Ado Awaye suspended lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nigeria. It is one of the two suspended lakes in the world. If you are wondering whats the big deal about Ado Awaye? Well, there are only two suspended lakes in the world and one of them is located in Nigeria, Oyo State to be precise. It is the only suspended lake in Africa.
During my visit, I was thrilled with the seven major attractions which made it significant. These seven attractions are known as the seven wonders of Ado Awaye
The Story behind the City of Ado Awaye
Ado Awaye got its name from the two major communities in which ut was located namely Ado and Awaye. These two cities are neighbouring cities in Oyo. According to history, the town was one of the greatest Kingdom in Oyo and the King of Ado Awaye was tagged second in Command after the Alaafin of Oyo. Legend has it that the then King of the city encountered some spiritual attacks which were traced back to his kinsmen. This attack led to his death. However, before he died, he placed a curse that anyone who sat on the throne in the period that should have reigned would suffer a terrible death. For thirty-five years, the throne was vacant. No one was bold enough to assume the throne and the few ones that did die. After thirty-five years a new finally King assume the throne.
Why the Fuss, What is a Suspended lake?
A suspended lake is a lake that found on top of a mountain. It is so rare that there ate only two of these attractions around the world. The first one is at Colorado known as the Hanging Lake while the second is the Iyake Lake in Oyo State, Nigeria.
Tips When Visiting Ado Awaye
- Ensure you leave your destination early, this is to ensure you can get there early. It is a three-hour drive from Ibadan and about four hours thirty minutes drive from Lagos.
- If you ate going from Lagos, kindly go through Abeokuta it is a faster route.
- If you are driving, ensure you get a full tank.
- Hold enough cash, this is because there are no POS or ATM around. They do not accept transfers.
- The network can sometimes be crappy, do not expect great internet or mobile service around.
- Swimming is not allowed at the suspended lake.
- Carry a backpack where you can keep your belongings, that the only way you can have a smooth hiking experience.
Location of Ado Awaye
The mountain is located in Ado Awaye, a town that less than 20km from Iseyi in Oyo State.
Ado Awaye and the Suspended Lake
Ado Iwaye has been tag one of the many wonders of Nigeria. It is one of the most adventurous journeys you can ever embark. Apart from the seven wonders of Ado Awaye. The landscape is a beauty to behold, it is made up of series of interlocking hills, valleys and rocks and the lake.
The locals believe that Ado Awaye is God’s gift to man, they also believe that it has the healing power to cure different sicknesses and diseases.
Hiking Ado Awaye requires strength, patience and bravery. The artificial steps that lead to the top of the mountain are somehow old and in ruins, thereby making the climb much harder.
Hiking this mountain starts with climbing the man-made three hundred and sixty-nine steps. These steps are one of the major highlights of the hiking experience. It takes about one to two hours from the ground floor to the highest peak of the mountain.
Entry Fee for Ado Awaye
The entry fee to Ado Awaye is 500 Naira per adult, you will need a tour guide to guide you through. Getting a tour guide is recommended. It is almost impossible to navigate the place yourself. The journey involves moving through a rough path, forested region, mountains, hills and valleys. You will pay extra for the tour guide who will tell you the stories and show you the easiest part to trail.
Things to take Along
- Lots of chilled Water or Drinks
- Gripping Shoes/Hiking Shoes
- Sunshades and Face caps
- Face towel
Things to do at the lake
- Its a perfect Campsite: It has become one of the most popular campsites in Oyo state. Before you camp ensure you put in place the necessary security.
- Hiking: Hike through the seven wonders of Ado Awaye.
- Enjoy the views: Enjoy the breathtaking views of the vegetations, rocks and the landscape.
- Organize a picnic: Ado Awaye has become one of the top spots for picnics and hangouts.
- Organize an excursion: It is also a great spot for excursions and other tourism-related activities.
- Take beautiful photos: This is your reward, a souvenir to take home for being part of the few people to have made this journey.
- Order For a Plate of Amala: Visit to Ibadan would not be complete without a plate of Amala.
Also Read: Top Amala Spots in Nigeria
The Seven Mysteries of Ado Awaye
Though Ado Awaye is only known for its suspended lake, there are six other attractions known as the seven mysteries of Ado Awaye. They are must-visit attractions. They include:
1. Oke Ishage (Ishage Rock): This is the first It is a vertical standing rock which has been standing for centuries. The legend behind this rock is when there is famine or lack of rain in the town. The chief priest comes to the Rock with a white cloth to cover the piece of Rock. According to local sources, once this is done, it will rain within the next four days.
2. Odo Iya Alaro (Iya Alaro Lake): This is another lake at Ado Awaye named after a woman specializes in the art of tye and dye. Several years after the death of Iya Alaro. The lake still retains the tye and dye look though it has been abandoned for many years. It has lush green vegetation growing over it which made it not suitable for drinking or bathing.
3. Elephant Tree: This elephant tree at Ado Awaye is a fallen tree with root looking like the head of an elephant. The formation of this tree with eyes, trunk and the head that looks like that of an elephant. It has become a favourite spot for taking pictures.
4. Ese Awon Agba: This is another destination at Ado Awaye, known as the footprints of the elders. It’s a collection of footprints scattered all over the mountain. There is a popular belief among the locals that gods once lived on earth. They believe some of them walked on the mountain and their footprints are scattered all over the mountain. The gods were believed to have been protecting the people and inhabitants of Ado Awaye.
5. Iyake Suspended Lake: Iyake lake seems to be the most popular of all the attractions at Ado Awaye. Its popularity is because of Iyake lake. It is the only suspended lake in Africa. Iyake lake is also known to be the god of fertility. Couples who are seeking offspring, usually come to this water for a drink. According to locals, the depth of the lake is not known and it has been termed a bottomless lake.
6. Agbomofun Iyake: This can loosely be translated as take the child and give to Iyake or carry the child and give to Iyake. The legend behind this place is whenever there is water in the hole, whoever puts their legs in that hole will be drawn to the bottom of the lake.
7. Ese kan Aiye ese kan Orun: This part of the mountain is a narrow section almost like the valley. This is a journey is for the brave, tourist that successfully make this climb usually inscribe their names on the rock as a reward for the climb. This part is scary, you need to be extra careful when making this walk. If you dont’ like of height, this part may not be for you. This place leads to the highest point of Ado Awaye mountain.
Ado Awaye is very unique from its landscape to the rock formation, its history and most importantly one of the rarest lakes in the world. Kindly add this to your bucket list.
Other Tourist Attractions Close to Ado Awaye
Pictures from Ado Awaye
Want to Visit Ado Awaye? Lets Plan a Private Tour for You.
Lastly, if you are looking for a trusted tour operator in Nigeria to take you on this adventurous trip to Ado Awaye. Travelwaka Tours offer both private and group tours. Kindly Follow us on Instagram @Travelwaka_Tours or Send us a message via the Contact Form.