Travel Nigeria: Kayaking in Abuja

Abuja isn’t a very “touristy” location on the surface but hidden gems are spread across the city and over a calm weekend, I happened to find one of the city’s hidden gems again.

It all began when I came across @kayak.abuja‘s Instagram page. At first, I was taken aback and I wasn’t sure if I could really go Kayaking in Abuja. A further look through their posts assured me I wasn’t daydreaming and from then on, I knew I definitely had to go kayaking.

Kayaking in Abuja

Personally, I haven’t always been a fan of huge water bodies because my first experience almost got me drowned. I was just a skinny kid in junior high and my friends usually went to experiment with their diving skills at this big dam. Curiosity pushed me to follow them one day and I didn’t like the result of the experiment so I had kept my distance till mid-2017 when I began learning how to swim. I would consider myself a decent swimmer and things escalated quickly when I found myself swimming in the Indian Ocean by the end of 2017.

Kayaks are propelled by a paddle and it is a great way to explore water bodies. On a beautiful Saturday morning, myself & 2 friends decided to go kayaking in Abuja with the sole intention of having a good time just drifting on the lake. When it was time to get into the Kayaks, my friends said I should get in first and test the water. I was like no way! We are all in this together! *insert High School Musical soundtrack*

Kayaking in Abuja
Kayaks on the lake…waiting to be paddled.

We finally got in after overcoming our “first time of doing this” feeling and it was truly beautiful. It was my first time actually paddling anything but once I got a hang of it, it was easy. We did a quick race to see who would get to the wall of the lake first and no prizes for guessing who came first right?

Kayaking in Abuja
Kayaking Champion!
Kayaking in Abuja
Paddling lazily on the lake

We then decided to come together to take this epic selfie. We literally had to paddle around, come together, hold each other’s kayaks, steady the phone before achieving this beautiful selfie. If you think it was easy, try it when you go kayaking. If your phone falls into water, it is only Poseidon that will be able to help you retrieve it.

Kayaking in Abuja
Selfie of Champions!

Kayaking Tips

If you intend to go kayaking in Abuja real soon, these tips will come in handy:

  1. Wear comfortable clothing. A shirt, short & sneakers/flip flops will do just fine.
  2. Paddling is quite easy. To go left, steer your paddle on the right side of the kayak and to go right, steer your paddle on the left side of the kayak. To go forward, paddle on the left and then paddle on the right. The faster you do this, the faster you move forward. If your friends are up for a challenge, you can do a quick race to see who reaches the wall first.
  3. Keep your phones/valuables in the kayak pouch. Want to take a selfie like we did? Hold onto your phone tightly and immediately return your phone to the pouch once you are done. If your phone falls into the lake…to be continued
  4. It costs 2,000 Naira to hit the lake at Kayak Abuja on weekends and 1,000 Naira on weekdays. Each session lasts for an hour. The location is just behind the National Stadium and you can easily access it via the google maps.

This kayaking experience has definitely served as a preparatory experience for white water rafting. Want to do something big? Look for a small component of it, do it, build your confidence & then go on to do the big thing. Nobody actually wakes up and jumps from a cliff into an ocean except you are Aquaman.

Kayaking in Abuja
Peep the mainbowl of the National Stadium in the background…

Hope you enjoyed my kayaking in Abuja experience. Gone kayaking or intend to? Kindly share your experience or what you plan to do in the comments section. Keep being a journey rockstar!

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