I usually never never travel alone, I’m always in company of a friend(s). Every adventure I’ve gone on, from trying new foods to cave crawling, I had someone by my side
Why? Well its usually more fun to explore with people. Also, I just wasn’t brave enough to go on my own. It started off that way, and so I guess I never really considered going alone.
Going with people hasn’t been without it’s merits but it has also restricted my movement because at the very least, I have to synchronize schedules.
Lately I’ve had to cancel more and more plans because I couldn’t get perfect timing. It was starting to get frustrating. The final straw came last week. My best friend and I had planned to visit Ado Awaye together but he had to cancel last minute. So I just decided that I was going to do it alone. Naturally, my mind instantly started to reel out every possible thing that could go wrong; kidnapped, lost, robbed, raped, you name it.
The day came and I –alone– headed for the park and boy was I glad I did…
Exploring Ado Awaye
Ado Awaye is a small town in the southwest part of Oyo State. The ancient town was said to have been formed around 1500AD. It is believed that the then Alaafin of Oyo’s crown prince, Koyi, who was supposed to become the Alaafin was usurped by his younger brother, Onigbogi. In anger, he left Oyo with one of his father’s crowns deciding to go and settle in Otta, his mother’s town. As he journeyed, he got to the foot of the Ado Hill, where he saw a rising smoke. He climbed the mountain and there he met some escapees from the Dahomey war. They discussed and agreed to make him King of Ado.
Even though the people of Ado Awaye no longer dwell on on top the hill, it is still revered and has now grown to become one of the more popular tourist attractions in Nigeria. At the top of Oke Ado Awaye sits Iyake lake, the only suspended lake in Africa and the only other one in the world.
The stairway leading up Oke Ado Awaye
The sides of the oke ado awaye very steep and makes the initial part of the hike quite tedious. It took us just over 45mins to get to the top of Oke Ado Awaye .
The first thing you see in your way up is the Oke Ishage.
The boulder is balanced perfectly on a narrow edge. Oke Ishage is also known as the bringer of rain. It is believed that the chief priest puts this white cloth on the waist of the rock to call down rain.
The terrain becomes easier to maneuver after the first part of the climb.
The lake is said to be bottomless passage into another world. No one has ever dived into the lake and lived to tell the tale. The people of Ado Awaye believe that the lake is the god and source of fertility for Oke Ado Awaye
There is a narrow hole located a short distance from the lake it is called Agbómofúnyàké which literally translates to “collects child and gives to Iyake” it is believed that whoever puts their feet into the hole will be pulled down into the lake. My guide told me a tale he had heard as a kid of a oyinbo man that came to see the lake. The story goes that he stuck his feet into Agbómofúnyàké despite warning and was pulled down. The men who were there when it happened tried to save him by attempting to pull him out with a chain but they weren’t successful as both the man and the chain disappeared into the lake, never to be seen again.
Another popular attraction on the Oke Ado Awaye mountain is the elephant tree.
This is the roots of a fallen tree that manged to somehow mangle itself up in the shape of an elephant’s head and trunk. So nature imitating….nature?
There’s also the Esè àwon Àgbà which translates to “footprint of the elders” No one knows exactly what they are and how they were formed but the people believe that many years ago, the gods dwelt on top of the rock and watched over the people of Ado Awaye. Many believe that these are the footprints they left behind
What you you need to know
- You are required to pay an entrance of fee of N500 before you can begin the climb. You’ll also have to negotiate a fee with the guide that’ll take you up usually between N800- N1500 depending on how many you are and how well you can bargain.
- Prepare your self: the hike is a tedious one I’m not gonna lie. I believe that because the hill is a steep one, the climb is all the more tasking even though it isn’t entirely much in distance.
- Comfortable shoes: I didn’t wear my most comfortable climbing shoes because I was trying look a bit stylish . LoL! Please don’t be like me. Make sure you get absolutely comfortable in every way, you are going to need it .
- Face towel: Notice I said face towel and not a handkerchief? Yeah, a handkerchief is not going to do justice. You are gonna be sweating a lot, a face towel will be much better.
- Fluids: Naturally you’re gonna need to replace all the fluids your gonna lose from sweating. Be sure to carry plenty water and a soda. Personally I feel you should have a bottle of soda too cause this is the time your body needs all that sugar!
This isn’t a necessity but consider packing for a picnic. Especially if you are traveling in good company and have the time you’ll wanna take a minute to have a little picnic up there. So pack some snacks, a couple board/card games and a music player and you’ll have a blast.
Here’s the breakdown of the total expenses on the trips. Please note that these prices can be affected by different factors and as such are subject to change.
I thoroughly enjoyed my short trip to Ado-Awaiye and I genuinely wish I had more time. Oke Ado Awaiye is a magical place and I look forward to going back there some day.