Visiting Olumo Rock has always been on my to-do list. In fact, last year I was all set to go but the pandemic happened and we were locked up for months. So I decided to kick off this year’s itinerary by ticking it off the list.
Olumo Rock is located in the ancient city of Abeokuta, Ogun State. It’s about an hour’s drive from Lagos but makes no mistake, there will be traffic and traffic can turn the journey into two, three, or more hours. So get ready.
Olumo rock was a natural fortress for the Egbas during inter-tribal warfare in the 19th century. Today, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria. It has a height of 137 metres above sea level and three floors.
How to get to Olumo Rock
If you’re coming from outside Lagos, the best option is to fly into Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), which is the closest airport to Abeokuta, Ogun State. Once you get to the airport, you can get a cab that will take you to the nearest park where you can board a bus going to Abeokuta.
Also, if you are not visiting on a budget, that’s you have money and you don’t mind spending a little extra, or you are visiting in a group, then you can hire a cab from the airport that will take you straight to Abeokuta. I’m not sure how much this will cost but you can always negotiate with the driver.Olumo rock on your mind? Here's a Complete Guide to Visiting Olumo Rock in 2021 Click To Tweet
But if you are going through public transport, it will cost you between N800 (eight hundred Naira) and N1200 (one thousand two hundred Naira) to get to Abeokuta, depending on whether the cab driver took you to a park in Oshodi or Iyana-Ipaja.
Once you get to Abeokuta, you can take a cab or a bike to Olumo Rock. It’s one of the most popular places in the city and everyone and their uncle knows it.
TIP: Make sure you negotiate very well with the cab driver or bike man especially if you are traveling on a budget. And don’t enter the first one you talk to. This is because they tend to hike the price once they sense that you’re a visitor. Some even tell you the place is very far, when it’s not, just so they can rip you off. If you negotiate with at least two people you should be able to get an idea of what the price is. Except, of course, you have money and you don’t mind spending extra *wink*
How much will a visit cost?
Olumo rock charges a gate fee of N1,000 (one thousand Naira) for adults and N500 (five hundred Naira) for kids. And an additional N1000 (one thousand Naira) if you want to use the elevator. There’re three elevators that take you to each of the three floors but only two were working when I visited on Tuesday, February 2, 2021.
Personal Opinion: The stairs are the real deal. That’s where the fun is. Except your legs hurt or you are too weak to climb, I’d advise you to ditch the elevator. Climb that rock like the soldier that you are and catch all the fun while at it.All you need to know about Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Click To Tweet
Also, if you are going up with a tour guard — highly recommended especially for first-timers — you’re expected to tip them as you deem fit at the end of the tour. Tour guards at Olumo Rock are not allowed to charge a standard fee. So they live and survive on tips.
TIP: Tour guards are fond of using every opportunity they got to cajole you into tipping them much more than you would ordinarily want to. Fall for their attics at your own risks.
What to wear to Olumo Rock?
The best outfit to wear to Olumo rock will be a pair of trousers/leggings, a t-shirt/top, and sneakers/trainers for the climb. You can also throw on a face cap or a hat.
TIPS: Ensure to take a bottle of cold water up the climb, you will need it. Also, take your camera/phone with you to capture the views at the top of the rock which is pretty amazing and showcases Abeokuta in all her glory.
If you came with your bag ensure you leave it at the security house before going up. You don’t want to start climbing the rock with a heavy bag.
Where to stay when visiting Olumo Rock?
You can go to Abeokuta from Lagos and return in one day. You just have to leave home super early and you can tour Olumo Rock and a bunch of other places in the city and still get back to Lagos in time. But if you plan to spend a night in the city, there are a couple of hotels around Olumo Rock that’s quite affordable. I heard they cost between N3000 (three thousand Naira) and N7000 (seven thousand Naira) a night. You can ask your tour guard to recommend one for you as well as to direct you on how you can get there.
When is the best time to visit Olumo Rock?
Generally, you can visit Olumo Rock anytime during the dry season which is from November to March, but I heard the month of March is always a great time to pay a visit, because it would also afford you the opportunity of enjoying the razzmatazz of the Lisabi and Olumo Festivals, which both climax at the Olumo Rock. Also, it’s best to visit during the weekend, Fridays to Sundays. That’s when people visit the most, so you’ll get to meet people and you know what they say about the fun being in the numbers. Plus you might make a friend or two, who knows hehe.
P:S: If you are a solo traveler, you don’t have to worry about who’s going to take your pictures. The tour guards are very useful in that regard. They’re more than happy to be your photographer as well as your guards.
Things to do at Olumo rock other than climbing?
Besides climbing the rock, there are other things that you can do at Olumo Rock. One of them is enjoying a mouthwatering dish and drink at the restaurant. Their food is super cheap compared to most fast-food restaurants and it’s quite tasty. They serve both local and intercontinental dishes.
There’s a water fountain which sadly wasn’t working when I visited. But I heard it makes a fine background for videos and pictures if you know what I mean *side eye*
You can also visit the impressive art gallery inside Olumo Rock. The art gallery has a lot of things to offer from beautifully crafted artworks to Wole Soyinka books, to handmade beads, bags, jewelry, etc. TIP: Save some money to buy a thing or two at the art gallery. I promise you, you’ll be totally hooked once you step a foot inside, especially if you’re a lover of art. Here are a few of the things I got…
Pictures, pictures, and more pictures…
Lastly, in all you do, please avoid using the toilets at Olumo Rock, especially my ladies. Their hygiene is zero, their maintenance is zero. And if you must use it please don’t sit on it, you don’t want to get infected.
What else you can do in Abeokuta?
On your trip to Abeokuta, Olumo Rock isn’t the only place you can visit. Ever heard of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL)? Yea, you should absolutely visit it on your trip to Abeokuta. It’s free to enter and it has a museum, a cinema, a bar, a zoo, among others. My GUILD to visiting Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library has all the details you need to make your trip as stressful and enjoyable as possible. Be sure to read it!
A few things you should know about visiting OOPL
It cost N3000 (three thousand Naira) per person to see the museum. And N5000 (five thousand Naira) per person to tour the whole OOPL excluding the zoo. You can also pay extra to get a boat ride. I’m not sure how much that cost. It cost N1000 (one thousand Naira) flat to see a movie at the cinema. And it’s best to visit during the weekends.
Other places you can visit in Abeokuta include:
- The National Museum Abeokuta
- The markets
- Take a tour of the Centenary Hall
- Take pictures of the Oyan River Dam
- Explore the Omo Forest Reserve
Have you been to Olumo Rock? If you have, leave a travel tip below. If you haven’t, leave a comment to let me know if my guide was useful. I hope it was.