My most recent road trip was to a place called Oke-Ado in Oyo State. I went there with Unravelling Nigeria, a group that organizes tours within Nigeria. I wrote about them here, where I talked about travel enthusiasts changing the face of tourism in Nigeria.
This was my second trip with them, the first was to Idanre Hills in Ondo State. That was such an amazing tour which basically solidified my love for the group. I made a video excerpt about it which you can find here, and it happens to be the most watched video I’ve made till date.
This time, we went on yet another rock climbing adventure to Oke-Ado. We left Lagos at about 12 pm and arrived at our hotel in the capital city, Ibadan, at exactly 3 pm. After getting settled and having a delicious lunch, we headed to Agodi Park and Gardens to spend the evening.
The family-friendly park is one of Ibadan’s top spot for recreation. It features a playground, a small lake, swimming area and a mini zoo. We had a lot fun spending time here. It is a place I certainly recommend, although there are several areas it can improve on.
After our time at Agodi Park & Gardens, we went back to our hotel to have dinner and get some rest before our climb the next day. We got up early the following day and spent about an hour getting from the city center to the Ado-Awaye, where the mountain we were to climb is located.
The town of Ado-Awaye is surrounded by several mountains, so why this particular one? Well, this is apparently home to one of two ‘suspended’ lakes in the world. I still can’t confirm this though but according to the good people of the internet, it is. The first is the Hanging Lake in the US and the second is our very own Ìyàké Lake on Oke-Ado.
But even with this status, there is next to nothing regarding the development of this place. Apart from a rotten old signpost on top of a dumpster close to the foot of the mountain, there is no indication of this place being a tourist attraction.
As for climbing the mountain itself, we hiked a mix of steps and steep rocks to get to the top. For me, this climb was far easier than Idanre Hills or Erin Ijesha but tougher than Olumo Rock.
We got to the top after about 45 minutes and were presented with the first attraction of the mountain – the Ìshàgi Rock. I didn’t even know this was an attraction as there was no indication that it was and our guide told us nothing about it. I later got to know about it by reading other articles I found online.
The Ishagi rock is a large, upright & unsupported boulder on top of the mountain which has a spiritual significance for some of the people who live around the area. When we visited, it was covered with a white cloth and that’s pretty much all I noticed about it.
Other attractions on top of the mountain included the ‘Footprints of the Ancients’, the Elephant Tree and mysterious Ìyàké Lake, which you see in the picture above. The villagers told us anyone who attempts to swim in it would drown and their bodies would never be recovered.
They also told us a story about an American crew who came to investigate their claims of another world existing beneath the lake. With a chain tied around his waist, one of crew members went in. The chain broke and his body was never found. Well….
The tour in general was fantastic. I had a great time and have now ticked off the last attraction I have to visit in the south west. Here are some more pictures from the tour;
And here’s a one minute video summary of how the trip went…