When we received invitation to a friend’s destination wedding to take place at IITA in Ibadan, Oyo state of Nigeria, I wondered why anyone would marry at a research institute. IITA is the international institute of tropical agriculture, with research institute in one of Africa’s oldest and largest cities, Ibadan.
Ibadan is merely an hour and thirty minutes car drive from Lagos where I live but I have never been there. But as we drove through this dusty, rusty city, I came to see how much history the city held.
The IITA research institute is situated at the outskirts of town and as we drove into the incredibly green and expanse premise, it felt nothing but nature. We were so close to nature with its incredibly green landscape of thick forest reserve, towering palm trees and several other tropical trees, lush green lawns and enlightening green houses. The place was a haven of serenity, tranquility and peace. This research institute offered hotel accommodations with recreational facilities, culture-bias restaurant for fine wining and dining. The bar also offered fine refreshments, wining and good music. I was pleased that my friends were able to conduct traditional marriage rites, the church service and reception all on the premise! This is your perfect nigerian destination wedding.
Recreational activities include bicycle riding on the institutes well mapped roads, swimming, sports activities; the kids even have a playground to keep them busy. This is a vacation destination for the whole family.
Do not expect five star accommodation though as the lodging accommodation the institute provides were dormitories which had been converted into hotel rooms. Notwithstanding, this did not take away the richness of the place but further complemented the academic environment appeal.
If you live in Nigeria or ever visit Nigeria, visit IITA and you will love its commitment to nature. Even the gifts I bought from the corporate store was evident of this as the institutes sponsors the local women group in arts and crafts.