We love getting feedback (negative and positive) from the nomads after every trip! We recently visited the Epe Mangroves and it was nothing short of amazing. This trip was so different and everyone loved it. We explored the Epe community, canoed across the mangroves, made adire (adire is indigo dyed cloth produced by Yoruba women of south western Nigeria using a variety of resist dye techniques) and explored the fish market! Where else can you get that except Naija Nomads? Sooooo why haven’t you gone nomading with us? Here’s an opportunity for you. We are going to Ondo for the Independence Day weekend and you should come with us.
Anyways here’s what Nnenna of Nene Uwa had to say about our trip to Epe Mangroves. She is a tourism promoter who blogs here;
Early this year, I had plans to go on a few local tours in Nigeria. When I saw Naija Nomads’ Mangrove tour, I knew that even if I didn’t go for any other tour this year, I had to go for this one because it had two of my favorite things: exploring and adire making.
TRIP DAY: CANOEING AND ADIRE MAKING
On the d-day, we were told to make it to our pick-up point at Lekki for 7am. I was the first Nomad tourist to be there *time management goals* At about 8:30am, the bus was full with other Nomads and we headed straight to Epe, Lagos for our trip.
The trip was about an hour and thirty minutes, thank goodness for weekend no-traffic. We met with our local tour guide who first gave us a tour and history of his community. Then we headed off to the canoe shores to paddle to our adire making site.
Personally, the biggest highlight of our trip was the canoe ride. Tranquil best describes it. Some of my Nomad team members almost slept off in their canoe, that’s how great it was. Then they remembered that the river breeds crocodiles! Thank goodness none visited us during our trip.
During the ride, our tour guide gave us a summary of how German scientist came to take samples of the river for testing. The test was positive which means the water is good to drink. But of course none of us dared to drink it. Though a few daring ones among us dipped their fingers into the water to taste it.
We finally made it to shore and had to walk a few miles to our destination. We had the adire-making lessons at a primary school in the Epe Community. The children at the school were on summer break so we had the entire classroom to ourselves.
As we brought out chairs and tables from the school, the entire village (that’s a bit of an exaggeration) came out to watch us. We even overheard them calling us “Americans”. It was actually hilarious and sad at the same time. We automatically were “Americans” to them because of the way we spoke and most importantly the average Nigerian would not visit this kind of place. It’s hard to see Nigerians explore such places. Its changing slowly, hopefully.
As we sat, we asked our instructor questions and it sure did feel like primary or secondary school. Good enough, our instructor obliged us and answered all our questions. The adire making was fun. We first had a summary lesson on what adire was about which I liked.
The adire instructor took his time to teach and show each of us how to make our adire designs. We had different styles; television, sugarcane, diamond, envelope etc. Mine is called the diamond style, if I recall correctly. I loved the splash of colors of everyone work. It was really fun especially when everyone had to reveal their works.
After our adire making session, we headed back to our canoes and paddled back to our tour guide’s community. We then drove off to the Epe Beach to have our picnic. By the way, we were advised to bring along mats for our picnic, which I humble did. I enjoyed my Epe fish meal! I mean how can you go to Epe and not eat fish??? That’s the hub of fish rearing! I was particularly hungry so I devoured my grilled tilapia fish with roasted boli (plantain) and fried potatoes *burp*. Then I washed it down with a bottle of Wild Juice, our official Nomad Mangrove drink (You all should try Wild Juice). I practically drank like five bottles during the trip. I think I was the highest drinker of that juice!
After lunch, we played a few games before some of us headed to the Epe Fish Market. Unfortunately, we could not buy fish as most of the sellers were still on Sallah holiday.
At about 5:30pm, we departed Epe back to our pick up destination to wave and hug each Mangroving Nomad goodbye. The end. *shines teeth*
The Mangroving Nomad trip is what I call a fulfilled trip. It made me a happy Nomad and Naija Nomad’s stayed true to their words; the experience was really different! Local. History. Canoes. Creativity. Dye-dirty. Fond memories. Lots of fish. New friendships made. Looking forward to going for more nomad trips with Naija Nomads. You guys ROCK!!!