See Photos of Naijatreks’ recent trip to Ibadan- ‘The City of Brown Roofs’

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Standing atop Mapo Hall, Ibadan!! Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

The day started on a low note. The parking lot in Victoria island, Lagos, where we had hoped to leave our cars while we take off to Ibadan in the tour bus wouldn’t open till 9AM that morning. We had to find a way to have all vehicles parked and secured. Second, some of our tour participants were running late. Thirty minutes behind schedule and we were finally able to sort everything out and start out on our way. With the ongoing special Holy Ghost Service at the Redeemed Camp on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, we had to take the longer, but less busy Lagos-Epe-Ibadan route.

I was excited to be on this trip and with new faces. We only had 2 returnees from previous trips onboard. I quickly set the ball rolling with general Introductions and briefing on the trip. The Ice was broken and a cloud of warmth enveloped the tour group as everyone started chatting and making fun. In just a little while, the whole bus was set aflame with lively discussions ranging from food preferences to Nigerian politics and continued till we arrived at Ibadan.

Welcome to Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

At Mapo Hall

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

Our first point of call was the ancient Mapo Hall. Built in 1929 and commissioned in 1932, this structure has been maintained by the people of Ibadan for 86 years. Mr. Ademola, one of the workers at the hall, acted as our guide gave a brief history of the building. He explained that the hall was the early seat of Administration during the colonial and post colonial times in Ibadan, noting that the remarkable massive columns bedecking the frontal part of the hall flamboyantly affirm its vernacular architecture.

He showed us an old Nitel public card-slot telephone box hanging passively on a wall, bringing back memories of the pre-GSM era. He showed us the refurbished interior of the hall and it was absolutely beautiful, exuding the subtle splendor of mixed ancient colonial architecture and modern day styles. Photography buffs on the tour group were already awe-struck and had begun clicking away at their cameras. At the roof top of the hall, we were treated to the awe-inspiring panoramic views of the ancient cityscape of Ibadan. It’s characteristic brown roofs spread and sprawled, racing into the distant horizon, kissing the dull blue skies at the skyline. From the rooftop, we could pick out the popular Ibadan Central Mosque, the palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan, the government secretariat and the notable roundabout of the Oja-Oba (King’s Market) where the statue of legendary warrior, Balogun Oderinlo stood. We could also see the old Cocoa house- the oldest and first sky-scrapper building in Ibadan, jutting gracefully out of the tight collage of rust-brown roofs.

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

– Mapo Hall, Ibadan

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

– Interior of Mapo Hall

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

– Old card-slot type public telephone at Mapo Hall

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

– Old money safe at Mapo Hall.

Mapo Hall Ibadan Naijatreks

…and what do we find in the safe? Bottle of beer! Hahaha… loll

Ibadan cityscape. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– Panoramic view of Ibadan from the top of Mapo Hall… brown roofs everywhere!!!!

At the ancient Irefin Palace

Our next stop was the Irefin Palace. The Irefin palace belongs to one of the Royal families of Ibadan. Luckily, we met Chief Irefin at the palace, who gave us a brief history of the clan and the ancient enclave of Ibadan itself. He explained that the Irefin clans were warriors in the days of old who settled in the Ibadan area known then as a resting settlement for travelers. As he spoke, one could hear the sadness in his voice at the way things had turned out for the royal families of Ibadan. He lamented the pervasive loss in touch of the new generation of Nigerians with the original culture and tradition of the land. He talked about how money is now used to usurp the true owners of traditional titles and the state of their homeland. He further reiterated this by bringing out ancient diaries showing old records of events at the Erefin Palace. While one could see that efforts were made to keep the old place as it is, it was very obvious that various parts of the building needs structural reinforcement. We were led out from the presence of the Chief to a few rooms in the palace such as the clan’s ‘spiritual powerhouse’, the entrance to the judgment room where misunderstandings within the clan are resolved or punishment meted out to the iniquitous, and more. It is worthy of note to mention here that a part of this house was used in the popular old Nollywood movie Saworoide. We left the ancient palace wondering why we are so poor in preserving our cultural heritage.

Irefin Palace Ibadan Naijatreks

– Irefin Palace, Ibadan

Irefin Palace Ibadan Naijatreks

– Irefin Palace, Ibadan

Irefin Palace Ibadan Naijatreks

– Chief Irefin narrating the history of Ibadan to us, at Irefin Palace, Ibadan

Chief Irefin, Irefin Palace Ibadan Naijatreks

– Chief Irefin

Irefin Palace, Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– Trekkers trying to read from the ancient diary at the Palace.

Irefin Palace Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

Irefin Palace Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

At Agodi Park and Garden

We began to waft and weave our course through the city in search for Agodi Park. At some point, we stopped to ask for directions the park, and we experienced the popular, age-old joke about Ibadan people’s inability to describe directions. The young man we inquired from asked us to continue along the road on which we met him, and that we would encounter a junction ahead and after which we should still continue onwards till we see the gate and sign post of the park by the road side. We followed his description, got to the junction he told us about but it was a T-junction with the road going either right or left. We finally resorted to Google map on our smart phones and were able to make our way to the beautiful park. Lush lawns and shaded benches beckoned on us. We walked through the park, taking in every bit of its charm. However, we couldn’t stay long enough because we were already running out of time.

Agodi Park Ibadan Naijatreks

Agodi Park Ibadan Naijatreks

– Agodi Park, Ibadan

Agodi Park Ibadan Naijatreks

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

Agodi Park Ibadan Naijatreks

Agodi Park Ibadan Naijatreks

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– The waterpark at Agodi Garden, Ibadan

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– Agodi Lake

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– Tube boats at the edge of the lake

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

Agodi Park Ibadan. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

Amala and Gbegiri-Ewedu delicacy at a local restaurant

We then proceed down to one of the most popular local food restaurants in the whole city of Ibadan, known as “Ola Mummy”, sitting right behind the popular Bodija Market. At this point, the tour group couldn’t wait to have a taste of the delicacy of Amala, Ewedu and Gbegiri – for which the restaurant is well known. Lifestyle/Personal Blogger, Berry Dakara, who was one of our trekkers on the tour, had said she wouldn’t be eating at the restaurant, finally decided gave the delicacy a try albeit a little morsel and (we can’t help but bring out the adventurous you) Smile

At the end of the day, it was a fun filled trip with great company. Not surprisingly, the conversation on the way back still centered on food. I came to the conclusion that this group of trekkers was a bunch ‘foodcentrics’. Cakes and Berry, Ahmed, Victoria, Theophilus, Lisa, Rume, Efe and Lore- it was a great pleasure exploring another side of Ibadan with you all!!!

Ola Mummy Restaurant, Ibadan. Naijatreks

Gbegiri-Ewedu Soup, Ibadan. Naijatreks

– A plate of Gbegiri-Ewedu soup Smile Yummy!!!

Amala. Photo Credit: Berry Dakara

– Plate of Amala Smile 

Amala and Gbegiri-ewedu soup, Ibadan. Naijatreks

– Amala and Gbegiri-Ewedu soup with beef.

Photo Credit: All photos that has no Naijatreks logo on it are works of Berry Dakara.

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This article was written by Adedolapo George

Adedolapo George is a vibrant member of the Naijatreks Team. She is a Zoologist, Social Media Manager, Foodie and Photographer. She is an avid learner and traveler. Seeing the world beyond the stereotype is her ultimate motivation for whatever she does.   '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. 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.


berrydakara@gmail.com' Berry DakaraMarch 24, 2015 at 10:43 pmReply


Can I say “Daaaaaaaang, Dolapo can write sha! Are you a journalist?!”

Cakes and I had a blast with you guys 😀

P.S. I’m neither a Fashion nor Food Blogger – Lifestyle/Personal is my niche 🙂

NaijatreksMarch 25, 2015 at 3:47 amReply

@Berry…haha! Thanks for your comment! We’ve now corrected your description to “Lifestyle/Personal Blogger” o. 😀 It was awesome having you on the trip. You and Cakes were so much fun. Looking forward to more trips with you guys onboard.

anenetochukwu@yahoo.com' TochukwuMarch 25, 2015 at 5:20 pmReply

See what i missed…..’sad’

Ifyan.IA@gmail.com' IfyAnMarch 25, 2015 at 11:40 pmReply

See how vacation just dey hungry me. Sista abeg kip this ur guidi work.

Akanjias@yahoo.com' A kanjiMarch 26, 2015 at 3:39 amReply

Nice stuff you guys are doing here o! Holiday come dey hungry me sef 😀

Abolore.muraina@yahoo.com' LoreMarch 27, 2015 at 9:09 pmReply

Had so much fun, got to see Ibadan in a different light with really cool and amazing people! Mapo hall got me thinking of old English romance movies, Agodi was so cool and relaxing, Irefin Palace and climbing up the “Saworoide ” stairwell gave mixed feelings and the amala+gbegiri+ewedu+goat meat combo was epic! Lol…next adventure plsss

efe.owamagbe@gmail.com' EfeApril 1, 2015 at 4:46 pmReply

Nice narrative, Dolapo! Double thumbs up! Had fun with y’all. Load up the next trip asap pls.

peculiarlyme@yahoo.com' Segun Sege Oko Mama eApril 21, 2015 at 8:21 amReply

Good job guys.
This site can be better packaged o. I mean it’s really unique. But might need to move from a leisurely activity to more serious business o. Small small sha I’m sure it’ll get there.
Eku ise o

iamshuga@gmail.com' shugaMay 14, 2015 at 9:35 pmReply

Good job. Very impressed. Just wondering how to go about securing a spot for my wife and I on your next trek….
Do holla

NaijatreksMay 16, 2015 at 10:07 pmReply

@Shuga…thanks for the compliment. Do let us know if you want us to customize a tour for you and your wife, and we will be very glad to offer you our best service 🙂

Naijatreks | The Hidden Vernacular Architecture of the Ancient Irefin Palace, Ibadan, SW NigeriaNovember 5, 2015 at 8:19 pmReply

[…] and smokes from cooking fire places staining the old walls and roofs with sooth. See photos of our recent visit to the ancient palace here. Some old photos of the Irefin Palace taken in 1985 (scroll down to see) shows that at some point […]

ajileja@yahoo.com' Akinfemiwa AkiintundeJuly 25, 2016 at 5:27 pmReply

This is just beautiful. Keep up the good work.

uiteibadan@yahoo.com' AyoSeptember 7, 2016 at 6:27 pmReply

Amala and ewedu, when will I see my native land o!