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Hi everyone!

It’s been a minute, I know. Believe me, I am trying as much as possible to work around my crazy schedule to be able to post here more often.

That said, I have been dying to share this blog post with you all for a long time now and I am super hyped that it’s finally here…yayy (doing the chicken dance**)

If you read my last post for 2018, you would know that I was in a really bad place mentally towards the end of the year click here to see the post . This was majorly induced by a lot of work and personal stress that I had put myself under at the time. For this reason, I was determined to do better with my mental health in 2019 and I did mention in my last vlog for 2018  (click here to watch the vlog ), that I would go on solo trips in 2019 to get my mental health right.

You know how we make these resolutions but for some reasons it never gets to see the light of day? Well, I was determined that my decision to go on “solo trips” in 2019 will not get lost in transit. So, three days into the New Year, I packed my bags and decided to visit Osun State all by myself.

So you’re probably wondering, “why Osun State?”

Well, to be honest Osun State wasn’t my first choice. In fact I didn’t intend that my first solo travel this year would be to somewhere that far. My first choice was “Whispering Palms, Badagry” because I wanted a “beach view”. However, due to late planning and the festive rush, I wasn’t able to secure an accommodation at the resort. I was going to cancel my travel plans but then I decided to try “trip advisor” ( link here) to find alternatives and that’s where this resort that I had never heard about popped up…”Zenababs Half Moon Resort”. Knowing my googly self, I immediately entered the resort in google search and checked for ratings and reviews. I was pretty impressed by the reviews that I got online and without overthinking it, I decided to give it a shot (with fingers crossed).

Where is Zenababs Half Moon Resort Located?

The resort is Located at the outskirt of Ilesha town in Osun State. The town is just about 20 minutes away from the Great Ile-Ife town. From Ibadan city, Ilesha town is about 90 minutes – 2 hours depending on the speed of the vehicle and how free the road is. From Lagos, it should not be more than a total of 4 hours, traffic put into consideration.

How much does it cost to get to Zenababs Half Moon Resort?

I traveled to Ilesha from Abeokuta and it cost me a total of 2,650 Naira to get to the resort.

Cost breakdown; Abeokuta to Ibadan (Iwo Road) – 1200 Naira, Ibadan to Ilesha – 1200 Naira (The bus that took us from Ibadan pulled a fast one on us though, he didn’t get to Ilesha but put us on another vehicle when we got to Ile-Ife), Ilesha garage to Zenababs half-moon resort -250 Naira bike.

What is Ilesha town like?

Ilesha town is an ancient and relatively big town, the people there are called “Ijesa” people. It is safe and very peaceful. I remember just falling in love with the ambience when I highlighted from the vehicle, there was just this calming effect that the town had on me. Or maybe it’s the “Small Town Girl” in me that’s just talking, lol. The people are friendly and willing to help if you need any help.

Food! I learnt the hard way that if you want to eat “local food” at Ilesha town, don’t bother looking for restaurants or canteens, just go to the garage! Apparently this is where most locals go to get their local food. And I must confess, the food at the garage is so good guys. The food is also very affordable, I think I paid 600 Naira for three wraps of amala and 3 pieces of meat.

How much does it cost to stay at Zenababs Half Moon Resort?

Before I go on about how much it costs to stay at this resort, I should mention that I had a budget for this trip. My budget for the whole trip was 50,000 Naira and I planned to stay three nights at the resort. While I was checking the resort facilities on their website  ( link to the website ), I found out that they had chalets, executive rooms and single rooms. Here is the pricing for each category;

Single room – 11,500 Naira (prepayment rate)

   

Executive room – 15,750 Naira (prepayment rate)

Chalet – 31,500 Naira (prepayment rate with a refundable fee of 8,500 Naira)

Of course considering my budget, I stayed in one of the single rooms for 3 nights making a total sum of 34,500 Naira.

 

What facilities are available at Zenababs Half Moon Resort?

There are so many amazing facilities at this resort and I must say it was definitely worth the hype. The facilities include;

  1. Extensive grounds with tents available for hire for over 5,000 guests. So I am guessing people are able to hold parties or conferences for large amount of people

2. 2 large halls with capacity for over 1000 guests. Again, a good one for parties and conferences.

3. 30 fully furnished chalets (2 rooms per chalet) and about 60 other rooms. This is perfect for organizations or groups to hold retreats.

 

4. A very beautiful and well-designed restaurant with an outdoor sitting area.

 

5. Games lounge; table tennis, board games etc

6. Tennis courts, basketball and volley ball courts

7.A large swimming pool

8. Wildlife Park with exotic birds.

9. A terrace bar.

10. Health and fitness club.

11. A boating lake.

What is my honest review about the resort?

Before I say anything, you should know that every place has got its good and not-so-good reviews. So I will start with the great reviews;

Firstly, this is a resort that I feel is so under-publicized. It is too good to be kept a secret in Nigeria. The ambiance, the serenity and the natural view is everything. There is this peace that suddenly falls on you as you walk into the resort. I remember dragging my bag at the entrance and saying a loud “wow” when I stepped into the resort, it was so much more than I expected. From the outside, you wouldn’t believe that such a grand place exists behind the walls. Funny thing is a lot of Ilesha locals have never visited this resort, some don’t even know it exists right under their nose.

Entrance (outside)

Entrance (inside)

This resort was built in 2004 and I can beat my chest to say it’s probably one of the best maintained resort in Nigeria. 15 years later and it still looks so new except for a few cracks here and there. It is super clean, flowers are well trimmed and lawns are properly mowed. You would always see workers cleaning and working almost every time.

Also, there is constant electricity. This is so important because I have heard and been to some hotels who would ration electricity for customers. But at this resort, I enjoyed electricity throughout.

Hospitality! If you know me, then you know that one thing I cannot stand is poor hospitality. I usually make a big deal out of this in hotels. Luckily, this resort has the best hospitality I have received so far. The staff are so courteous and helpful. They basically greet you like a VIP everywhere you turn. I remember one of their staff helping me with the directions to “Erin Ijesa Water fall”.

So, the not so great reviews;

The Food. I felt it was too expensive, I mean a plate of rice and chicken is like 3,500 Naira. I would get the same value for 1,500 Naira at a fast food. So I advise intending visitors to prepare their minds for the pricey food or choose to go out of the resort to get food.

I also didn’t get to use the boating lake. This was very sad for me because it was one of the things that I really looked forward to. However, the boats were on maintenance during my stay so I couldn’t enjoy it.

Poor Wi-Fi and poor network coverage. You would agree with me that internet is life in this new age. How would I be in a resort away from the world and still not be able to connect with the world via the internet? This frustrated me so much during my stay but I took solace in the fact that it was supposed to be a “mental and social media break” vacation for me.

 

What are the interesting things you can do while visiting Ilesha?

I heard there is a museum in the town although I was not able to visit.

The best thing to do while visiting Ilesha from my experience is to visit “Olumirin waterfall” at Erin-Ijesa. The waterfall is just about 15-20 minutes away from Ilesha town and it costs roughly 600-1000 naira to and fro.

What are my final thoughts about visiting Zenababs Half Moon Resort?

Nigeria has a lot of untapped resources and I think tourism is one of them. A lot of Nigerians do not consider travelling within Nigeria as much as they consider travelling abroad. This is because many are not aware of the amazing places and facilities that the country has. I am happy that a lot of tourism agencies are now bringing tourism within Nigeria to light.

That said, I think the resort needs more publicity which I am giving it free of charge right now, lol.

The resort is perfect for honeymoon getaway, birthday retreat, spiritual retreat, work retreat, family getaway and so much more. I would definitely be visiting this resort again and next time, I would be staying in one of the chalets just because I love to live the good life like that…YOLO!

To get a better view of the resort please click on this link  to see a short clip of my tour around the resort, you would love it! Also please subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss any of the good stuff.

Wow, it’s been a long read, if you made it this far, thank you! I hope you found this post enlightening and inspiring. My hope and wish is that more Nigerians get to travel within Nigeria and more foreigners get to see the beauty of Nigeria.

Also, don’t be afraid to take that solo trip if you are considering it, it’s amazing and you get to meet like-minded people. Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to be able to afford “travelling”. I mean, I had all these fun with just 50,000 Naira! All it takes is proper research and you too can travel on a budget.

I’d like to also let you know that I owe you a follow up blog post on “My visit to Olumirin Waterfall, Erin-Ijesa”. Please stay tuned and watch this space for the follow up post.

If you have any questions regarding this post, solo travelling or how to travel on a budget, please feel free to leave your questions below and I will be more than glad to tell you the resources that I used (some, I mentioned in the post).

Thank you for coming on this ride with me, till next time on the “Small Town Girl Blog”.

Peace and Love,

Sophia Zoe.