Olumo rock, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria, is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta – a name which loosely translated to “under the rock”. Abeokuta was originally inhabited by the Egba people who found refuge at the Olumo Rock during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century.
The rock provided sanctuary to the people as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance leading to eventual triumph in war. The town of Abeokuta eventually grew as these new settlers spread out from this location.
Abeokuta is just about an hour’s drive from the bustling metropolitan city of Lagos providing convenient access to an array of hotels, restaurants, clubs, casinos and various nightlife activities.
Lagos is also home to the closest airport to Abeokuta, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Hotels in Abeokuta within a minute’s drive from the rock include Gateway Hotel and Olumo Guest House.
Tourists to Africa definitely need to consider putting Olumo rock on their travel plans. New renovations completed early 2006 upgraded the infrastructure of the site to include a new museum, restaurants, water fountain and an elevator that will provide even the climbing-challenged a wonderful view of the surrounding city.
A trip to Olumo rock usually commences with a climb up the man-made stairs carved into the rock. While this sounds easy enough, it leaves many breathless and ready to take a break to rest on the benches under the trees growing from the rock and enjoy the clean breeze.
Climbing the rock could be extremely challenging most especially for the old-aged people. As a result, the state government has installed elevators to convey tourists from the base of the rock to the top. The installation of this facility has greatly helped to attract more visitors to Olumo Rock as it has now made the attraction more accessible to everyone.
The hide-out points and shrines
These are tiny natural caves with holes on the floor where the Egba warriors were said to have hidden their wives and children during the inter-tribal or Yoruba civil wars. There are hole-dug on the floor which were said to have provided a device for grind peeper, tomatoes, onions and other ingredients during the war. There are also some shrines of Yoruba gods located just by the caves.
The panoramic view of the city
This is one of the features of Olumo Rock that visitors would not want to miss. The rock presents visitors an enchanting and panoramic view of the city from atop the rock. The old St. Peters Cathedral (first church in Nigeria), the Ogun River, the city’s beautiful central mosque, the Alake’s palace (royal king’s palace) and many others can all be sighted from atop the rock.
At the base of the rock situated the resort’s only museum of history. Abeokuta city is culturally and historically enriched with many artifacts relatively important to the establishment of the city and the museum at the Olumo rock is one of the places where visitors can learn more about the city.
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St. Peters Cathedral
St. Peters Cathedral is the first ever church to be built in Nigeria by the British Missionaries when they arrived at Abeokuta. The Cathedral being in its original form, serves as a place of worship as well as a religion monument.
Ebute Oni Tourist Beach Resort
Ebute Oni is the waterfront to the small village of Oni, Ijebu Waterside, towards the southern sector of Ogun State on the Lekki lagoon. Ebute Oni is on a low-lying area below 30m above sea level which was founded by fishermen. The resort presently has four chalets to house prospective visitors.
Abeokuta Central Mosque
Located just a stone throw from Olumo Rock, the central mosque where the city’s Muslims population worship, is one of the earliest mosques to be built in Ogun State and this beautiful mosque can be clearly spotted from atop the Olumo Rock.
Ojude Oba Festival
In Ijebu-Ode, this is an annual festival usually held two days after the Ileya (Eid-El-Kabir) festival while the Ojude Oba festival of Ijebu-Isiwo is usually held three days after the Eid. It is a festival whose main purpose is for the people of Ijebu to come together as one to honour the traditional ruler and it is regarded as one of the biggest in West Africa.
A 100-mile-long wall and moat whose construction is believed to have began a millennium ago. It has been termed as the Africa’s largest single ancient monument by a British archaeologist who discovered it. The monuments is situated just a few miles away from Olumo Rock. Read more
This is an historical palace that showcases the preserved cultural heritage of Abeokuta city and Yoruba people in general. It’s particularly famous for its heavy concentration of antiquities and relics. Also, there are other places of interest within and outside the city.
The Olowu Palace
The old Owu is an historic town in old Oyo Kingdom. Owu king was a powerful and fearful king who collected tribute from the Bariba, the Borgu and had ruled over old Oyo until the reign of Sango. Owu people later migrated from the old Owu and settled within Abeokuta metropolis and its royal palace (Olowu Palace) houses lots of historical monuments.
Lisabi Sacret Forest
This is a sacred forest bounded in the west by Ogun River and in the south by Tegbelu stream. It is a thick rainforest with high population of various kind of birds and endangered animals.
This is where local artisans and traders enjoy haggling over price just as much as the customers like to find a bargain. The famous market is the centre of the indigenous Abeokuta industry of tie-and-dye, locally known as Adire. Adire crafters are usually women – both old and young!
Omo Forest Reserve
In its undisturbed form, the reserve lies within a tropical lowland rainforest and it has the most complex and productive vegetation type in the country. It is estimated that the forest supports about 8,000 species of plants. Read more
Hill Top Golf Resort
The ‘Hill Top’ is a tourist resort consisting of a straight 18 hole golf course. The resort is a good spot for golfers to enjoy wooded countryside scenic fairways with surrounding rolling hills which give a masterpiece of harmony between man and nature. Within the environment is a lake for boat cruising and fishing.
Saam Health Farm and Holiday Resort
Abeokuta Museum, Abeokuta
Madam Tinubu Shrine
Osuuru Spring Water, Imeko
Centenary Hall, Ake Abeokuta