Lagos is unarguably the most developed and most sophisticated city in Nigeria. Normally, the over 20 million Lagos population should explore places of interest in the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Surprisingly, this is not the case as Lagosians do not explore Lagos.
This concern was expressed by Omolara Adagunodo, the Managing Director of Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, at the meetup put together by Funmi Oyatogun, the founder/CEO of TVP adventures at the Social Media Week Lagos.
Adagunodo who spoke on the theme, “Help! Can Nigeria Meet My Travel Needs?” said: “There is no single state in Nigeria that has fully maximised the potential of tourism. If you stay in Lagos for two days as a tourist, there are many places to visit like Nike Art Gallery, Terra Culture, and Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately, Lagosians don’t explore Lagos. How many people have been to Omu Resort or Epe Resort?”
While responding to how Jumia Travel is contributing to meet the travel needs of Nigerians, Adagunodo said the company is doing this in two ways: democratising travel and allowing tour operators to sell and market local packages.
Her words: “For democratising travel, we reached out to the hotels to lower their prices. They were sceptical at first but they gradually embraced the idea and bookings went up. Consequently, customers travelled more because they can now afford to pay for hotels. As for tour operators, we opened up our platform for tour operators to sell their local packages after being vetted.”
On the lack of data in the hospitality and tourism sector, Adagunodo stressed that Jumia Travel is doing its bits to provide reliable and verifiable data by publishing a yearly report on the Nigerian hospitality industry.
In his contribution, Dikko Nwachukwu said that Jetwest Airways is tapping into technology, innovation and creativity to cut the prices of air travel. His words: “Travelling by air is extremely expensive for most people. In the last four or five years in Nigeria, 10 million people travelled by air while over 70 million travel by road around the country. Although the environment is very unfriendly, we cannot allow this to stop us from actually trying to find solutions through innovation and creativity to lower the cost of air travel.”
Traveling with a group can be exceedingly fun for everyone involved, but it does not come without complexities. If you are the leader of a group trip, then you may want to take note of these safety tips:
1.Pair your travellers
Endeavour to pair your travellers and ask each person to remain with each other at all times. Instruct each person in the group to alert the group leader when their assigned buddy or partner is out of sight.
2. Pick your hotel wisely
Reach out to someone who is familiar with the cities you are visiting and is able to help you select a location that is safe and group-friendly.
3. Do a door check
As the group leader, before you head to bed, check every external door to make sure they are bolted. If you can, you can check to ensure that everyone is in their rooms. This is especially important if you are travelling to big cities.
4. Emergency contact
If almost everyone in your group has a smartphone, then make sure the members of the group have the phone number for the leader and one more group member to their contact list. Also, make sure everyone has taken note of the address and phone number of the hotel where the group is staying.
5. Have an agreed meeting spot
If your group is visiting a large attraction, then pick a centrally located spot and turn it into the rendezvous spot, should someone become separated from the group.
African traditional religion refers to the indigenous or autochthonous religions of the African people. It deals with their cosmology, ritual practices, symbols, arts, society, and so on.
Because religion is a way of life, it relates to culture and society as they affect the worldview of the African people.
There is a lot to learn about African traditional religions, and a lot of interesting facts to explore. We share 6 interesting facts about African traditional religions.
1.It’s Highly Dynamic
African traditional religions are not static but very dynamic, largely because they are constantly reacting to various shifting influences such as old age, modernity and technological advances.
2. They are Based More on Lived Traditions
African traditional religions are not so much based on faith as they are based on lived traditions. This is seen in the fact that they are more concerned with rituals, ceremonies and lived practices, than they are with doctrines and belief systems.
3. Concerns For Health, Wealth and Procreation are Central To The Core of African Religions
It is because of this core concern that African traditional religions develop institutions for healing, commerce and general well-being of their own practitioners, as well as adherents of other religions.
4. It’s Not Based on Conversion
A practitioner of African traditional religion is unlikely to attempt to convert a non-practitioner into his/her religious beliefs and practices. They simply believe in living their faith and attempting a peaceful coexistence with others who are of differing religious traditions that live among them.
5. Women Play Key Roles in This Religions
African traditional religions have very profound internal gender relations and dynamics. Women, as well as men, play key roles in African religions as there many female goddesses, priestesses, diviners and other figures revered in African religious traditions and practices. The reverence of women, as well as men, in African traditional religions is so profound, that many feminist scholars have used these traditions as reference points to advocate for the rights of women in African societies. For indigenous African religions, the role of gender is complementary in such a way that a ‘confluence of male and female forces must operate in harmony’.
6. It Provides Strong Linkages Between The Life of Humans and the World of Ancestors
As a result of these strong linkages, African religions provide a platform for humans to maintain constant and symbiotic relationships with their ancestors. These ancestors are understood to be intimately concerned and involved in their descendants’ everyday affairs.
7. Traditional African religions have gone global!
The Trans-Atlantic slave trade led to the growth of African-inspired traditions in the Americas such as Candomblé in Brazil, Santería in Cuba, or Vodun in Haïti. Furthermore, many in places like the US and the UK have converted to various traditional African religions, and the importance of the diaspora for these religions is growing rapidly. African religions have also become a major attraction for those in the diaspora who travel to Africa on pilgrimages because of the global reach of these traditions.
There are quite a number of revival groups and movements whose main aim is to ensure that the tenants and practice of African indigenous religion that are threatened survive. These can be found all over the Americas and Europe.
The Nigerian agricultural sector is gradually becoming a focal point of discussions as the economy continues to recover from recession.
On today’s edition of Office Tours, we visit the headquarters of Farmcrowdy, a digital agricultural platform that is simplifying the level of involvement of corporate and non-corporate Nigerians in the agricultural sector.
Farmcrowdy matches indigenous farmers with sponsors and at the end of the farm cycle, the proceeds are shared between farmers and sponsors.
So far, Farmcrowdy has sponsored 6,170 farm units with the help of 996 sponsors. The platform has engaged 3,088 farmers across eight Nigerian states through the company’s outreaches.
Join me as we see the new space where the humans of Farmcrowdy work out of!
On arrival, you are greeted by a map of Africa artwork
The faces on the map are those of farmers, field specialists and individuals impacted by the platform.
A walk through the entrance reveals the comfy reception area
The carpet grass on the wall is a deliberate choice because Farmcrowdy is about agriculture. Early spoiler: There’s green in almost all parts of the office.
We move on to the ‘Engine Room’
The Engine Room is an open space that is void of cubicles or dividers. Every table represents a department.
The empty seats are those of field specialists who are barely in the office
The field specialists engage farmers and help them in various capacities for optimum farm production.
A screen on the wall shows realtime updates on milestones reached
The company’s motto is clearly visible on the wall to remind everyone of the collective goal of ’empowering farmers’.
There’s an indoor event space that doubles as an interview area
And here is the Community Wall, which represents the 23 early team members of Farmcrowdy
Each member has been promised a bottle of champagne in their name if the company reaches the desired valuation as a business in 2018
Green Room / Meeting Room
For every busy office there’s need for some privacy and that is what the green room is meant for. Cozy furniture surrounded by tree imagery on both sides of the wall.
Most tech companies are known for long extended work hours. To cater to the need for a nap, there’s a room designated for that purpose.
Meeting Area/Private Workspace
Working in an open space can be distracting sometimes. Employees who require less distraction can use the private workspace.
The Yellow Room
Eating takes place here. There’s an in-house cook that uses a menu created by the staff to provide lunch meals.
The staff lounge is a display of Farmcrowdy’s flexible work structure.
Employees are encouraged to ‘play hard and also work hard’. The space is a large room with bean bags, a couch, snooker table, console games and everything fun. It’s a relaxation centre or, rather, a cool off zone.
Balcony/Outdoor Events Space
Outdoor company events happen here. Employees who need some fresh air while working with limited level of disturbance can also use this space.
Our tour through Farmcrowdy’s office shows a company culture that embraces openness and a lot of employee interaction. The interior design of the office space is based on input from various members of the team. Big thumbs up to Farmcrowdy.
CREDITS: Office Tours is a production of techpoint.ng
Ever wondered which foods are the most eaten in the world?
Today, we share 4 of the most eaten foods in the world. They are:
This delicious food is one of the most popular in the world largely because of the many restaurants and fast foods across the world that have consistently featured this food on their menu. It is basically made from potatoes that have been chopped to small stick shapes and are then deep fried. It can be fried till it’s crispy or soft; it really all depends on the taste preference of the person or people involved. It is typically served with chilli or tomato sauce and chicken.
2. Ice Cream
Well, this goes without saying. Ice cream can easily be considered as one of the world’s most popular foods and is loved by many people. Especially during the summer season, there is hardly anything more refreshing than a cone or cup of chilling ice cream. The best part about ice cream is that it is available in a variety of flavours, so there is really something for every individual palate to enjoy.
This is a very common food that’s eaten across the world and the major difference being the mode of cooking and the ingredients added to spice it up in each of these countries. Chicken is so delightfully dynamic, it can be wet fried, deep fried, roasted, grilled, cooked etc. It is easy to prepare, doesn’t take a lot of time to cook and can be served with such a large variety of meals like rice, french fries, soups etc. Chicken is considered one of the most common meals in traditional cultures.
Chocolate – a typical sweet food that has become one of the most popular food types and flavours in the world, most commonly comes in dark, milk and white varieties. This is one food a large number of people in the world not only love but feel passionate about. However, as awesome and delightfully sweet as chocolate can be, it is best to eat it in moderation because chocolate makers are known to add lot of sugar and milk to the chocolate for taste, which can be bad for your teeth and health if it is eaten in excess.
The North African cuisine is the product of a chain of historical, cultural and topographical factors. These regions’ cuisine was influenced by ancient trade routes and links with Europe. Interestingly, the cuisine of North Africa: Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria is packed full of colourful spice mixtures.
Here are 4 of the best North African dishes to try.
Shakshouka is a Tunisian dish that has spread across North Africa. It can be served for breakfast, lunch or as part of an evening meal. It is made up of chopped onions, chili peppers, tomatoes and cumin, cooked in a skillet to form a rich sauce in which a couple of eggs are poached.
Harira is a soup served in Algeria and Morocco. It is always eaten during the Holy Month of Ramadan. It can also be eaten throughout the year as a snack or appetizer. There’s no set method or recipe for making harira. It can be made with pieces of lamb, chicken or beef. Extra spices like ginger, cinnamon and turmeric are often added to prep up the taste.
Couscous is the staple food of North Africa of steamed semolina that can be served as an accompaniment with plates of vegetables, or eaten by itself. There are lots of variations depending on which North African destination you find yourself.
Tajine takes its name from the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The tajine dish is a slow-cooked stew and can be made up of all sorts of ingredients chicken, lamb, beef, fish or vegetables, stewed with spices and dried fruit and served with couscous and bread.
“An investment in travel is an investment in yourself.” In view of this saying, it is important to try as much as possible to travel and expose yourself to a wider world. There are so many awesome places to visit in this world, which makes it quite difficult to decide on which to visit, since chances are you cannot visit them all.
To make it easier for you to decide, here are 4 awesome places in the world you should visit at least once.
New Zealand has magnificent backdrops with prehistoric forests, picturesque widespread beaches, snowclad mountains and beautiful springs. It also has a distinctive culture caused by the coexistence of the Maori and European people in the country, and is one of the easiest places to travel to because of its well-developed infrastructures and its high quality services, especially in terms of transportation.
Visit Japan to explore a unique blend of tradition and innovation. Japan offers superb religious and cultural heritages that coexist quite beautifully and impressively with state-of-the-art technological and architectural achievements in the present. Mount Fuji, Imperial Palace, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the Island Shrine of Itsukushima, Osaka National Park, Chubu-Sangaku National Park and the Japanese Alps are some exciting and notable places to visit when in Japan.
This is a premier safari location on the African continent, with large portions of land that consist of national parks and wildlife reserves. So, if you are generally intrigued with nature and wildlife, this is one of the best places to visit for an awesome experience in that line. Chobe and Okavango Delta region are great for viewing wildlife. There is also the Kalahari Desert, Tsodilo Hills and Nxai Pan National Park, which are some of the ‘must-not-miss’ places to visit when on trip to Botswana. Being one of the oldest cities in the world, Athens, the capital of Greece is where mythological legends and gods were born and one of the best places to visit in Greece.
This wonderfully historical country might have recently undergone an economic crisis, but it still remains a premium tourist hub. It boasts of historic cultural heritages and natural spectacles like beaches, mountains and islands. It really is endowed with stunning natural beauty in diverse forms. Visit Greece to explore the colossal Aegean to the cloud covered peak of Mt. Olympus., the ever bustling historical capital of Greece, Athens and the ‘not-to-be-missed’ Meteora, Santorin, Delphi and Thessaloniki. It is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.
Michael Balogun is one of the few tour operators in the country who has experienced tourism in two different worlds: Britain and Nigeria. Of course, you cannot compare the tourism space of both nations. Thankfully, Balogun aggregated all his tourism experiences in Britain and invested it in establishing Tour2Nigeria-which has been organising tours to different Nigerian destinations. In this interview, Michael Balogun speaks about Tour2Nigeria, challenges of Nigeria’s tourism industry, his top 5 destinations for Christmas and much more. Enjoy
Please tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Michael Balogun, CEO and Co-Founder of Xtrm Tours 2 Nigeria Ltd, a tour packaging company. I spent a couple of years in London and the experience of their tourism sector ignited my passion. Together with my friend Mr Kole Majekodunmi, co-founder of Xtrm Tours2Nigeria Ltd, we were able to give this ignited passion an expression. In Nigeria, we felt we could replicate the same experience in terms of selling the memorable experience to tourist and the rest they say is history.
Can you tell us more about Tour2Nigeria? What does your business have to offer intending travellers?
Xtrm Tours 2 Nigeria Ltd is a registered company here in Nigeria. Tour2Nigeria’s main objective is to make the brand a one-stop shop and hub for everything tourism in Nigeria. Also, the core of our business is to promote inbound tourism in Nigeria and in the process help to create employment opportunities as well as promote the image of the country to encourage foreign investors. We have been using our platform to showcase both the Tourism, Cultural & Art aspect of Nigeria. We believe in giving our clients a memorable experience with our tour and customer service.
How many Nigerian states have you visited? Can you share the most exciting and exciting experience? Any weird experience?
I have visited over 30 states in Nigeria. My most exciting and weird experience will be during a private tour of the Lekki conservation centre, and it was during the Canopy walk which is the longest canopy walk in Africa. I have a slight phobia for heights which I had warned my client about. Halfway through the canopy walk, I heard my client telling me, “Michael, do you know you have been saying a lot of prayers and cursing at the same time?” It was hilarious when we got back on the ground because I thought I was murmuring all that inside my mind. That’s another thing about touring and visiting new places that I find exciting, it lets you push yourself beyond your comfort zones at times. You do things, you didn’t think you could; despite my fear of heights I have taken that canopy walk many times.
As an experienced tour operator, how much should an average Nigerian budget for a tour?
With our research and survey, among other factors like the minimum wage in Nigeria, I can say that it can range from about N10,000 to around N100,000. However, a tailored tour can be programmed around whatever budget you have in mind.
We all agree that Nigeria is a beautiful country. Despite this, some Nigerians still prefer to visit Dubai, Paris, Seychelles and London among others for their vacations. What do you think can be done to encourage Nigerians to tour Nigeria?
Nigeria is a beautiful country blessed with so much history, historic sites, landmarks, festivals and culture, not forgetting the culinary aspect too. We have everything here to make it the biggest and best destination hub in sub-Saharan Africa. The major challenge we have had over the years has been the attitude of the government towards the tourism sector due to the focus on oil and gas. There is a need for DMOs (Destination Management Organisations) to be set up to take full charge of destination branding and creating awareness. These countries like Dubai spent billions of dollars to get to where they are today. Take a look back at Dubai in 1985 and see how far they have come to be one of the biggest destinations in the world.
In your opinion, what are the problems or challenges of Nigeria’s tourism industry? What do you think can be done to fix these problems?
The travel and tourism industry is one of the world’s largest industries with a global economic contribution (over $7.6 trillion in 2016). Our biggest problem in Nigeria is not even the security or infrastructural challenges, but issues of politics, putting square pegs in round holes. We need to have the right people at the helms of affairs in this sector. A lot of efforts too is required from the owners and managers of these resorts and destinations. With the power of the social media, we don’t have any excuse not to do more. Hopefully, our leaders and people in the tourism sector would soon come to a realisation of the importance of the tourism statistics and how much the country is losing out on in terms of revenue and its effect on our GDP.
Based on your experience, do you have any advice for travellers, travel bloggers or any person that might be aspiring to tour Nigeria?
The best advice I can give anyone travelling to Nigeria is to have a clear and an open mindset and make the best of the moment while in Nigeria. This is the best way to enjoy your travel to our beautiful country, Nigeria and indeed to anywhere in the world. For those aspiring to be a travel blogger my advice for you is to give the best opinion of your visits and not just write to drive traffic to your blog.
Can you give us your top 5 Nigerian destinations to visit during Christmas?
Depending on your location within the country: Inagbe Grand Resorts and Leisure, Ikogosi, Lekki Leisure Lake, Agodi Gardens and Calabar Carnival.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to become a tour operator?
A genuine passion for Tourism is the first step. I mean, you should have the passion for bringing culture/history to life. You must be determined and be able to exercise a lot of patience. An excellent interpersonal skill is also a step in the right direction.
You just got married or about to wed. Expectedly, you may be in search of honeymoon destinations in Nigeria where you can enjoy the best of getaways with your spouse. From the expensive to the most affordable, you have them across the country. Here are 5 affordable as well as exquisite honeymoon destinations in Nigeria.
1.The Whispering Palms Resort
Located in Badagry, the Whispering Palms Resort is truly an exciting beach with palms everywhere to give newlyweds a resplendent sense of an amazing hideaway. There is a mini zoo and an artworks centre at this resort. You will get a wonderful treat and you do not need to break the bank.
2. The Obudu Cattle Ranch
The Obudu Mountain Resort is a natural expanse of forests filled with rare animals extending from Nigeria into the Cameroons. The Obudu Cattle Ranch features natural springs, wild animals, traditional chalets. It is a perfect place for newlyweds to escape.
3. Epe Resort and Spa
The Epe Resort and Spa is located in Epe, Lagos State. You can enjoy a quiet time beside the pool with a wide array of Nigerian and foreign delicacies. It is a place that every intending honeymooner should consider to have their honeymoon.
4. La Champagne Tropicana Beach Resort
Located in Lagos, the La Champagne Tropicana Beach Resort is a romantic getaway situated between the tropical Lagos forest and extending to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, offering an unhindered view of the lagoon. At this beach resort, you can enjoy the day swimming, fishing, strolling on the beach and bird watching.
5. Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort
The Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort sits in Akwa Ibom State. It is the place to be for newlyweds that desire to stay away from city life. This is a pleasant hub where many new couples spend their honeymoons.
Waking up in the night is a pain. Whether it’s because you’re anxious, need the use the convenience or have simply had a nightmare, it disrupts your sleep hugely. And once you’ve woken up, it can be surprisingly difficult to get back to sleep. But why are you really waking up? It turns out that there are various things you can do to reduce your chances of waking from your slumber in the middle of the night.
1.You have eczema
Eczema sufferers often find their skin becomes very itchy at night, and this can often make it difficult to sleep. Consult a skin specialist who will be able to give you medication to treat the problem.
2.You urinate often
It’s normal during pregnancy for women to feel the need to urinate during the night, but if you’re not pregnant and this happens to you a lot, you may have Nocturia. For most people, urine production should be low at night. Avoid drinking too much in the evening, particularly, diuretics like tea and coffee.
3.You’re drinking too much alcohol
You may think a couple of glasses of wine will help you sleep, but it can often lead to disrupted sleep in the night. Try and stop drinking a while before bed to give your body time to metabolise the alcohol first.
4.Your bedroom is too hot or too cold
Sleeping in a room that has the wrong temperature can make it harder for you to sleep and stay asleep. The room temperature for proper sleep is between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius.
5.You’re too stressed
If you’re stressed out and it’s disrupting your sleep, make sure to find time to unwind and de-stress before bed. Listen to relaxing music or try a colouring book or other mindful activity.
6.Your bed is too firm
While you might not feel comfortable on a particular bed sleeping on one that’s too firm can create pressure in your hips, shoulders and lower back. Make sure your bed works for you by getting one from a company that allows you a trial period.