OLUMO ROCK TOURIST DES­TI­NA­TION

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Olumo Rock is lo­cated in Abeokuta. It is his­tor­i­cal with some in­ter­est­ing myths. Abeokuta is the cap­i­tal of Ogun State in south­west Nige­ria, lo­cated on the east bank of the Ogun River. Abeokuta means ‘un­der the rock’. The orig­i­nal in­hab­i­tants of Abeokuta were of the Egba peo­ple, who hid un­der the rock from 1830 to 1833 dur­ing in­ter­tribal wars in the 19th cen­tury. It is claimed that their suf­fer­ing and wan­der­ing ended af­ter the hide­out un­der the rock.

Olumo Rock be­came a tourist site in 1976, and since then has been one of the most vis­ited tourist des­ti­na­tion in West Africa. It stands at 137 me­tres above the sea level. ‘Olumo’ means God moulded. There are four stages climb­ing to the peak of the rock, the first stage hav­ing 122 steps. You can ei­ther go through the stairs or start climb­ing the rock from bot­tom to the top which is the an­cient way of climb­ing and most in­ter­est­ing.

The first stage is the Panseke gar­den, where you get to see the Panseke tree whose trunk has a shape that is said to look like a hu­man face, and the Do­gon­yaro tree which is medic­i­nal. You can also see the cave where the Eg­bas hid out and oth­ers.

The view from the peak of the rock is quite fas­ci­nat­ing and one can see the city of Abeokuta from a breath­tak­ing viewpoint with some im­por­tant places, one of which is the first church in Nige­ria- Cathe­dral church of St. Peter built 1898. Also to see is the Bap­tist Boys High School, which was at­tended by prom­i­nent Nige­ri­ans like former pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo and the late Fela Kuti.

Rock climb­ing is usu­ally ad­ven­tur­ous and fun, but also risky. My visit to Olumo Rock and ex­pe­ri­ence climb­ing the rock was grat­i­fy­ing. I ad­vice that you make Abeokuta your next get­away des­ti­na­tion, be­cause apart from vis­it­ing the Olumo Rock, climb­ing the rock, see­ing the gal­leries and ap­pre­ci­at­ing art, there are also in­ter­est­ing things to see in Abeokuta and a so­phis­ti­cated ac­com­mo­da­tion to stay. Parkinn by Radis­son Abeokuta is a rec­om­mended place to stay. It has a re­sort like feel, of­fer­ing world class ser­vice, you sure can re­lax and sleep in a cosy bed and swim in a stylish pool af­ter test­ing your wits climb­ing the rock. You can also visit the Ogun River which flows through four Nige­rian states (La­gos, Ondo, Oyo, Osun) and flows di­rectly into the At­lantic Ocean.

Olumo Rock is a place to visit, not a story to be told but to be ex­pe­ri­enced.

The ‘Tree of dogged­ness’ grows right out of the rock! It gets all of its nour­ish­ment from within and is said to sur­vive any ad­ver­sity.

This Iroko tree has been in ex­is­tence for over 250 years and can be seen at the sum­mit of the Olumo Rock.

This cave served as a for­mi­da­ble hide­out for the in­hab­i­tants of Eg­ba­land dur­ing wars. Hence, the name ‘Abeokuta’ mean­ing ‘un­der the rock.’

A breath­tak­ing view of the city

The ‘Panseke’ tree at the base of the Olumo Rock. The trunk is said to have con­tours that re­sem­bles the hu­man fa­cials with eyes, nose and mouth.

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