So I took a trip, my 3rd trip to Olumo Rock, a mountain in south-western Nigeria, located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State.
This rock was historically used as a natural fortress during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century and its patron spirit is recognized in the Yoruba religion as an orisha.
“The Olumo Rock is annually celebrated with lots of sacrifices” my tour guide, Rotimi told me.
In a very proud tone, Rotimi says “the rock was a natural fortress for the Egbas during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century but it has become a popular tourist attraction where people come and learn a bit of our history. We have never experienced any casualty on this rock!
The mountain he said, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria, sits in the heart of Abeokuta, a name which means “Under the rock” in the Yoruba language, this mountain has a height of 137 meters above sea level.
The Egbas used the rock as sanctuary and it gave them a vantage point to monitor the enemy’s advance, leading to eventual triumph in war.
For those willing to have a feel of the place, a trip to Olumo rock usually commences with a climb up the man-made stairs carved into the rock but I took the old route of climbing through the rocks instead of the staircase because it gave me a feel of what the inhabitants faced.
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.
All along the way, there are catch sights of carvings in the rock, cowrie-studded statues and the ancient abode of the priestesses of the mountain deity who live in huts on the rock. You could also see the holes made from the constant grinding of pepper and other ingredients for food. My tour guide told me about the room that still stands today, where the people slept during the war.
I will let these pictures tell you more stories.
Please share this and encourage someone to visit Olumo today!