A Quick Visit to Olumo Rock, Abeokuta!

So, finally I got to visit Olumo Rock. It is a popular tourist attraction in Ogun State, Nigeria but I had never been. I think once in primary school, there was a school trip to the rock but I didn't go. My parents were pretty paranoid about such road trips.

Tee is actually from Abeokuta and I had visited the town a couple of times, but couldn't make it to the rock.  

Abeokuta, translated literally means "Under the Rock!". Generally, the people of Abeokuta are referred to as 'Egbas'. 

We had to pay N700 each as admission fee, and there was a tour guide who was happy to show us the way. There was also a photographer who offered to take our photos. But since we had a camera, we handed that over to him and he had a good time snapping us while we toured. Obviously we knew we had to tip both of them at the end of the tour. 

Frontal view... and the art gallery by the right with the pink roof. 

Frontal view... and the art gallery by the right with the pink roof. 

A closer view of the rock

A closer view of the rock

At the entrance of the rock, a sort of 'wishing well'. Coins are required - but we don't have coins in Nigeria anymore. Considered using UK pennies, but I passed...

At the entrance of the rock, a sort of 'wishing well'. Coins are required - but we don't have coins in Nigeria anymore. Considered using UK pennies, but I passed...


About the Rock

Olumo Rock is an irregular formation of igneous rock, which at its highest point is 137 metres above sea level. The rock has three main caves, and it is said that during a war between 1830-1833, some settlers lived under the rock. Olumo means "all the troubles and sufferings are over".

Water from the rock was believed to have healing powers. But ehm, they say it dried up about 50 years ago.

Water from the rock was believed to have healing powers. But ehm, they say it dried up about 50 years ago.

The first cave - Egba War Time HideOut believed to be a dwelling place for the early settlers. 

The first cave - Egba War Time HideOut believed to be a dwelling place for the early settlers. 

It was partitioned into five rooms, and this was one of the rooms. The other four have fallen apart.

It was partitioned into five rooms, and this was one of the rooms. The other four have fallen apart.

Six dug holes for grinding peppers and cooking. 

Six dug holes for grinding peppers and cooking. 

There's also a few statues of the ancient warriors of the town + some cowries (money spent in the past)

There's also a few statues of the ancient warriors of the town + some cowries (money spent in the past)

To the right is the grave where the man who lived beside the rock (before it was taken over the government) is buried. He died at 122 years.

To the right is the grave where the man who lived beside the rock (before it was taken over the government) is buried. He died at 122 years.

When you have a personal photographer, you get a back view photo!

When you have a personal photographer, you get a back view photo!

There's always time for a peace sign! Or two...

There's always time for a peace sign! Or two...

Don't worry, I'll lead, just follow. 

Don't worry, I'll lead, just follow. 

Mind your head!

Mind your head!

It's interesting to note that since it became a tourist attraction in 1976, there has been no casualty and no one has ever fallen from climbing the rock. I know it's a short time, but still, good to know! So fear not and climb! 

 

Took a little break.. this isn't the top yet!

Took a little break.. this isn't the top yet!

This bridge wasn't always there, so visitors actually had to jump between the rocks - and it's quite a distance!

This bridge wasn't always there, so visitors actually had to jump between the rocks - and it's quite a distance!

A little help won't hurt...

A little help won't hurt...

Yep! Made it to the very top. 

Yep! Made it to the very top. 

View from the top. If you look closely, you can see the twin pillars of the first mosque in Abeokuta.

View from the top. If you look closely, you can see the twin pillars of the first mosque in Abeokuta.

From the top, you can see this Iroko Tree, which they say is over 200 years old and never sheds its leaves - come rain or shine!

From the top, you can see this Iroko Tree, which they say is over 200 years old and never sheds its leaves - come rain or shine!

Myth

There's a Myth that some European geologists visited the rock to blast it and to obtain precious metals. However, blood gushed out from the rock and blinded the geologists. Do you think that could have happened?

Fact

There's a shrine in the rock where the 5 kings of Abeokuta, led by the Alake (paramount ruler of the land) go to worship the gods at the rock, every year. Apparently, they believe that the gods protected the ancient settlers during the war. In the past they used strangers as sacrifice, but now they use big black cows, pigeons and some other animals. Visitors are allowed to visit on the day of the worship and they can look into the shrine, but cannot go inside. 

The shrine door right behind the tour guide. See, even he does a peace sign. 

The shrine door right behind the tour guide. See, even he does a peace sign. 

Just peep our tour guide's pose! Like a boss. 

Just peep our tour guide's pose! Like a boss. 


The pre-jump photo, because who gets to the top of a rock and doesn't jump?  

The pre-jump photo, because who gets to the top of a rock and doesn't jump?

 

Ogun State gets its name from the River Ogun. It's so cool how one word in our Nigerian languages can mean several things. Ogun can mean nine different things in Yoruba. 

Ogun State gets its name from the River Ogun. It's so cool how one word in our Nigerian languages can mean several things. Ogun can mean nine different things in Yoruba. 

At the end of the climb, I was totally knackered and dripping with sweat. But I made a quick stop to the art gallery which has some art  and cultural pieces for sale. Our photographer of the day was through with us and I was too tired to take any photos. But I got some shea butter, and according to the sales lady, it's the best around. I havn't tried it, so I can't confirm.

In case you ever wondered, here's the Egba Anthem! 

In case you ever wondered, here's the Egba Anthem! 


That's it folks. It's a bit hard to describe how much of a good experience it was and it's one of those things you better experience yourself. So if you can, make time to go! Abeokuta has a pretty cool history. The first church and the first hospital in Nigeria are located in Abeokuta. Two of Nigeria's president's (Obasanjo and Sonekan) are from Abeokuta, as well as other notable Nigerians like Fela, Wole Soyinka, and MKO Abiola. So see, lots of history!

We also made a quick stop at the Alake's Palace and I also got some adire clothes (tie and dye fabric). 

Have you've been to Olumo Rock, how was your experience? 

Love, 

KacheeTee... Xx



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