This past weekend, I got a chance to experience the Erin Ijesha (Olumirin) waterfall. The journey was long & exhausting and the climb was even more draining. But standing there watching the water cascade down, everything was instantly totally worth it.
The Journey to Erin Ijesha (Olumirin) Waterfall
So my plan was simple, leave Lagos as early as 5:30am and get to Erin Ijesha by around 11:00am. I had hoped to be on my way out of there by 3:00pm so that I can get back to Lagos before 9:00pm. That was my plan.
I had resolved to do the trip in one day(Saturday) because I had other engagements planned for the next day(Sunday) and I was determined not to postpone my visit to Erin Ijesha (Olumirin) Waterfall. You see, I had been planning this trip since last year but always somehow ended up not going. So I was determined that this day will be the day I finally did it.
The day came, I woke up early as a bird, prepared and headed to Ojota bus park. I had planned to meet up with Jennifer and Emeka at the park from whence we would commence our trip.
Jennifer never even showed up and Emeka didn’t show up till 8:05am. At this point I was seething, my plans were starting to dissolve before my eyes but I was still optimistic. Luckily the bus was just 3 people short by the time he showed up, so in no time we hit the road.
By 8:20am we left the park. I did a little mental recalibration for the delay and assured myself that I could still make it home before 9:00pm
We had only driven a little while when we came upon traffic along the Lagos/Ibadan expressway. Now anyone who knows Lagos knows that at any given time you will most likely come upon traffic on that route. I wasn’t moved initially, till I pulled out my phone and opened Google Maps. Fam, I died! According to google maps, the traffic was going to cost us a little over 2 hours, 2hrs 15mins to be precise. I didn’t want to believe it. But as the driver tried to navigate his way around the situation, it became clear that google was telling the truth.
I panicked, I threw a fit, I cursed Emeka for showing up late(in my head) I cried, I prayed, I checked my maps like a zillion times, it was not changing much. After what felt like an eternity(but which was really 2hrs 45mins) we made it out of the dead(traffic) zone. Whew, I was home free. Looking to my map once again, I did another quick re-calibration and assured myself that I was safe. Relaxing a bit, I dozed off, hoping to wake up close to Ilesa.
The traffic gods really went all out on this day. Shortly after we entered Ibadan, we were greeted by yet another dose of traffic. According to google, this one was set to cost us an hour. At this point, I had no tears left to cry. No panic left to panic. I fully accepted my fate in typical I cant come and go and kill myself fashion.
Que sera, sera.
Chineke mezuo okwu.
We finally made it to Ilesa around 4:00pm (yes you read that right) and decided to board a bike to Erin Ijesha waterfall straight from the bus park at Illesa. The bike ride was another 30 mins atleast and at this point I was ready to give up. If I could, I would have vanished only to reappear on top my bed. I was ready to give up. But I couldn’t. We made it to Erin Ijesha (Olumirin) Waterfall with less than 2hrs to closing time to spare.
There is a seven level step that you’ll have to navigate to get to the top. The first two levels are quite easy but it gets steeper after that and so it becomes a lot more difficult to climb.
Then there is the sloppy descent to the base of the waterfall; apparently its called a plunge pool. Climbing down to the plunge pool was the scariest part for me. Here there are no stairs only rocks and tree roots. It is also quite sloppy, one wrong move and you could go tumbling down.
I finally made it to the bottom and went straight for the water. Sitting there, I let the water wash away all the stress and wahala that I had to endure to make it to this point.
Sadly I couldn’t get to see the village that dwells on the seventh level on top of the hill. Our guide informed us that it would take atleast 45 mins of walking through the bushes to get there. We didn’t have the time to spare.
Here is what you need to know
- Wear comfortable shoes: You are gonna be climbing up and down a very steep hillside. The stairs help to make the climb easier but there is still a lot of stress involved. You’ll want to be as comfortable as possible.
- Bring a change of clothes: This goes without saying. You’re gonna need to change out of your wet clothes when you get out of the water. If you don’t wanna get your hair wet, you will be needing a shower cap as well! Maybe even an extra footwear.
- Entry fee: To gain access to the premises, you are expected to pay an entry fee of N500/person. If you have a camera, it’ll cost you an extra N500. If you need a guide(which you really don’t) you’ll have to bargain with the people in charge. Tip: bargain properly!!
- Refreshments: Apart from the vendors at the gate, there is nowhere else to get food or drinks inside the premises. You might want to stock up on light snacks and drinks before you begin the climb.
- Bottles not allowed: You are not allowed to take bottles or things that can break in with you. It is a safety protocol to avoid injuries at the plunge pool.
I hope this post helps to make your trip a lot more comfortable and fun. If you have any questions or comments about Erin Ijesha (Olumirun) waterfall please reach out to me and I will help you any way I can.
If you have visited Erin Ijesha (Olumirun) waterfall before or have any other thoughts, please leave it in the comments section.
P/S: I still left for Lagos that day and didn’t get home till 2:05am…