Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Top 5 Underestimated Places To Visit in Abuja, Nigeria

Jakes Club, Abuja

Jakes Club is a hidden jewel at the center of the city located at Silverbird Cinemas in Central Business District, Abuja. If you are looking for chilled nightlife and enjoyable scenery, definitely check out this rooftop restaurant/bar scene. The restaurant offers local food and cocktails and great Afro beats music by the club's DJ. Dining is both indoors and outdoors seating with a magnificent view of the city's night light. Entry is free but at the club's discretion and for those looking for more privacy, the club offers indoor VIP rooms to guests.

Discovery Park at Discovery Mall, Abuja

Looking for a unique experience? Follow the brick road to Abuja's Discovery Park. This amazing plot offers guests access to the city's museum with a walk through pre-independence to Nigeria today. Here you can enjoy an interactive 3D experience or browse through ancient art and music. The mall also has two of the best restaurants in the city, Lagos Bistro, and Amazonia, both giving guests a taste of exquisite dining from traditional Nigerian meals to western cuisine. Discovery Mall/Park/Museum is located in Wuse 2 at the famous, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent.

Jabi Lake

If you need a quick breather from the busy city, look no further than Jabi Lake. You can take a private boat ride across the lake or dine in at restaurants situated at the lake front. Watch local fishermen throw out their nets at sunset or enjoy jet skiing during the day. Great restaurants near the lake include, Jabi Boat Club, and Argungu restaurant, or enjoy a walk by the lake from other locations like the main deck at Jabi Mall.

BMT African Garden

This garden/zoo is a pleasant surprise and perfect for family fun. With local wild life from lions to crocodiles it is definitely a to-do for locals and tourists. The garden also offers guests access to art exhibitions from local artisans and the location is right in the center of an open garden perfect for birthday parties and hang outs. For a small entry fee, BMT African Garden visitors can explore an up close and personal encounter with the animals or choose to enjoy a picnic in the garden.

Aso Rock by National Children's Park and Zoo

If you want to get a good view of the well known landmark Aso Rock, then head to the Abuja National Children's Park and Zoo! This open zoo provides a relaxing landscape perfect for outdoor picnics and is a well known location for birthday parties. The park has obstacle courses to keep the kids busy and a beautiful walk way leading to the zoo.

Blog written by Jamila Delly Musa Abdulkadir, a communication consultant with recent publication, Abuja Through My Lens now available at Spine and Label Bookstores, and Roving Heights in Abuja, Nigeria. Get your copy of the photobook here.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens adventures

Twas the night before Christmas :) just kidding. During the day before Christmas, I decided to take a ride down to Colonial Williamsburg with my little team. We packed our bags and were off on another adventure.

My sis booked a hotel for us at the Holiday Inn at Busch Gardens and had practically come up with a whole itinerary for our trip which took us about two and a half hours to get there. When we arrived it was raining but nothing was going to ruin Christmas eve. We got to the Holiday Inn, awesome staff, great rooms.  The hotel just recently opened and I can swear that I was probably the first ever to take a shower in our bathroom. Anyways we dropped our stuff, got ready and then went straight for mass at an old church in Merchant square called Bruton Parish Church. This church was built in 1674.

Pic above taken at Busch Gardens

We left mass a bit early to catch the Christmas tree lighting at Merchant Square. It was really dark right before the tree lights went up so if you ever go for this don't go without a torchlight.

So after this, as we believe - the night was still young. We went off to Busch Gardens. It was like a dream. Different themes in every corner we turned. The entrance was all set up like we were in England and then we slowly walked in to Germany and Paris. You need to visit during Christmas to understand what I'm blabbering about. There were grand lights everywhere and lots of shows to enjoy.

We passed by Santa's workshop, he gave us a little wave through the window, got my daughter on her best behavior lol. There was even fake snow outside his workshop aka bubbles, could have fooled me :).

We went to see the play, Twas the night before Christmas - good call by my sis. It was all so magical! My little one was in a trance watching this - literally!

After all the fun and play we went back to our hotel for a well deserved rest. The next morning was Christmas and we were out and about again checking out Merchant's Square. 

This town was definitely unique and a great way for kids to catch up on a bit of history while having fun. For a perfect end to the trip, we drove back to Maryland that Christmas morning right in time for Santa's gifts to be opened :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tour Inside the White House. Yay!!!

For all those who know me personally, they know I always talk about how I would love to one day walk into the White House for a tour. Sounds like words anyone would say, trust me, I always say this. Well guess who went into the White House? Little ol me! I can't think of a more perfect gift for my graduation than this. So a dear friend of mine booked family and myself to join in on a tour. This process takes months and months to get access inside but for me, the timing was perfect. I was hoping President Obama and First Lady Michelle would walk by, though I didn't get to see them, it was still a great experience.

Umm White House. Lol

I will admit it was the coldest day ever. It was so windy on this day and all sorts of things went on. If you ever plan to go with kids, pay close attention. 

Tip 1:There is parking behind the JW Marriott nearby but it costs about $20 around that area so I advise you take the train to get there or Uber.

Tip 2: Take the kids to the bathroom before lining up at the entrance. You won't have access to this once you start the tour so make sure to get them to the bathroom before you head inside. Charge your phone fully!

Tip 3: Arrive early - strict check at the gate! I used my international passport to get access. If you don't bring your ID that is a match with your White House application, you are not getting in.

Tip 4: Explore!

Visitors Center

We began our tour at the Visitors Center nearby, just two minutes away from the White House. After exploring a bit of history in this museum-like-venue, we walked towards the entrance of the White House. Here you will be given tour details, a little brochure with information on what you can find inside the tour. There are about three check points after this to confirm your identity, you have to stand a bit for this. Well it really depends on the crowd that day. Once you pass checkpoints then welcome welcome! The tour is all on you.

First a selfie at the door and then I began exploring. I walked through to take a look at the different rooms.

After the tour we had lunch at the JW Marriott

It was one of my best days ever in DC. I just never imagined walking in the White House and strolling round like I owned the place. Try to get a tour, words cannot express. Click here for more information. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Philadelphia Fun! Philly Cheesesteak, what more can I ask for?

So I joined my sister on a trip to Philadelphia. When have I ever missed a free trip? Ummm, never! Any chance to get to see the big city and taste that big ol cheesesteak. We planned to drive down from Maryland to Philly at 12pm but as always we took a detour to the mall before heading out, girls girls girls. So we hit the road at about 2pm, road was full of traffic but we arrived at our hotel Double Tree Hilton three hours later.

Had to grab a map at the lobby downstairs to get prepared for touring.

Yes we had to trace down that Philly cheesesteak before doing anything else. I remember growing up and watching the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and all he went on about in every other episode was that steak. So we stopped by Dalessandro's Steaks. Long lines, the Cheesesteak was to die for though, totally worth it.

We decided to go check out the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the town was so lively, just what I love.

The city felt like a huge museum, it was just full of surprises. Like this van for instance right off the sidewalk:

So the next morning we literally couldn't decide where to go because our options were just too much. So we headed down to the center of town for some random sight seeing.

There was festivity all around in prep for christmas. We came across this really cool farmers market with native american dresses for sale, a huge carousel and lots more by the Philadelphia City Hall. More exciting surprises!

Now who goes to Philly without climbing the Rocky Stairs? Not us! It took us about two hours to get there from the City Hall, I'm sure its much faster but driving that day was so hectic since the city had its Marathon and most roads were blocked.

We had to take a side pic because the lines for the Rocky Statue was just growing longer by the second. I promise, I ran up those stairs and had that theme song in my head the whole time LOL.

 The view from the top was priceless, big city, great view!

More pics to come!

Top 5 Underestimated Places To Visit in Abuja, Nigeria

Jakes Club, Abuja Jakes Club is a hidden jewel at the center of the city located at Silverbird Cinemas in Central Business District, Abuja....