Climb the legendary Olumo Rock famed as the founding site of Abeokuta.
A massive outcrop of granite rock that towers above the city, the rock served as a natural fortress for the Egba people during the 19th century. It offered a great vantage point during the tribal wars and helped the locals win the wars. It is believed that the city of Abeokuta started from here and spread slowly. The name of the city also means "under the rock." The rock has a great spiritual significance to the local people; it's a monument of faith and unity and a source of protection. The deity of the rock is still revered.
This 137-meter rock is a not a difficult climb. There are man-made stairs carved into the rock for a part of the climb and after that you must climb areas with rocks as footholds along with some ladders that have been provided to aid you. On the way, you will find footprints of the early dwellers along with remnants of some of their belongings. You will also see shrines of their deities. The rock carvings and sculptures with cowries in them make the climb more interesting. Take a moment to admire these unique elements as you hike up the rock. The tourist-friendly destination also has a heavy-duty glass elevator for visitors who need it. Regardless of the way you get to the top, sweeping views of the area will greet you once you reach it. Guides are readily available to take you to the top and regale you with nuggets of information and history as you climb. Taking a guide along will surely make the climb more intriguing.
In the area
There is a small museum at the site showcasing the history of the rock, along with a restaurant and water fountain where you can relax or grab a drink and snack after the climb. Just outside the complex, you will find a market where local artisans and traders display their wares. It is an ideal place to pick up a souvenir. The artisans live nearby and if you find a friendly local, you may get a tour of the Adire-making process (the ancient art of tie-dye). There are multiple markets in the area selling Adire fabric, the specialty of the region. A visit to Abeokuta would be incomplete if you don't stop by one of the markets and witness the abundance of vibrant color.