A Day Trip To The Olumo Rock + 3 Other Notable Places With Okeke Chukwuebuka Dennis.
A Little Info:
Abeokuta, town, capital of Ogun state, southwestern Nigeria. It is situated on the east bank of the Ogun River, around a group of rocky outcroppings that rise above the surrounding wooded savanna. It lies on the main railway (1899) from Lagos, 48 miles (78 km) south, and on the older trunk road from Lagos to Ibadan; it also has road connections to Ilaro, Sagamu, Iseyin, and Kétou (Benin).
Abeokuta is the capital of Ogun state and its largest city. Many notable individuals come from or have lived in Abeokuta such as Fela Kuti, a very famous Nigerian musician, and Obsanjo, who was president of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007. Abeokuta literally means, “the underneath the rock,” but a better translation is “refuge among rocks.” This is a very fitting name given that the city’s main tourist attraction is Olumo Rock. Olumo means “God molded this.” The rock sits 137 meters above sea level and has served as a fortress, providing refuge and a vantage point, for the Agba people who first inhabited the area.
Olumo rock is a popular tourist destination located in the city of Abeokuta [meaning “under the rock”] in Ogun State (only an hours drive from the bustling city of Lagos). The city of 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 acted as sanctuary to the people as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance. The site was renovated in 2006 to include an elevator, a water fountain and a museum.
The first thing that caught my eye was the landscape. The roads sloped endlessly and gave off this rustic vibe that appealed to my creative eyes. I loved it instantly.
The Central Mosque Abeokuta which was founded in 1830:
My first stop was this impressive work of Architecture – the Ikija central Mosque that I encountered on my way to the Olumo rock. It was a sight for sore eyes and I couldn’t ignore it.
The Alake’s Palace.
My next stop was the Alake’s palace, which is home to the traditional ruler of the Egba land. I personally expected someone to stop us or ask us what business we had there but nothing of the sort happened.
I was free to roam the large compound but also confused as I wasn’t sure where to go but eventually met an elderly man that showed me around. He mentioned that the palace houses the first bible in Nigeria brought by the missionaries.
I was restricted to the grounds alone and not allowed to go into the palace/chambers so it was a pretty quick stop.
The Centenary Hall which was founded in (1930)
The centenary hall was just opposite the Alake’s palace, so I made a quick dash over there to check it out as well. It is another building with an impressive architecture and history. Built over 80 years ago to commemorate the end of the inter tribal wars in the Egba land, it currently houses the portrait of past heroes of the Egba land.
The Olumo Rock.
The tour guide explained that the Olumo rock was used as a hide-out by the Egba people during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. I was shown spaces in between the rocks where they hid and also spots in the ground that were used to prepare their meal.
The site was renovated in 2006 to include an elevator, a water fountain, museum, and restaurants.
I actually had a good time in Abeokuta and it was a pretty stress-free journey.
I’m Dennis Chukwuebuka Okeke AKA Onye-njem one of AFRICA your number one celebrity Tourist.