OLUMO ROCK TOURIST DESTINATION
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.