Weekends that Pop!

I won’t beat around the bush, Lagos can be a tough place to live. If you don’t believe me, just do a google search with terms like “Lagos” “ranking” and “liveable”, and you’ll find evidence of just how tough I mean. It is not all for nothing though, Lagos is still one of the most dynamic African cities. In fact, it is ranked Africa’s fifth largest economy, with fast-growing industries that attract millions of us who call it home, and keeps visitors coming for business, the night life, the fashion, the music, the culture…you name it.

Lately, we have been dealing with the most intense heat wave and traffic, elevating the already high city living stress levels. So, I decided a short break was necessary. I wanted to stay reasonably close to home, in case of emergencies, and at the same time also feel like I was someplace else. While scrolling through social media for inspiration, a post by @popbeachclub piqued my interest. There was a weekend deal…N45,000 for two nights at Pop Beach Club Tarkwa Bay…and it was irresistible. Avid deal finder that I am, I also checked elsewhere online and found the same listing selling at $50 per night on Airbnb. I was sold! And what followed was the most peaceful and laidback weekend I have had all year. It was good to disconnect while connecting to nature, and it was a reminder that Lagos is a coastal city, surrounded by idyllic islands and beaches that are terribly under-utilized.

If you’d also like to enjoy the same, more on the how, what, why after the jump…

How?

  • You can book a room at Pop Beach Club Tarkwa Bay on Airbnb or directly with them (0803 300 6319).
  • Get a roundtrip ticket from Fiki Marine Boat Club. The marina is located at 3/4 Ozumba Mbadiwa Road, underneath the Falomo Bridge that leads to Ikoyi and next to the fish and seafood market.
  • You get a parking space in the lot in front of the marina. Daily roundtrip boat tickets costs N4,000 for the ride to Tarkwa Bay, however it is N5,000, if your roundtrip involves an overnight stay.
  • Note: the last boat leaves Tarkwa Bay at 6pm.

What?

  • The boats rides are pretty comfortable and well manned. They are scheduled to leave on the hour, from 10am until 6pm, but they will also sometimes wait for capacity to reach an adequate size before departing the dock.
  • The boat ride will take about 30 minutes.
  • There is an entry fee of N200 per person once you land at Tarkwa Bay.
  • Make sure to bring enough cash (you’ll need cash either way, there isn’t a bank branch or ATM on the island).
  • Pack some food and plenty of bottled water, once you leave Victoria Island the prices of everything further doubles or triples, lol
  • The beach house has an outdoor kitchen and lots of hands if you need anything prepared or need to order food from elsewhere on the island. Look out for Mr Sola Davies (and he will introduce himself to you with his full name!) at the beach house, he’s such a pleasure.
  • The rooms all have twin double beds, a standing fan, electrical outlets at both bed sides, and a closet with some hangers.
  • The connected bathrooms have showers and soap. You’ll get one or two towels per room.
  • Definitely take full advantage of the cabanas surrounding the pool. And if you can, spend the night out there. I did. They’ll give you mosquito nets for protection, and you will proceed to have the breeziest, sweetest, open air night you’ve had in a while.

Why?

Because, as the wise Nigerian saying goes, “you can’t come and kill yourself”. It was really so peaceful and laidback, and quite the anti-Lagos experience without actually leaving Lagos. You get to see the city from a different perspective…true, right across the bay is the developing Eko Atlantic City.

I recommend that if you can, you should spend a night or two at Pop Beach and come away refreshed and inspired. Just don’t forget to go home.

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