Saturday, 14 January 2017

EXPLORING NATURE THROUGH WILDLIFE VIEWING

At the Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos


In 2014, I commenced a self motivated, self sponsored trip across Nigeria, visiting and documenting tourist sites. Some people have called me names like 'Ajala-Travel' after the first Nigerian globe-trotter: Mashood Adisi Olabisi Ajala. Ajala have been described as Africa's greatest traveler, after he visited 87 countries in six years and mostly on his bicycle. A blogger, (www.bulkybon-periscopes.blogspot.com), recently described me as the "King of Tourism in Nigeria", in all things, I thank God Almighty. It has been capital intensive, doing the tour without sponsorships, but I thank God for guidance, protection and love throughout my journeys. For me, tourism has an important place within the world economy and represents a basic branch in many countries with tourists locations. It is a known fact that the Christian pilgrimages to Israel and Islamic faithful pilgrims to Saudi Arabia have contributed to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in those countries. If the government of Nigeria can invest in tourism, I am very convinced that it will improve our GDP a whole lot. My tour to 18 states so far covering: Abia State, Imo State, Anambra State, Rivers State, Kwara State, Ekiti State, Oyo State, Ondo State, Kogi State, Edo State, Delta State, Osun State, Ogun State, Zamfara State, Lagos State, Enugu State, Taraba State and Abuja will be part of my new book project.


Colorful fishes in a pool at Lekki conservation center



Before and during my tour, I researched and discovered that contrary to speculations that there are no Zoos in Nigeria, we still have among the followings: Omu Resort at Eti Osa, Lagos State; the University Of Ibadan Zoological Garden, Ibadan North West, Oyo State; The Children Zooman, Eti Osa, Lagos State; National Park Service, Garki, Abuja; National Children's Park and Zoo, Asokoro, Abuja; Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Ibeju Lekki, Lagos; Tijany Wild Life Technology, Gwarimpa, Abuja; Falcorp Mangrove Park, Warri South, Delta State; Barnadwa Paradise Parks and Gardens, Kaduna South, Kaduna State; Calabar Drill Ranch, Nsefik Eyo Layout Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Calabar; Nekede Zoological Garden, Old Nekede Road, Oppo Imo Songhai Farm, Nekede, Owerri; Agodi Zoological Garden - Oyo; Calabar Zoo - Cross River State; Chammah Park; Gashaka-Gumpti National Parks - Taraba; Isaac Boro Park - Rivers; Jos Wildlife Safari Park - Plateau; Kainji National Games Park - Niger State; Kano Zoological Garden - Kano; Kyarimi Park - Borno; Obudu Cattle Ranch - Cross River State; Ogba Zoo - Edo; Zugurma Park - Niger.

Playing with a tortoise at the conservation center. Left is my daughter




During my tour, I visited the 'Nekede Zoo' the biological garden complex located at old Nekede in Owerri, Imo State. The Zoo has stock of different animals ranging from Lions, Pythons, Monkey, Ostrich, Crocodile, Cattle Egret, Guerrilla, and different birds.  

I also visited the 'Agodi Botanical Gardens' located close to the Government Secretariat in Ibadan, Oyo State. The Mini zoo and Animal Park, has two Lions, Monkeys and birds of different types. While in Ibadan, I was also at the University of Ibadan Zoo, the animals are grouped in different sections including the Avian, Herbivore, Carnivore, Reptile, Primate and small animal sections. They have about 8 to 10 lions in different cages, some are indoor and others outdoor, but well protected. They also have Monkeys, Baboons and Chimpanzees, birds and reptiles that are protected behind heavy transparent glasses.  

At the Agodi Botanical Gardens,  Ibadan Oyo State


At the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park, Benin, Edo State


In Lagos, I was at the The Lekki Conservation Centre, a conservation initiative to protect wildlife found in southwest coastal environment of Nigeria in the face of sprawling urban modernization, it covers a land area of 78 hectare with a large tract of wetlands set aside for wildlife viewing. Tortoise, Birds, Monkeys, antelopes are sighted all over the areas. They also have a beautiful fish ponds with the most beautiful fishes i have even seen.

 
During my visit to Benin, I visited the Ogba Zoo and Nature Park - an extensive multi-purpose recreational centre built on 750 Acres of land, it hosts Lions, Chimpanzees, Giant Tortoises, Rock Python, Pea fowls, etc. with extensive landscaped grounds, picnic areas, there are in addition horse, camel and donkey rides.

At he National Children's Park and Zoo in Abuja


At the University of Ibadan Zoo, Ibadan, Oyo State


At the FCT, Abuja, I visited the National Children's Park and Zoo, Off The Central Business District By Asokoro Abuja, one unique thing about this Zoo is that despite the fact that it has a well laid out infrastructure, it has no wild cats, such as lions, tigers, which make other zoos attractive to fun seekers, they have donkey, zebra, camel, goats and most domestic animals.
If you ask me, what is my observation so far after visiting 6 Zoos across the nation, I will say that inadequate maintenance and illegal killing of the animals are some of the major setbacks to the development and sustenance of Zoos and this I plan to take care of as I work towards starting my own Zoological Garden in Ogun State.

4 comments:

  1. Nice post and your post Mark Hutchinson awefully inspirational. Thanks!

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