Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), an urban jungle in the heart of Lagos, is a centre of excellence in environmental research and education reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula. This 78-¬hectare facility is the only one of its kind in the Lagos area and it was established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in 1992. NCF is Nigeria’s foremost Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to nature conservation and biodiversity management.
Lekki Conservation Centre has grown into one of Africa’s most diverse urban nature parks. Located along the Lekki-Epe expressway and covering a land area stretching from Km19 towards Okun-Ibeju village, LCC is the only vibrant protected area and one of the few reputable tourists’ destinations in Lagos.
LCC was established by NCF to focus on 4 thematic areas which include conservation, environmental education, research and ecotourism. LCC has evolved from core conservation into an emerging ecotourism destination making it to be tagged as Pearl of Ecotourism in Nigeria.
Over the last 29 years, the centre has catered for over 2 million tourists, LCC has become a strong advocacy tool used in promoting forest regeneration, environmental literacy and campaigns.
As a Resource Centre, LCC is a model for promotion of environmental education and public awareness/understanding of the natural world due to the rapidly increasing threats to the natural environment, the need to stem the alarming loss of the natural environment and the attendant potentially drastic consequences for the planet as well as the concerns for the future conduct, welfare, happiness and survival of mankind on earth.
LCC has a Rotunda, a hall that can sit 150 people for a meeting. The nature reserve is a savannah that reptiles, Mona monkeys and different species of birds, species of plants and insects are found. Because of its swampy nature, there is a wooden board walkway through which tourists and researchers make their way into the forest reserve. LCC has the longest Canopy Walkway in Africa. Inside the reserve is a Family Park designed for picnics and relaxation. The Park has 4 Gazebos; each named after a wild animal found in the area. It has other smaller huts for relaxation. It has diverse floor games, fish ponds and jungle gym facilities.
It is the only vibrant protected area in Lagos State and one of the very few vibrant tourist destinations of repute in Lagos and has thus been recognized as one of the notable Sites/Monuments of special interest and exceptional relevance by the Lagos State Government under the LISTED SITES for the preservation, protection and restoration of historical properties and cultural heritage in Lagos State and for connected purposes.
LCC is a tourist haven that welcomes people from all walks of life in their thousands daily. Corporate organisations visit the place for team bonding. Schools pupils and undergraduate visit the place for environmental education.
Recently, an “Orchids Garden” in memory of the former Executive Director of NCF, Late Prof. Emmanuel Obot was re-launched. The garden feature species such as Angraecum pyriforme, Bulbophyllum filiforme, Bulbophyllum nigericum, Bulbophyllum porphyrostachys, Habenaria nigrescens, Liparis goodyeroides and Polystachya cooperi. The garden serves as collection centre, environmental education, nature conservation and eco-tourism.
As the nation commemorates the World Tourism Day, NCF invites everyone to have a feel of what Lekki Conservation represents.