange your travel wardrobe: Before heading out on a trip, research on how the weather will be in your intended destination and also the most likely events or spots you would visit. This will help you plan out what type of outfits to pack up for your trip and keep away the unneeded items.

3)      Always include neutral outfits: These are outfits that have basic colours that practically goes with and looks good on any other colour. Black, grey, nude, white etc. This is reasonable, because it frees up the space of packing up 6 or 7 different outfits, when one neutral outfit could be packed and rhyme with every outfit you pair it with!

4)      Pack less shoes: This won’t be easy, especially for the ladies but packing less shoes is important. Apart from the fact that shoes have a lot of weight, you definitely won’t be needing so many pairs. Two to three pairs of shoe should serve for your trip, hence you need to plan what shoes would go better with your already selected outfits. Anne McAlpin, a packing expert, says “people often over pack shoes, but setting a maximum of three pairs will help you pare down your wardrobe and avoid over packing.”

5)      Use packing cubes: Using compression cubes or bags are becoming more popular with travellers. Compression technology is so vital to travel as it will assist to keep you organised and also save up space in your bag.

6)      Don’t be a last minute packer: A lot of people are guilty of this, packing just a night before your trip can be crucial and chaotic. Asides from packing a lot of item you do not need, you may also forget a lot of item you actually need and end up with a pretty heavy luggage.

 

The Eiffel Tower 

France’s Eiffel Tower is one of the country’s top tourist spots and just taking a picture beside this astonishing Tower is the signature clue that you are in Paris, without even having to tell anyone!

Believe it or not, at 1050 feet, this structure was the world’s tallest building for over 40 years before it was overtaken by the Chrysler building in New York in 1930. Also, it was initially built as an entrance to the World Fair Exposition in 1889 to mark the 100th anniversary of the French revolution.

 

It took roughly two years and two months to complete this stunning structure, which was from 1887 to 1889. Three hundred steelworkers and well over 17000 metallic parts, 40 tons of paint, and 2.5 million rivets are what it took to birth the glamorous Eiffel Tower. 

An amazing fact about this great structure is that it moves while also being able to withstand the heaviest winds, and never sway more than 4.5 inches! In 1913, a renowned expert on aerodynamics named Eiffel published “The Resistance of the Air.” He and his team actually designed the Tower never to sway more than 4.5 inches and have heavy wind resistance.

 

Eiffel Tower is named right after the talented genius who brainstormed and designed this structure, Gustave Eiffel. France remains top of the list of most visited countries in the world.

Paris, the capital city of France is definitely on so many travellers’ must-visit list for a reason, the popular French cuisines, wine, croissants, cheese, baguette bread, historic monuments, friendly locals and so much more.

France is a globally loved nation, also famous for high-end fashion shows, skincare products, and designer perfumes. 

Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, now open.

The wait was definitely worth the while, as the newly constructed Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, officially opens its doors to the public!

 

 Setting an almost unbeatable standard in the Nigerian hospitality industry, Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja stands out with 206 guest rooms and 44 suites, inclusive in all rooms are 55′ inches smart televisions, complimentary WiFi, exceptional Marriott luxury bedding, and many more amenities. 

Marriott brand, making a debut in Nigeria will definitely remain a lucrative move considering the population and level of travel in the country. Also, the location of the hotel is the heartbeat of Lagos making it close and accessible to a wide range of individuals.

 

The newly built hotel also has specially designed amenities for it’s guests including the Great room, the M Club for elite club members, a luxury spa, a fitness center, and an outdoor swimming pool, making it perfect for business and leisure and the modern-day travellers.  

Volker Heiden, the Marriott International – Sub Saharan Africa area vice-president stated: “We are excited to have opened the Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, bringing ‘Marriott Hotels’ transformed vision to Nigeria.”

 

“Lagos is a vibrant and bustling city with much to see and do for leisure and business travellers.

 

“What better place to debut the Marriott Hotels brand in Nigeria with its thoughtful service and intuitive spaces that enable guests to be inspired during their stay.”

Marriott brand has a whooping 580 Hotels and resorts in over 60 countries across the world! The Marriott brand is of USA origin and is among one of the most popular hospitality brands in the world presently. 

Popina fine-dining restaurant of Ebonylife place is back!

Exciting news for Lagosians as Ebonylife Place located in Victoria Island, Lagos, well known as the classy multi-purpose event venue has reopened it’s luxury dining restaurant, Popina.

Popina fine-dining restaurant is one of a kind and will continue to have the attention of gourmet lovers! It was temporarily shut down on 19th March 2020 to comply with covid 19 precautionary measures and ensure customer safety.

 

Now life is slowly returning to normal and having fewer covid-19 cases, Popina fine-dining is back to steal the show!

 

Famous visible artist, Gerald Chukwuma put together the incredible style and design of the posh restaurant. The interior has a touch of elegant foreign features and a fusion of colorful African culture. There is also an enchanting poolside terrace for those who prefer fresh air and the outdoors.

       

Gavin Blaauw who is the chief chef elaborated on the unique menu having a rich blend of French methods, Italian flavours, native ingredients, and a top-notch meal presentation. 

Now the tip of the iceberg which a lot of people do not know of yet is that there is a 50% discount on three-course meals ordered from the common menu! This offer kicked off on Saturday 22nd May 2021 and lasts for seven days. The final day for this offer will be 28th May 2021.

 

Who wouldn’t want to be present at this glamorous dining with delicious cuisines at just half the original prices? Make those reservations on time now!

 

To book and for enquiries, +2349139264355 and also connect to them via Instagram on @popina.lagos

 

Explore Kwara state

It’s a thing of pride to learn more about your country’s culture and natural wonders!  It’s totally better to be well informed than having foreigners tell you about what you have in your own home country. Nigeria has a handful of captivating spots that lots of us do not know of.

 

Kwara state is a well-visited tourist spot in Nigeria and I bet you didn’t know that! Be rest assured to expect every and anything in this scenic wonderland! There are lots of exciting activities to do and places to visit in Kwara state. Just keep it at the back of your mind, you are in for an adventure of a lifetime.

 

Here is a glimpse at some places to explore in Kwara:

 

(i) Owu Waterfall: This natural delight is one of the most outstanding natural wonders in Kwara state and Nigeria at large. It is the highest waterfall in West Africa at 120m above the water level, cascading 330 feet down an escarpment. Visiting this waterfall and getting to dip in the icy pool at the bottom is an amazing feeling. Health professionals insist waterfalls play a major role in reducing stress levels, depression, and anxiety. So if you are having a moody day or just want to relax and get away from it, Owu waterfall is the place to be!

(ii) Dada pottery: Found in the Dada district of Ilorin, Kwara state. Dada Pottery arguably has the largest cluster of potters in the state. It is a sight to behold, coming in close contact with professional potters and watching art being created first hand. The amount of potters present, their dedication, and professionalism makes watching them and even trying to mold up clay yourself such a delight!

 

(iii) Esie Museum: The oldest and first museum in Nigeria established in 1945, holds many cultural and artistic features that date way back in time. It’s one of the most popular museums in the country and making a stop at the Esie Museum is a great way to adventure and enrich your mind with knowledge at the same time. 

(v) Emirs Palace/Central Mosque: The Ilorin Central mosque is the second largest mosque in Nigeria and it has a capacity of about 20000 worshippers! It is located at the Emir’s palace, Oja Oba. Also, around Oja Oba is the popular Ilorin Gold Souk/market so you can kill 2 birds with one stone.

     

(vi) Unilorin  Zoological Garden: Kwara state has it all and that includes a zoological garden with an incredible zoo for wildlife lovers. 

 

(vii) Aso-oke Weave Centre: The beautiful Aso-oke material handwoven by professionals dates far back to ancient African history and it remains one of the most recognized African fabrics worldwide. This art of cloth weaving began centuries ago among the Yoruba tribe, however predominantly in Kwara state, Oyo state, and Osun state.

When you think of touring Nigeria, do not forget you can get a journey filled with pleasurable moments in Kwara!

 

Out of office and in for a staycation!

A few days ago was international workers day, a time to appreciate workers and their contributions to society and also a time for workers to reflect on their lives, careers, and happiness. The importance of mental and physical health to keep up great work ethics can never be over-emphasized. One of the best ways to keep the mind, body, and soul healthy is taking time off. Yes and that includes taking time off work.  

 

The purpose in life is definitely not just work. Being dedicated to your job is a beautiful thing, however, turning yourself into a workaholic with little or no time for yourself is not right.

Most times, life flies by so fast and we realize too late how much time we’ve missed. We can’t get back time and that’s why time needs to be well spent. Creating time to spend with your loved ones should always be a priority and setting aside special dates for a quick holiday or dinner outings makes life a splendid ordeal!

 

Most people do not have pictures together with their close family or friends, because we see them every day and at some point forget how important they are and how time is slipping away. Planning out a staycation once in a while and having precious memories to hold on to with our dear ones is priceless. Staycations are short-distance holiday destinations, usually within the same country you reside in for 1 or 2 nights.

 

Research has proven holiday getaways are the best spots to refresh and de-stress. The mental health benefits are endless and those who have tried this method of a break from work claim when returning to work they are filled with motivation, inspiration, creativity, and more focus for work duties. 

 

Subsequently, with more people understanding the importance of travel, a lot of establishments are now including vacation packages for their employees who meet set targets as a way to increase competition and motivation among staff. 

 

Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, states that visiting a foreign place and immersing yourself in their local environment increases your cognitive flexibility. 

As a worker, whether you are an employer or employee, it is necessary to set aside and save a certain amount of money from your monthly income for exploring new places with your loved ones. Make an annual holiday budget and keep to it. The truth is we should all aspire to be happy and make others happy! Do not allow life to pass you by as a worker, always work, save, travel, and repeat!

Virtual Tours by Concept3D

Technology will blow you away and catch you right back. Waking up to a new reality every day is amazing and in a special way, it gives us hope for a better tomorrow. Picture walking through hotel pathways, restaurants, resorts, bars and so much more without being physically there! Pretty fascinating, isn’t it?

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it somewhat difficult for travel agencies, tourism, hospitality, and so many more companies to find a reasonable balance in revenue.

Concept3D is a world-known company famous for it’s online success with virtual experiences via it’s 3D modelling techniques. A digital leader in creating interactive maps and virtual tours for it’s clients,  so their audience can have an intense feeling of being present in a particular destination or place without actually being there physically.

With so much travel and movement restriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these virtual tours and maps are quickly becoming essential power tools for professionals in the hospitality, theme parks, educational, travel, and tourism industries, as it serves as a virtual trip advisor for travellers who are yet to visit a place and want to have more detailed information about their destinations before visiting. 

Concept3D was founded in 2006 with the main aim of optimizing virtual sales success. This software was designed to make realistic virtual experiences, so people anywhere on the globe can view and learn about their destinations in realistic form, helping them to make clear decisions and plan ahead.

 

Gordon Boyes, the CEO of Concept3D stated  “With people staying home and unable to travel, the tourism and hospitality industries have been hit hard, and we’re hopeful that this offer and our software can help make a difference as hotels, resorts, restaurants, and many others are doing whatever they can to bounce back,” 

“If a virtual tour or interactive map of your grounds and facility would help, our team is ready to make it happen.”

This means good news to companies in the hospitality, aviation, and tourism fields hit badly by the on-going pandemic, as Concept3D has announced they will be offering their software free of charge to assist such companies in these trying times! This will run throughout the month of December 2021.

For further details on this offer visit their website.

Bénin is set to get on the world map as a tourist destination

The Republic of Benin is from north to south a long stretched country in West Africa, situated east of Togo and west of Nigeria and Cotonou, the capital city of Benin. It is bordered to the north by Burkina Faso and Niger, in south by the the Bight of Benin, in the Gulf of Guinea, that part of the tropical North Atlantic Ocean which is roughly south of West Africa. Benin’s coastline is just 121 km (75 mi) long.

The people of Benin are referred to as Beninese with a population of 10 millions at 2013 with about 42 ethnic groups, most important being Fon, Adja, Yoruba, and Bariba.  Our spotlight is on Benin as a result of proximity to Nigeria, trade relations and we share a common indigenous popular language “Yoruba”. Citizens of both countries are quiet friendly and today we have locals who currently  live in Nigeria and all over the world.

Djimon Hounson, an actor in Hollywood hails from Cotonou the capital of Benin.
Djimon Hounsou (with his son)Kenzo Lee Hounsou in his village in Benin Republic. Photo taken in 2018 (Source PMnews Nigeria)

More Statistics on Benin.

Religions: Indigenous beliefs (animist) 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%.
Languages: French (official), Fon and Yoruba in the south; Nagot, Bariba and Dendi in the north.
Literacy: Total population 39%; men 53%, women 25%.

Recently they launched the National Agency for the promotion  of Heritage and development of Tourism to transform Benin into a flagship destination in West Africa. The private sector will play a crucial role in executing the project with the Agency providing continuous  technical and financial support to its partners.

Project Highlights

  • Transform the Pendjari/W into West Africa’s leading wildlife park.

  •  Revitalise the lacustrian  town of Ganviè (Village on a Lake ).

  •      Build a thematic museum inspired by the activities of the Abomey Kings.
Abomey King , source – Punchnewspaper
  •    Build a museum of voodoo art , civilisation and culture in the area around Port – Nov0.
  •    Reconstruct the historical city of Ouidah in its original and redevelop its historical trails.

A popular Tourist site – Door of No Return, Ouidah

The Agency and private sector sure have a lot on their plate right now while Nigerians as good neighbors can and should benefit form this if well positioned.

The Benin -Cotonou route has been an age long smuggling path to Nigeria for all sorts of goods ranging from Cars to clothes, Jewelries, Groundnut oil, rice and even frozen Turkey. This will  open up new roads, opportunities and a lot more in terms of Tourism exchange for both nations and all over the world

Feel free to also add this to our list of visa free countries.