Visit Lekki Conservation Centre + Wildlife Photography
Lekki Conservation Centre, also known as LCC is the famous place to see nature in Lagos, Nigeria. More famously, it’s home to the longest canopy bridge in Africa. First we’ll explore the main areas to experience nature in Lagos, then we’ll view the wildlife through my original photography.
How to Get to Lekki Conservation Centre and How Much Does it Cost?
I recommend taking an Uber / Bolt to LCC, they’ll take you right to the door. When you’re done, simply search the app for another driver to take you back. I visited in 2021 and the entry fee was 1000 Naira. The cost is an additional 1000 Naira to take the LCC Canopy Walk which is a must. Do you want to bring your camera and take photos? Dress up and take some photos with your phone? Peacefully enjoy birdwatching? There’s no extra cost for this, as a matter of fact, you’re encouraged to take as many pictures as you want once inside LCC.
The Swamp Walk is a boardwalk which takes you through what Lekki used to look like before Lagos existed. As well as viewing the swamp it’s almost 100% guaranteed that Mona monkeys will be hanging around. This is your first chance to spot wildlife including, African rock python, dragonfly, damselfly, crocodile, striated heron and African jacana.
The longest canopy walk in Africa will take you up above the trees. Not only is this a good place to pose for Instagram photos but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to spot birds. Of course, you could see hundreds of different birds from up here in the sky but the most likely are, African pied hornbill, palm nut vulture, yellow billed kite, plantain eater as well as blue starlings.
The Nature Station is an open area which includes a water feature as well as a forest. You’re free to walk around here at your leisure. Additionally, you could set up a picnic and sit down to relax. Maybe even take a few Instagram shots by the large chess board and pond. In this area you may see pin-tailed whydah, cormorant, monitor lizard, frog, caterpillar, millipede and butterflies. Who knows, maybe even a kingfisher by the water feature?
Tree House / Bird Hide
In addition to the canopy walk, there is a much quieter tree house which you can climb. There’s a seating area for up to 6 people at the top. Patient birdwatchers will appreciate the tree house as birds fly and even perch close by.
Yellow Billed Kite
If you see a kite in flying, it’s highly likely to be a yellow-billed kite. You may also see black kites or if you’re lucky maybe even a scissor-tailed kite or black-winged kite. You’re most likely to see these from the canopy walk.
Pine Nut Vulture
Pine nut vultures are so big, it’s hard not to see one. Whether they’re perched in a tree or in flight, it’s highly likely you’ll see these LCC residents from the canopy walk.
African Pied Hornbill
The African pied hornbill is incredibly easily to identify due to it’s huge hornbill. You may see these from the canopy walk as they sit on outstretched branches.
African Helmeted Turtle
African helmeted turtles are native to the swamps of the southern Sahara. As you take the Swamp Walk keep your eyes open for any sitting on the lower tree branches.
African Rock Python
I don’t know many people who would go to LCC in search of a snake. Nonetheless, you may see one. You’ll certainly see a sign as you enter the Nature Station warning you about both snakes and crocodiles. This African rock python was photographed from the Swamp Walk.
107 Year Old Tortoise
A 100+ year old tortoise is a guaranteed sighting at LCC. As a matter of fact, there are 2 tortoises which you’ll find near the main pavilion at the entrance. Of course, these slow moving tortoises will sit peacefully beside you as you take a selfie.
I mentioned that you’ll see Mona monkeys in abundance along the Swamp Walk. In addition, you’ll see them walking around the nature station. A word of warning, they’ll be secretly watching you and if they see food they can take it and disappear quickly!
Woodland kingfishers are common throughout Lagos and of course they’re in and around LCC. You’ll probably hear that familiar call they make before you see them. This one was spotted by the main gate even before passing security.
Plantain eaters are a common sight through Lagos and it’s highly likely you’ll see one at LCC. This plantain eater was spotted in a tree beside the main car park.
The pin-tailed whydah is a beautiful bird best captured in flight. The breeding male has a long tail which the females love. That long tail is immediately identifiable when it’s perched in a tree. I saw this one in the open area of the Nature Station.
The African jacana is a shy shorebird found in swamp lands. For this reason, the most likely place to see one is from the boardwalk on the Swamp Walk.
African Grey Hornbill
If you’re lucky, you may see an African grey hornbill. However, it’s more likely you’ll see the African pied hornbill first. I sighted the African grey hornbill flying into the trees from the open area of the Nature Station.
Greater Blue Eared Starlings
If you’re from Europe, the starling is not a bird to get excited about. Here in LCC, Lagos Nigeria however, you’ll get excited if you see the greater blue eared starlings. In flight their blue shines bright and it’s a wonderful sight to behold. I spotted these from the canopy walk but you’ll see them all around Lagos and hopefully in better light.
You’ll see cormorants all over Lagos and you’ll probably see one in flight from the canopy walk. I was lucky enough to find this brave cormorant beside the water feature at the nature station. As a matter of fact he was so interested in the fish that he let me take his picture from as close as 5 meters away. Other reported bird sightings around the pond include a pied kingfisher and malachite kingfisher. Although I never saw one here, I’ve seen many in Lagos.
Monitor lizards in Nigeria are huge, almost like crocodiles. I saw this one as I came down from the canopy walk into the swamp. By the way he’s looking at the camera, this beast was very aware of his surroundings.
I headed into the forest at the nature station looking for a kite which had perched. Whilst searching I saw this huge millipede on the side of a tree.
Butterflies are a common sight around Lagos but you rarely see them in their caterpillar state. In the Nature Station, I saw a tree with leaves decorated by these beautiful caterpillars.
Around the swamps there are lots of tiny frogs, almost too small to see with the naked eye. There’s a tree as you enter the Nature Station with a small waterhole below it. It’s likely you’ll hear these frogs and when you move towards them you’ll see them jumping away.
Dragonflies are best viewed on the Swamp Walk. What’s more, you can photograph them with a lovely green bokeh.
Can you tell the difference between a damselfly and a dragonfly? Damselflies are smaller and their eyes don’t wrap around their heads like with a dragonfly. I was lucky enough to witness a damselfly copulation beside the Swap Walk.
Relaxing and Posing at Lekki Conservation Centre
If you’re visiting Lekki Conservation Centre for fun, relaxation and Instagram photography in contrast to bird watching, there are plenty of activities for you.
There’s a table tennis table if you fancy playing with friends or having a little competition.
You could play chess on the giant chessboard. Alternatively, why not pose for Instagram photos here? In fact, the giant chessboard is a top Instagram spot in Lekki Conservation Centre.
Fun Tennis Court
How about a game of tennis, or a game of tennis football? Alternatively, pose for Instagram photos on the fun tennis court.
Are you staying a while at LCC? Will you get hungry? There’s a convenient pavilion to sit in the shade and enjoy your food. A word of warning, be aware of the Mona monkeys, these guys will sneak up on you and take your food.
Enjoy Your Visit to Lekki Conservation Centre
There are several reasons to visit Lekki Conservation Centre. Firstly, to take the longest suspended canopy walkway in Africa. Other reasons are to relax in nature, to see a Mona monkey, for birdwatching or simply for a good day out. Whatever your reason, enjoy.