Relaxing Trip to Benin City

Date: 21st October 2015 Duration: one week Number in party: 6 Destination: Lagos & Benin City in Nigeria Airline: Virgin Atlantic & Private Flight Time: 5/6 hours My first ever trip to the African continent took me to the West African country of Nigeria. We flew Premium Economy with Virgin to Lagos airport which was a short 5 hour flight. Do make sure before you leave you ensure you have the Yellow Fever vaccination. My doctors didn’t offer it so I had to find an alternative doctors who did, or you can get it done at a Travel Clinic. Prices range from £58 -£100 so do some research. You MUST remember the yellow certificate book as they may ask to see this when you enter Lagos. Once we got to Lagos Airport and secured our visa on arrival ( it’s worth noting you almost always must get your visa in advance) we were swiftly picked up and taken to the lovely Protea Hotel in Ikeja where we had breakfast. After a few hours we headed back to Lagos Airport and instead of travelling with local airline Aric, was lucky enough to fly via private jet to Benin City. The flight was a mere 35/40minutes and once we landed, our friends lived only 10 minutes away.       Relaxing week of being pampered in stunning surroundings!Despite the weather app showing me thunderstorms all day, every day, The weather averaged 24-30 degrees which was glorious. It was the end of their rainy season so we did experience some light showers but they were short lived.       We had a great party which looked stunning, organised with  a local event planner who does events around the world, I even got to pick out some pieces – which was great to have your events opinion taken into consideration, I just couldn’t resist not getting involved!  Once night fell, the arrangement was even more gorgeous…people always underestimate the power of lighting.          My wonderful hosts, loved their customised gifts from Cards n Favours UK  – They really do produce some quality personalised goods. We also tried some great authentic cuisine including egusi and pounded yam/ Garri. Garri ( ground from cassava)  – Egusi will come in both a fish form and a meat form. Egusi is actually from ground melon seeds mixed with lots of other flavoursome ingredients including palm oil and is incredibly protein rich!  The Pounded Yam & Garri is presented in plastic parcels. You then use your hands and use the yam or garri to mop up the Egusi. So tasty! and also Suya which is a BBQ’d meat cooked for long until it’s crispy- but can also be very peppery – so get your tastebuds ready! I had a great week which is a true testament to our amazing hosts! Local knowledge is key when visiting here. Our flight was on Wednesday morning, so we flew to Lagos via another wonderful smaller jet on Tuesday night and stayed at Protea in Ikeja and had both dinner and breakfast – as the domestic flights don’t fly at night.    Our flight home was just under 6 hours with Virgin Atlantic… Once back Addison Lee whisked me to my door!

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