Naijatreks’ Amazing 3-Day Adventure Trip to Ondo and Osun States!

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks1

Early on the morning of Saturday, 2nd August, 2014, our travel group set off on a quest to conquer the soaring and daunting heights of the massive Effon Ridge in Osun State, on which cascades the seven stages of Olumirin Waterfalls (also known as Erin-Ijesa Falls). One of the attractions on the trip was to climb to the top of the ridge and hike to the small Abake Village reposed in the verdant rainforest at the mountain top, where the group is meant to have a lunch of locally-made cuisine. Other destinations on the tour were Igbara-Oke Petroglyphs and the legendary Iho-Eleeru Cave and its mythical Ifa Inscriptions.

Taking the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilesha route also gave the tour group an opportunity to sample various street food associated with specific places along the route. Among these were Dodo-Ikire, which are balls of fried ripened-plantain, spiced and tightly wrapped in transparent polythene- peculiar to Ikire town; Akara-Osu, which are deep-fried bean balls peculiar to the town of Osu, near Ile-Ife.

The climb up the ridge was nerve cracking, testing each of the participant’s physical fitness. One can never be fully prepared for the arduous ascent up the steep, densely forested slopes of the ridge. However, the summit was immensely breath-taking as the entire mountain-top was engulfed in a dense cloud cover. We literally climbed into the clouds. Although visibility was low, yet the feeling of standing high up in the clouds was inexplicably enchanting. The hike to the village at the mountain top was unexpectedly long and daunting, winding through rocky expanse of sparsely vegetated land, to densely forested areas, dissected by small springs, streams and the Olumirin River itself. One of the eye-catching sights in the forest was the abundant Uma leaf and cocoa trees.

The visit to the ancient diagrammatic rock engravings in Igbara-Oke, known as petroglyphs, fascinated the tour group as we were treated to amusing myths about the history and interpretation of the mysterious engravings. The tour was concluded by a 45 minutes motorcycle ride from Isarun village to the distant location of Iho-Eleeru (also know as Cave of Ashes) in the forest, after which the tour group returned to Lagos.

See below some photos from the trip:

 DAY 1:

The Journey…

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks1a

Dodo Ikire Oyo Naijatreks1 – Hawkers of Dodo Ikire at Ikire Town

Dodo Ikire Oyo Naijatreks2

– Dodo Ikire at Ikire Town (Orange-coloured food is called Adun)

 Akara Osu Osun Naijatreks1

 – Akara-Osu at Osu Town.

 Akara Osu Osun Naijatreks2

– Akara-Osu.

 Akara Osu Osun Naijatreks3– Akara-Osu.

Welcome to Erin-Ijesha…

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2a

– Erin-Ijesha Town, home of Olumirin Waterfalls, Osun State

 Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2b – Cloud-shrouded peaks of Effon Ridge… on which the waterfall cascades.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2c

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2d

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2f – The climb up Effon Ridge to explore the waterfalls begins here…

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks3f – The first cascade of Olumirin Waterfalls

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2k – Climbing to others cascades of the Waterfalls, located higher up the ridge.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2l

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks1

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2m


– The second cascade of Olumirin Waterfalls

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2n

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2p – Ascending the steep slopes of the ridge… on a quest to visit Abake village located high up on the ridge.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2q

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2o

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2s – The ridge-top was engulfed in a thick cloud cover.


Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2t … We literally climbed into the clouds!


Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2r

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– In the clouds… Amazing!!…but freezing cold.


Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2z – Hiking to Abake Village.

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Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2u – As we hiked along the foot path, the vegetation changed from a rocky grass-covered land into thick rain forests.



– Uma Leaf… one of the most abundant plants at the ridge top.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2x – We had to make a landmark along the forest path so that we don’t get lost on our way back.


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– After a long time of arduous trek in the forest, we finally arrived at Abake village!!

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks3a – Having our lunch of locally-made Moimoi (bean cake) at Abake village.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks3b

– Moimoi of life! loll…. the Uma leaf wrap gives it a special irresistible flavour.

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks2v – This is the Olumirin River itself which descends the ridge to form the waterfalls. It is known as the “Seventh stage of waterfalls”.

 Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks3e

– Uma leaf sellers, loading bundles of harvested Uma leaves unto a truck to transport down to nearby markets and towns.

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– The monkey of one of the Uma leaf farmers. It’s name is “Obama”. loll

Olumirin waterfalls Erin-Ijesa Osun Naijatreks3g – Checking in at our hotel after a hectic day of climbing, hiking and descending the gigantic Effon Ridge.

DAY 2:

ondo-oyo trip5 – Breakfast yo!!

ondo-oyo trip1 – Ready to set out for the day’s adventure!

Welcome to Igbara-Oke Petroglyphs.

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3k – Welcome to Igbara Oke Petroglyphs, Igbara-Oke Town, Ondo State.

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3j  – Trying to interpret the ancient inscriptions…

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3l  – The mythical Igbara Oke Petroglyphs.

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3i  – An old man in the town who is the custodian of the inscriptions and its history, narrating the fascinating story of the origin of the inscriptions.

 Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3n

 Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3p  – Yoruba legends can be very amusing.. hahaha!!

 Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3q

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3o

Igbara Oke Petroglyphs Ondo Naijatreks 3m  – Igbara Oke Petroglyphs… CHECKED!!!

Welcome to Isarun, the sleepy cave-city!

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3s  – At the palace of the Oba of Isarun Land, Ondo State… the home of the ancient Iho Eleeru Cave (also known as Cave of Ashes).

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4g  – Cocoa farming is one of the major occupations of the people of Isarun… they gave us a ripe cocoa pod to taste its delicious milk 😀


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3x  – Drying cocoa beans.


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4f

 – Fresh palmy (palm wine) from Isarun village!

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3r

 – Getting set to ride off into the forests to the distant location of the cave.

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3t

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3u

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3w


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3v


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3y  – Riding through rough and muddy bush tracks.


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4c

– Walking through a forest of cocoa plantation to Iho-Eleeru Cave.

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 3z  – A tour guide descending into the gloomy Iho-Eleeru Cave.

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4d – Tour guides leading the way into the belly of Iho-Eleeru Cave.


Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4a

– Coming out of the small exit at the far end of the cave.

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4e – “Everybody say cheese!! ….Everybody say Cocoa!!!”

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4b – Posing with our tour guides and motorcycle riders.

Iho Eleeru Cave of Ashes Ondo Naijatreks 4h – Posing with the Oba of Isarun Land.

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at info@naijatreks.com or naijatreks@gmail.com.


farida.yesufu@gmail.com' FaridaAugust 11, 2014 at 7:28 amReply

Wow, I want to be part of this!

enitoye@gmail.com' EniolaAugust 11, 2014 at 7:38 amReply

Missed so much(exam tinz), you guys had mad fun

thanks for the pictures…..

anenetochukwu@yahoo.com' TochukwuAugust 11, 2014 at 11:34 amReply

i didnt get an invitation for this tour. come on guys!!! it’s not fair

kayman5922@gmail.com' KolawoleAugust 11, 2014 at 4:17 pmReply

Fantastic !!!!!!!! Missed this but won’t miss the next

kehindeajetunmobi@gmail.com' KennyAugust 12, 2014 at 3:34 pmReply

Describing this trip as amazing will be an understatement.
It was physically tasking but extremely rewarding.
Learned a lot, made cool new friends and had an amazing adventure.
Took more than a few days to recover from the gruelling hike to the magical
apex (level 7) of the Olumirin falls, but if I had to do it again, I would!
Thank you team Ntreaks for putting this together.

kunlexy@gmail.com' Kunle Omo NaijaAugust 12, 2014 at 5:40 pmReply

Wow! Awesome photos…You guys have a way of making one miss your treks. I love what you’re doing. Keep it up Naijatreks!

harujj@yahoo.com' HarunaAugust 12, 2014 at 6:57 pmReply

So, you guys tasted each food they hawked along the route of the tour? That’s kinda adventurous, but interesting. thumbs up

lumideyy@yahoo.com' LumideyAugust 12, 2014 at 7:30 pmReply

I’ve never stood in the clouds before. Can see you guys had a great experience. The climb looks scary though