WOLRD TOURISM DAY 2018: How Olumo Rock has been a popular tourist attraction in Nigeria
Olumo Rock, unarguably, the most popular tourist attraction in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State, is a rock at a height of 137 metres sea level that provided sanctuary to the people, as well as a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance leading to eventual triumph in war.
Egba people, one of the major tribes in Abeokuta, used it as a fortress in the early 19th century which later grew the town of Abeokuta as these new settlers spread out from this location.
In 2006, during the tenure of Otunba Gbenga Daniel as the Governor of the State, Olumo Rock was renovated with new infrastructures that include a new museum, restaurants, water fountain and the Itoku market. The market is the center of the indigenous Abeokuta industry of tie-and-dye, locally known as adire.
The Rock indisputably is a tourist’s delight and a destination that must be included in travelers’ itinerary. It has attracted both locals and nationals all around the world and it has remained a point of reference to all those who have visited the monument and have savoured its experience. Olumo Rock is an irregular formation of igneous rock with a massive outcrop of granite rock composition.
A trip to Olumo rock usually commences with a climb up the man-made stairs carved into the rock. The journey continues with climbs on irregularly sized rocks (or ladders which are now provided) through a narrow corridor that leads to the top of the rock.
Flourishing inside the Rock at its pinnacle is an Iroko tree which has left tourists in awe about the secret behind the growth of a tree that does not wither and its root untraceable in a rock.
Aside from tourists’ visit, the rock serves as the venue for the annual Olumo festival which holds around March which brings together sons and daughters of the town – Ake, Owu, Gbagura and Oke Ona Egba, to join in the celebrations.