Finally, Nigeria has welcomed its first Hills and Caves Resort, named Hills and Caves Resort, Itan Nla in Ondo East, Ondo State.
This was long coming given the fact that Nigeria’s landscape is dotted with numerous hills and caves as well as mountainous ranges. Most significant is the fact that it is coming from the Founder and President of La Campagne, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, who is the creator of La Campagne Brand, with the first of such brands being La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort in Ikegun Village, Ibeju Lekki.
Since springing the resort on Nigeria’s landscape, a resort that has in its over three decades of existence grown to become the best themed Africa resort in the world, playing host to people of different colors and statuses from across the world, Akinboboye has not rested on his oars.
His creative fecundity has remained fluid over the years with him churning out different product and service lines in not just resort branding but also in arts, entertainment, culture and security, and the whole gamut of economic activities, which are all products of his Continent Building Initiative, an initiative that sees Africa as the cradle of the world and where the world should gravitate towards.
The closet that Akinbobye has gone in his effort at resort brands development using different landscapes other than the river, mountain, beachfront, and forest was the Idanre Hills Resort, which he conceived and built at the foot of the famous Idanre Hills in Ondo State years ago.
Now, he has taken his uniquely creative ferment a notch higher with his recent creation, Hills and Caves Resort Itan Nla, thereby stretching the imagination of the people and offering them another side of nature, a destination that is embedded within natural elements.
This time, he chooses his place of birth, Ondo, to be the host of his latest product line. Not just Ondo but one of the inner recesses of the natural enclave, Itan Nla in Ondo East, which is noted for its rich history, arts, and culture as well as beholding natural elements such as hills and caves, dotting its landscape.
The resort, which as it has become the tradition of Akinboboye, built within 10 days, offers a rare opportunity to interact with nature at its best. This time, ascending one hill or another and exploring the entrails of the caves, as well as hopping from one tree to another, all within a fluid enclave that is enlivened by human activities of diverse kinds.
The facilities and services all bear the trademark of La Campagne, which is noted for its blend of African motifs infused with sophisticated and elegant Eurocentric appeal. The lodges or chalets of different sizes and categories are beautifully curated on hill ranges, some inside the caves and others in the open as well as sandwiched between molds of rocky ranges.
It is a full-service destination enclave where tourists and visitors would be treated to the best of luxury and entertaining menus of different ferment. Wellness, conference, leisure, entertainment, and cultural activities are all embedded within the enthralling packages of the resort, with tour packages and the opportunity to interact with the locals also on offer.
Akinboboye aptly explained the vision of his initiative: ‘‘La Campagne Tropicana Brand was established in 1984 with the vision of developing Africa’s economy from ‘bottom –up’ by transforming tourism attraction sites across the world into African themed unique destinations with architecture, décor, and services weaved around African culture and hospitality.
‘‘The brand has developed (and is still developing) unique tourism products in each of its destinations modeled around the rich African culture such products include; tree houses with private swimming pools, mud houses with indoor swimming pools, the longest pool in the world on a beach with six inbuilt bars, Yoru’bar, a restaurant where tourists’ sense of smell, sight, taste, and hearing are aroused through live cooking of their meals alongside indigenous music and dance, bars modeled after buses used in West Africa in 18th and 19th Centuries, and moonlight folktales around bonfires among others.
‘‘As the La Campagne Tropicana Brand offerings are weaved around Africa’s culture and hospitality it has created tremendous economic opportunities for the people living in its host community and immediate environs. This is because the brand’s unique African theme creates job opportunities for such indigenes that would not normally be available in western type tourist establishments. The brand has adopted African style architecture and buildings.’’