5 Fun Things to do when you go to Tarkwa Bay Beach

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5 Fun Things to do when you go to Tarkwa Bay Beach

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As a water baby, I always find myself near the sea of any country I visit. Lagos is blessed with quite a few beaches, but there is something special about the Tarkwa bay island that leads me to visit as often as I can. I will use this article to highlight how to get to Tarkwa Bay island and five fun activities you can do alone or with friends/family when you visit.

5pm on a Thursday in Tarkwa Bay in March 2021

How to get there

Ok, so this was definitely the most frustrating part for me. Nigerian businesses have a terrible habit of not investing in their online presence, which leads to a lack of credible information of offered services and at what prices.

I had looked online for how to get there and came across Fiki Marine. There were articles online whereby people had said boats were running every hour to Tarkwa Bay from there. I tried to find a number online to ring them before going (I would recommend doing this before visiting any place in Nigeria), but I could not find a number. I was pretty nervous as the previous week, I had planned to go to Ibadan, but based on internet information, I got to the Ebute Metta train station at 7 am, only to see the gates were locked! Trains were no longer running at 8 am but 4 pm. So with this PTSD, I made my way to Fiki Marine, which is located on Ozumba Mbadiwe way, next to the seafood market.

To my dismay, I got there around 11 am, and they told me there were no boat drivers to take me. I then sat in the car and continued to scan the internet for a way to get there as I was determined to make it there. Finally, I came to Tarzan Boat Club, located next to Oriental Hotel. I called the number I could find and negotiated a price with the owner. We settled for ₦15,000, as I only wanted to go one way. If I were to go there and back and get the driver to wait for me, it would be ₦25,000.

I later found out that Fiki Marine offer boats to Tarkwa Bay for groups of 12. This converts a total price of ₦60,000 to ₦5,000 each. I have heard there are boats from CMS Marina in Lagos Island, but I think they use “Banana boats”. I am a little spoilt, and I am unwilling to ride on one of those! Some people take jet-ski’s or larger boats with a group, but your options as a solo traveller are pretty limited.

If you know of any other methods, please comment and share!

What they call a “Banana boat.”

Views from the boat I ended up on

 

Getting There

So, it took about 15 minutes to get there. It was a rainy day, and the lagoon/sea waters were not smooth, but I didn’t let this put me off since I was determined to go. When you get to Tarkwa bay, you are met by over 20 men that want to help you get out of the boat. They may even offer to put you on their backs, so your feet do not need to touch the water. This obviously comes at a price! You will also need to pay ₦300 to enter the beach.

Now, I would suggest you come to the island with cash. Depending on the activities you want to do, and whether you will need to buy food/alcohol, I suggest you arrive with at least ₦10,000. If you don’t, you can go to someone to withdraw cash for a fee. It was around ₦500, which is added as the fee. Then if you are staying overnight or in one of the taverns on the beach, it would make sense to make your way there at this point. Now, time for the list of 5 fun things to do whilst on the island.

1. Swimming in the Sea

This one kind of goes without saying, but I will add it anyway, because every time I go, I see lots of people playing and swimming in the water. There is no litter in the water, and it is limited on the beach. The water is salty, and the waves can be choppy, but it is still safe. I do not remember seeing a lifeguard, so do not enter the water if you can not swim. You can walk along the sea-line instead; it’s a fantastic way to get that spiritual connection to nature that we do not get in the cities.

My friends swimming in the water

2. Quad Biking

You can quad bike to your beach house or use the race track to quad bike around. The first time I went, I saw a group of 25 people come and do quad bike racing; those guys looked like they were having the time of their lives! As for pricing, I never actually paid. However, my friend was raised on the island, so my advice is to negotiate. You will know when you are getting bumped! (Black British slang for being ripped off).

3. Horse Riding

You can ride horses all around the island too. As someone who despises animals, it was only on my third visit that I finally decided to try it, and I screamed all the way! I lasted about 2 minutes before I begged for the man to let me off. I think I will stick to jet-skiing! For pricing, negotiate!

My friend on a horse

4. Eat Local Food

I had to add this for my foodies. All the advice people say online is to bring your food, and while this may be sound advice for most people, as someone who loves food and local Nigerian food, I ate on the island. A few women sell food at the back, but my friends took me to one woman. I ordered semo and half afang, half egusi soup. I flew to heaven whilst eating it! I brought my cousin to the island once, and we had her food in the afternoon and the evening, just before we left! I will try to find out her name and add her details here.

The delicious Afang and Egusi soup I had with semo. I have eaten this on three separate occasions already!

5. Surfing in the Sea

I did not do this because I am not a weray! Just kidding. Honestly, I have seen people do surfing on the water, so if this is something you like to do, the sea-line at Tarkwa Bay is a known hotspot to do this.

There is a shop and a “nightclub” on the island too; they are not on the beach, but within the island, so ask a local if you need it. All in all, even though I am an Ondo babe, Tarkwa Bay stole my heart. I used this article to highlight activities you can do on the beach (aside from drinking with friends in a tavern), but the truth is, there is a lot more to the island. It was once home to over 20,000 people, of which a small number still reside there today, but this will be covered in other articles.

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