I need to start by mentioning that I’ve been waiting my whole life to visit Abeokuta. You should be curious now, right? It’s just Abeokuta, what would make me want a visit so much?
Well, the dream of visiting a city with a lot of rocks was sold to me and stolen by my cousin when I was much younger. I was told stories and promised a holiday in Abeokuta. It never happened!
I never stopped longing for a visit.
Fast forward over 10 years later, I finally found a reason to visit. I was lucky to have a friend who lives there and it saved me cost (I need to have friends in every city please!). If you’re a big lover of books and all forms of art, then you probably would’ve registered to attend the Ake arts and book festival too like I did when I found out it was scheduled for the same days I was going to be in the city.
Things I did/ Places I went
Aké Arts and Book Festival
Sadly, I could only attend the night activities because I was busy spending my days exploring the city as I had limited time.
Night activities included:
- A musical concert with the beautiful Falana, Adunni Nefertiti and the star of the night, Brymo.
- A premiere of the movie; Hissene Habre, a Chadian Dictator.
- A play; the Iyalode of Eti. A remake of the British play, The Duchess of Malfi.
- Palm wine and poetry night.
- And finally, the closing party.
I was constantly torn between exploring or attending an Aké activity but oh well, maybe next time.
MKO Abiola stadium
Not much there but it was recommended by a few people who are familiar with the city. The place comes alive at night as there are a lot of bars with food and drinks but I went there during the day cause I had my night engagements. Stopped by a bar and had a drink with my new friend, Ene.
Olumo Rock Tourist Complex
This! The top of my itinerary. This! The most important place that dragged me to Abeokuta. This! The one thing that broke my heart and made me feel a little dull afterwards. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy I did this. I mean, I might have cried if I didn’t, but I wasn’t about happy about how I did it. I already had plans of doing this as you know and when I got handed my program for the Aké Festival, I realized time had been set for visitors and guests to tour Olumo Rock.
I was excited, I didn’t have to go alone or end up boring someone who wasn’t interested in climbing the rock. My excitement was drowned when I arrived the complex and saw a huge crowd of over a hundred people.
Advice from my experience? You don’t want to go on tour with a huge crowd of other tourists.
- We were rushed! We did the tour in the evening and we had to finish the climb before it got too dark. I wished I could’ve spent more time.
- It was near impossible to get good pictures & videos, without getting my views blocked by a group of people.
- It was really stuffy up there. There wasn’t so much space so it was choked up.
The view was beautiful. A lot of red roofs, yet so serene and peaceful. Maybe being there when it was dark made it feel more amazing, I don’t know but I was happy I felt that and you can imagine now why I wished I stayed longer.
Green Legacy Resort
Beautiful place with a lot of space! The resort has a lodge, a park for kids which I couldn’t stop by, an artificial lake where you can have boat rides but I didn’t find attractive, a rock with a bar at the top, a poolside, a bamboo bar and the Olusegun Obasanjo presidential library. I also spotted camels from the top of the rock (never ridden one, anybody else?).
I loved it so much there. If I ever return to Abeokuta, I’d definitely be spending more time at this resort.
Other places I visited:
- Sweet Sensation Fast Food – got most of my meals here and the food was always sooo good.
- Park Inn by Radisson – beautiful, cozy, loads of artworks, lovely scenery. I didn’t even feel like I was in Abeokuta anymore. But I went there for dinner and sadly the barbecue chicken wings and cocktail I had were very poorly made. Sigh!
Abeokuta is a rather quiet city and the people, generally more nice than hostile. If you’re used to the chaotic lifestyle of a busy city, then you probably would enjoy this city for a little break. Their first language is Yoruba, so a stranger walking up to you would most likely speak Yoruba and if you don’t understand, you could say so nicely.
Watch this short movie I made with videos from the Green Legacy Resort visit. I’m not a guru, I promise I’d learn & do better next time.
For the most part, I loved being in Abeokuta, it was so hard to leave. People who live there may not say the same, but isn’t that the most enchanting thing about being in a new place for only a short while? Isn’t that the reason we travel? Are you traveling now? I just have to keep doing this!
As always, I’d like to know what you think about this trip in the comment section 🙂