The City of Rocks; Abeokuta

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

Processed with Snapseed.

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.

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Had a drink at this bar

Olumo Rock Tourist Complex

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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.

Whooooop!!!

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. 

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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.

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View of the stairway & Elevator alternative to climbing
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Our guide and ‘The Mamas’- aged women who live within the rock.

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Half way through the climb.
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The scariest part. Climbing up through the middle.

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At the top!

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

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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?).

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The not-so-attractive lake. What do you think?

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The bar at the top of the Rock

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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!

The City/People:

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Source: Google

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 🙂 

12 Comments

  1. Nothing like i imagined this city would be , it looks nice , I just recently started travelling myself , and to be honest these are the kind of adventures i want lowkey, thank you for sharing so much insight. You should take me with you on your next trip.

    Like

  2. wow! I got to change my view of this city totally. I always thought Abeokuta was a really busy and over crowded city with too many yoruba speaking people. it’s nice seeing the city through your eyes…kip it up! when I make my bucket list, maybe Abeokuta will make it in there…

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    1. Lol there are actually a lot of Yoruba speaking people but a lot speak English as well, so communication isn’t difficult. You should visit if you plan on touring in Nigeria, especially because of Olumo Rock. Glad you liked the post, thanks! ☺️

      Like

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