Saturday, 16 January 2016

Olumo Rock: Fun, Adventure And A Dream Come True

I visited Abeokuta (which means “Under the rock”) for the first time while in primary six, when my class went to write the Ogun State Government Schools Examination. While planning the trip, our headmaster - Mr. Alli - promised to take us on an excursion to Olumo Rock…if we had enough time after the exams. Sadly, we finished exams late and our dream of visiting Olumo Rock was not to be…well until yesterday.

January 15th, i had the opportunity of taking my iSis (iSis or iSister is derivative of the iPhone; she is my iSis, because her mom is my iMom and that’s because i met her through the sight-seeing and what better place to visit than the great Olumo Rock.

The Olumo Rock situated in Ikija, Abeokuta North Local government of Ogun state is arguably of one the most beautiful tourist attractions in Nigeria. With the highest point at 137 meters (Approx. 450 ft) from the base of the rock, Olumo although fun and adventurous can be a little challenging. So i strongly recommend you don’t go alone.

“If you want to go FAST, go alone. If you want to go FAR, go together”

-          African Proverb

It is worthy to note that Olumo means “all the troubles and sufferings are over” and that the rock provided sanctuary for the Egba people during the inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. Olumo rock was turned into a tourist site in 1976 and commissioned in February 3rd 2006 by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Our Adventure started at the main gate, where we were greeted by a crowd consisting of the officials, private tours guides, photographers and excited kids just happy to welcome us.

We paid our dues (N700- entry fee; each , N200- Parking and N200- Camera tax) and proceeded to the Museum/cultural heritage centre where we saw many beautiful arts, crafts and paintings depicting the historical heritage of Olumo Rock and the Egba people. I got to learn that tie-and-dye, locally known as “Adire” (in yoruba language) literarily means to tie (Adi) and Dye (re). They had lots of souvenirs for sale on display.

Moving on, we got bottles of water and began the ascent to the top via the stairs. There is a cool elevator for people who do not want to experience the physical challenge of the rock, but iSis and I are young and strong….so we took the stairs. 

On our way up, we saw the Egba war time hide-out, a couple of shrines and a mini “waterfall” the guide says gushes seasonally and is known to cure illnesses. 

We made it

At the very top we could see the first Church in Nigeria, The first building in Abeokuta, The family house of late Chief M.K.O Abiola, the Central Mosque, and the River Ogun. The most intriguing landmark at the top of the rock is a point where the tour guide said was made when western explorers tried to dig for gold.

The story goes that 3 western explorers tried digging for gold and were mysteriously blinded by a substance (Mixture of blood and Pus) that gushed out of the point of digging. 

This singular event initiated the practise of human sacrifice to appease the gods. The good news is that the practice ended years later and Black cows, chickens, kolanut and gin are now used in place of human blood. *Sigh of relief*

The Point of Exploration

Our descent was via a structured stairway. We took some more pictures at a fountain at the base of the rock and waved good bye to Olumo Rock and the people of Abeokuta.

As we drove out of the complex, i remembered Mr. Alli’s promise and knew that a Dream had Come True.

 Dream Come True

The End


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Matthias for the comment. You should schedule a visit.

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