This Lakehouse was love at first sight and I just knew I had to visit upon seeing pictures of it. After calculating the cost of a road trip from Lagos to Ouidah, cost of the Lakehouse and adding other miscellaneous expenses including tours, tips and souvenirs, I knew the only way a weekend vacation here wouldn’t leave me in penury was if I went with other people. If you’re living on a budget like I am but still like to travel, you’ll understand. I put the word out on Twitter that I needed travel buddies, selected a few people from the replies I got, created a Whatsapp group and we were on our way three months later!
We hired a private car to carry the six of us from Lagos to Benin Republic. The road trip was definitely better than my road trip to Ghana. The journey was about 6 hours but would’ve been shorter if we did not have to go through so many Nigerian checkpoints riddled with corrupt government officials and spend an entire hour waiting for the officials at the Seme border to do their thing. Everything you’ve heard about the frustrations at Seme border is true, it can be a nightmare but we did not let that upset us too much, we had the promise of our fantastic Lakehouse waiting for us.
The Lakehouse is located in a serene, isolated area away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is perfect if you’re trying to get away from the noise and frustration that comes with living in Lagos, want to get together with a couple of friends or just really need alone time.
It is easy to tell that the owners put in a lot of heart to make sure it gives a home away from home vibe, everything you need to be comfortable is present including wifi, a washing machine, an onsite caretaker, insect repellants among other things. However, you would have to purchase foodstuff to do all your cooking while at the Lakehouse, if you’re nice to the Caretaker, for a few Cefas, he’ll help you purchase fish to make your own barbecue, peppersoup or whatever fish meal tickles your taste buds.
If you ever get tired of being indoors, there are tourist spots located a few kilometers away for you to learn about the culture and history of the Beninese people. There’s a clean beach directly opposite the Lakehouse if you fancy a picnic or just a walk in the evening. For around 10 000 Cefa, the caretaker can organize a canoe ride or you can go tube rafting for free right at the Lakehouse.
While planning this trip, we had a budget of 60 000 Naira/ $170 each but ended up spending less than that amount. Personally, I spent around 52 000 Naira and would’ve spent less if I didn’t get carried away with purchasing souvenirs and treats for the journey back home. The amount covered transportation, border charges, Lakehouse cost, tours, tips, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses for me. Fortunately, we put together an eBook to help you plan your own vacation, it covers the following:
- Contact details of our private driver
- Contact details of the owners of the Lakehouse
- How to book and get 10% off the cost of the Lakehouse ( I wish we knew this while planning our trip)
- Where to shop for foodstuff for your Lakehouse stay
- Places to visit
- Travel documents you would need and how to get them
- Cost of transportation, border fees, tour fees
You can pay to get access to the eBook here
Will I return to this beautiful Lakehouse? Yes! but probably with the love of my life, haha