Almat farms, Abuja
Almat farms is an Agro-tourism center that I had seen online a number of times. I’m a farm boy and ranch style living is very fascinating to me. It is a blend of innovative farming and hospitality services and serves as a means to add value to the agro supply chain.
It took about an hour to drive to the farm, it's in Kuje which is about 40 km southwest of Abuja. These days there's nothing Google maps can't help you find. We had spent the morning at Crush Rock Mpape, so this was an afternoon trip and we made sure we geared up appropriately. Some drinking water, hats, sun screen and we were golden.
It's quite secure, the entire area is fenced and cars can't get in without getting through security. Tickets cost ₦2,000 for adults and ₦500 for kids and these were purchased at the reception area. There is a good lineup of activities (click here for the list) but we were pressed for time and decided on the bihourly tour.
We waited in the restaurant area for our tour to start and during that time we had some refreshing beers; something needs to be done about the flies however. Before long, our tour guide appeared and it was time to start.
The first stop was an open air building that was basically a kaleidoscope. The walls and pillars were etched in interesting designs and then painted with vibrant colors. This concept is borrowed from the northern region of Nigeria and it's quite stunning. The space is used for their events and some of their activities.
Next, we visited the stables, and they had some of the loveliest Argentine horses I had seen in Nigeria. Almat is very big on the equestrian activities, and it was very clear judging by the condition of the horses. For those who want to learn how to ride, Almat farms offers classes.
Next on the itinerary were the Emu's, and the mini zoo. Emu's are the second largest living birds after ostriches and fun fact; the male Emu is responsible for incubating the eggs and then raising the young ones.
The mini zoo had an antelope, tortoises, geese, rabbits and crocodiles. Nothing we hadn't seen before and therefore not very exciting. They have ostriches and camels but for some reason these were not part of the tour.
The tour ended and if I was to sum it up in one word, I'd say it was lacking. It didn't feel like a good bargain to drive an hour and pay for a tour in the blistering sun. I wish we had explored more of the agricultural side to the farm because I read that they grow quite a bit of organic vegetables and this would have been lovely to see.
My friends and I explored the accomodation on our way out. We didn't see inside the chalets but they have a beautiful walkway and garden. The pool area is also quite stunning and I imagine it's a lovely place to stay overnight. Almat has unlimited potential, and because the hospitality segment is relatively new, there's more work to do. It would be great to visit again and experience a lot more.
You can visit their website at www.almatfarms.com for more info and also check out their Instagram @almatfarms. Don’t forget to share and comment.