Feeling drained creatively, with zero inspiration for content creation I decided to take a weekend off and spend a night at Tarkwa Bay beach. Sand, sea, and me.
With a room booked at Jaybee Beach Camp for a night, I headed to the jetty on a Sunday morning and boarded a boat to Tarkwa bay for my long-awaited beach vacation.
Immediately I arrived at the beach which I had been to many times, the first thing I did was check into my room for the night with no idea of the adventure ahead of me. I was going to bask in the sun & swim in the ocean for 2 days straight, watch the most beautiful sunset, ride the ocean waves, and go horseback riding during sunrise.
My travel companion and I decided to look around the property that would be our home for the next two days, and for the first 3 hours after our arrival, we spent it reading in the ocean view café. I hadn’t felt this relaxed in months, having the ability to take in my surroundings and not feel rushed is a feeling I will welcome any day.
The most beautiful Sunset
Day 1 at the beach was spent swimming till our skins pruned. As someone who isn’t the strongest swimmer – or not a swimmer at all 😂 – I was sceptical about the swimming part of the trip, but thankfully, up to a certain point, I was able to stand in the water.
After “swimming” for close to 3 hours, we had built up quite an appetite, at this point, we were on the hunt for food. The choice that seemed the most appetising was chicken & chips from one of the beach vendors. Once we scarfed down our dinner (I might as well have inhaled it, I was so hungry), we decided to wander the beach and stumbled across the most beautiful sunset.
“Wander beyond what you know, you may be pleased with what you find”
The rest of the day was spent by the beach, swimming in the moonlit water. I thought, there was no way day 2 could top this, and oh how wrong I was 😆.
Sunrise Horseback ride
We were up at the crack of dawn. The sun hadn’t risen yet, which made it the perfect time to start our morning horseback ride. With the horses saddled, I climbed mine (it wasn’t as easy as I thought. With my dress on, it was quite the challenge, but I made it work) and was off to the seaside.
This was my first time riding a horse on my own, with only me holding the horses’ reigns, I struggled for the first 30 minutes but after that, got the hang of it. With a combination of leg kicks, clicking sounds made with my mouth, and reign holding, at the end of the ride you would have the thought I had been riding for years (I mean I was that good 😉). During this ride, we saw over a hundred hermit crabs and a rainbow. It was truly the best way to kick off the day.
By 8 am, we returned to the stables and decided to get a quick breakfast at the café. After a meal of cinnamon French toast and bacon, we changed into our swimsuits and headed back to the beach to spend the last few hours in the water.
Last few hours at the beach
Our boat was scheduled to pick us up at 3:30 pm, so after breakfast at 10 am, we had roughly 6 hours by the beach. You’d think this was enough, but it felt like time was working against us. Every minute spent in the water was a minute closer to 3:30.
After wading in the water for a good 2 hours, a local saw us and decided to give us free boogie boards. For someone who had never boogie boarded before, I think I smashed it. After 1 tutorial (okay 2), I went out to catch my own wave.
At 2:30 pm, an hour before we had to leave, we spent it lying on the beach drinking out of coconuts. That was the perfect end to the perfect beach weekend.
How to get there
To get to Tarkwa bay, you need to take a boat (it’s an island only accessible by water). You can either take a public boat, or charter one to use privately.
Public Boat to Tarkwa Bay
This is the more affordable option. It’s great if you’re going for the day and are on a budget. You can easily board a boat at any of these locations and leave with them when they return in the evening (usually at 6).
If you take a public boat, you can’t choose the time to head to Tarkwa Bay or leave the beach.
- From Marina (CMS): You can board a speedboat at N2000 per person. The ride should last for 20 minutes.
- From Mekwe Jetty near Bonny Camp on Lagos Island: You can board a speedboat. The journey should take 15 minutes.
Private Boat to Tarkwa Bay
This is the best & most convenient option if you’re in a large group, have items you want to take to the beach, have a specific time you want to leave for the beach & be picked up or just want something private.
- Tarzan Boats (beside Lagos Oriental Hotel): They have a flat fee of 25,000 naira and different sizes of boats depending on how large your group is.
If you’re staying at the beach overnight, it’s best you take a private boat. You will be able to arrange the day and time to leave for Tarkwa bay and when to be picked up.
For this trip, I got a private boat from Tarzan Boats. I was able to arrange my departure time to Tarkwa Bay and a time to be picked up the next day.
Where to stay
If you’re looking to stay in Tarkwa Bay, you have 2 options:
Jaybee Beach Camp (Where I stayed)
At Jaybee you can choose between a room or a private cabin. It comes with free wifi, access to the pool & stables.
Rooms (where I stayed): the rooms are simple; bed, shower, tv & toilet.
Cabins: the cabins can fit up to 6 people. You can self-cater or eat from the Jaybee Café. With the prices of food at the Café, self-catering will be the best thing to do.
Lighthouse Beach House: This is an all-inclusive accommodation in Lighthouse beach.
Activities to do
At the Beach
- Boogie Boarding: this is a form of wave riding, instead of standing (like is done when surfing) you lie chest down on the board and ride a wave. We were given for free, if you do want to rent a boogie board, it can be gotten from the people who rent out surf boards.
- Surfing: this beach is specifically known for surfing. You can rent surf boards and take surfing lessons.
- Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP): you can rent the boards by the hour (they are rented from private individuals so are often expensive), they can cost 10,000 naira upwards.
- Quad Biking: for 5,000 naira you can enjoy quad biking for an hour. If you want to ride it for longer, it’ll be more expensive.
- Kayaking: the kayaks can also be rented from the people renting surf boards (you just need to ask). They are one person kayaks which can be rented for 15 mins (for 4,000 naira) to an hour (for 10,000 naira).
- Swimming: this is the number 1 activity. If you can’t swim don’t worry, (I can’t swim, but I spent all my time in the water) you can stand in the water up to a certain point and give the illusion that you’re in the middle of the sea.
At Jaybee Beach Camp
- Horseback Riding: You can enjoy horseback riding (sunset or sunrise) with incredible views on the beach or through grass fields. Guests & non-guests have access to the stables (for a fee of course).
What to eat
If you’re going for the day, you will need to pack food & drinks. The choices on the beach are limited, and the food they do have is overpriced.
If you’re spending the night unless you’re staying at lighthouse beach house (which is all-inclusive), you can:
- Pack food & drinks: Jaybee Beach Camp has a microwave available in its café to microwave anything and fridges in the rooms.
- Eat food sold on the beach: the food is overpriced (2000 – 5,000 naira) and the selections are limited.
- Eat at the Tarkwa Bay Café: the food is overpriced (2000 naira & up).
Best time to go
If you want the beach to yourself during Mondays to Thursdays are the best time to go. Fridays & Saturdays are SO crowded, so keep that in mind. Sundays are crowded but it’s not as full as it is on Saturdays.
Do not forget this!
- Pack sunscreen: and apply it EVERYWHERE on your body. I got slightly sunburnt. Sunscreen is something you don’t want to forget.
- Mosquito Repellent: for the mosquitoes & sand flies.
- Carry cash: cash is used for everything on the beach itself. The service at the beach is bad so transferring isn’t always a possibility.
My Personal Cost Breakdown
I went with a friend and so we split all the costs. Keep in mind, if you go solo, it’s bound to be more expensive.
- Tarkwa Bay Entrance Fee: 300 naira pp.
- Lounge Chairs: 2,000 naira for the day (We rented it for half a day so paid 1,000 naira each).
- Paying people on the beach to carry your items (luggage or food/ coolers): 200 – 300 naira.
We charted a private boat from Tarzan boats.
- Total Cost: 25,000 naira.
- Split between 2: 12,500 each.
A room at Jaybee Beach Camp cost 42,000 naira (including VAT) per night. We split this cost and paid 21,000 naira each. Wifi is included (it should be with the cost of the room), and it has a pool.
*In my opinion, the room is not worth 42,000 naira per night. The room is just a basic bed, shower and toilet and breakfast isn’t included. What you’re paying for is the location & views.
- Chicken & Chips from the beach: 2,500 naira
- Bottle of water (from the beach): 150 naira
- Chicken Wrap (from Jaybee): 4,500
- Cinnamon French Toast & Bacon (breakfast from Jaybee): 4 slices of French toast (4,000 naira), 2 slices of Bacon (1,000 naira)
- Coconut (from the beach): 500 naira
Horseback Riding: 5,000 naira (this is what I paid for, it’s supposed to be a 20-minute ride, but we rode for close to 2 hours, our guide got carried away).
Round Pool float: we just sat in it and floated.
- A single float: 1,500
- Double float: 3,000
Total: Rounded up, the total cost came up to 53,000 naira per person.
It was worth it. It was refreshing and being able to have a whole beach to ourselves for 2 days straight was the reset we needed.
If you have any additional questions, drop a comment!