Olumo Rock is one of the most visited place by tourist and visitors in Nigeria. It is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria.
Olumo means built by the Lord with another interpretation as ‘Oluwa Fimo’ meaning God puts an end to the hostility against the Egbas. While Abeokuta is know as Abe Olumo i.e settlements of the rock.
The Egbas people migrates to Abeokuta in 1830 after they escaped from Ibadan in 1829. Olumo rock serves as a place where the Egbas people found refuge during the various inter tribal wars in the Yoruba land.
It serves as a place where the war Lords plan for war against their enemies as well as the point of monitoring the advances of the other camps. As peace begins to rain in Abeokuta after the wars, people begin to settled beyond the rock to every part of Abe Olumo.
Abe Olumo is an hour ride from the city of Lagos (the business hub of Nigeria). Abeokuta housed a number of hotels for tourist who want to have a site view of Olumo rock, hotels like Gateway hotel and Olumo Guest House are among the few relaxation points when on a tourist visit to Olumo rock.
Infrastructure to Olumo rock includes museum, restaurant, water fountain and an elevator that will make the climbing challenge a wonderful view of the surrounding city.
Local artisan and traders who make tie and dye (Adire) materials for clothes display the different design of Adire that were made along the road to Olumo rock.
People living near Olumo rock are friendly and lovely people who take tourist or visitors the informal lesson on tie and dye process. Items like local beads, bracelets, sculpture s and music instruments like sekere and talking drum are other side attraction that will get your attention when you are on a visit to Oluma rock.
Olumo rock usually commences with a climb up the stairs carved into the rock. While this sounds easy enough, it leaves many breathless and ready to take a break to rest on the benches under the trees growing from the rock and enjoy some clean breeze. The journey continues with climbs on irregularly sized rocks or using ladders through a narrow corridor that leads to the top of the rock. All along the way, catch sights of carvings in the rock, cowrie-studded statues and the ancient abode of the priestesses who live in huts on the rock.
Yes, it is not uncommon to catch a sight of the very aged women who live there and mutter greetings or blessings as people make their way through.
It is often helpful to enlist the services of a guide who have vast knowledge of the history of the rock and the culture of the people. This makes for an interesting climb as every twist and turn will show a significant story making the trip a truly memorable one.
On the way back down the rock, the sight of the Ogun river running like a silver chain amidst a forest of aged red corrugated roofs bordered by thick green forests which melt into the horizon is breathtaking.