Olumo Rock – Everything You Need to Know

Olumo Rock Complex

Olumo rock is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nigeria. It is located in the heart of Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nigeria. The name Olumo can be loosely translated as “under the Rock“.  It has become one of the top tourist attractions in Abeokuta. This historical rock has attracted tourists from all works of life.  This gigantic mountain could be seen from different corners of Abeokuta city. Abeokuta is the capital of Ogun State. It is an ancient city located in the South West of Nigeria within one hour drive from Lagos.

Olumo Rock Complex
Olumo Rock Entrance

History of Olumo Rock

The Olumo Rock is an ancient rock located in Abeokuta which serves as a fortress to the Egba residents during the inter-tribal war around 1800. The rock was discovered by a hunter named Adagba in the 19th Century. The rock was beneficial in helping the Egba’s win the inter-tribal war. It serves as a strategic hideout, a fortress and a vantage point for Egba Warriors. It is not just a tourist attraction, it is a sacred ground, a symbol of freedom, victory, strength and peace.

The Olumo Rock Mountain
Cross Section of Olumo Rock

It is an extensive granite rock which covers a huge expanse of land. It sits majestically on the main Olumo Rock Tourist complex giving tourists a panoramic view of the beautiful city.

Post Colonial History of Olumo Rock

Olumo Rock became a Tourist attraction in 1976 and was later renovated by the Ogun State Government and commissioned by the then President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

However, in 2006, an extensive renovation was carried out which includes the construction of a glass elevator which has two layers that can convey passengers to the top of the mountain. This renovation and modification gave birth to the new Olumo Rock Tourist Complex.  The new complex had additional facilities which include a multi-purpose hall for events, a museum, a garden, a restaurant, a water fountain and a gift shop.

Abeokuta Tourist Attraction

The Olumo Rock Tourist Centre
Cross Section of the Elevator and the Restaurant

The Complex has been equipped with modern infrastructure such as the heavy-duty Glass escalator which runs through various sections of the mountain making it easy for tourists to easily get to the top of the mountain. It also serves as a platform for easy movement of people in and out of the mountain.

The mountain also has artificial walkways and stairs to aid in climbing the 137 metres mountain.

Underneath the mountain lies the burial ground of one of the earliest residents of the Rock who was the right-hand chief of the then King, Chief Sonni Osi-Toko who died on the 23rd January 1956 at the age of 122 years.

Chief Sonni Osi
The Burial Ground of the late Chief Sonni Osi

Meaning of Olumo Rock

Olumo Rock can be translated as “What God made” or what God moulded. It is a name given to the rock by its earliest inhabitants because it served as a hideout during the war.

Best Time to Visit Olumo Rock

The complex opens Mondays through Sundays and on public holidays. You can visit the rock at any time during the year, however, it will be best to visit during the dry season which is usually between August and March. To maximize your visit, you should consider visiting during the month of March which is the month that coincides with the Olumo and Lisabi Festival.

Students on Excursion Abeokuta
Students on Excursion

Facts about Olumo Rock

  • The Rock stands at least 137 feet above sea level
  • It is the location for the Olumo festival every year
  • No one has ever fallen or died climbing the rock, it is believed that the god of the Rock guards and protects everyone that comes into the site. However, ensure utmost safety when you are climbing.
  • It has an artificial stair walkway which leads to the top of the mountain
  • it also has an elevator for people that cannot hike all the way
  • The rock was used as a hideout and a watch tower to watch out for enemy attacks.
  • It has a cave where only two people are allowed to enter, the Chief Priest and the Alake of Egba land. The Alake is the ruling king of Egba.
Olumo Rock - 135 year old chief Priestess
The 135-Year-old Chief Priestess of Olumo Rock
Abeokuta city - Olumo rock
Cross Section of the City

Tips For Climbing Olumo Rock

  • Get a tour guide: Ensure you get a guide before embarking on the climb. They have a better understanding of the terrain and they can also tell you the history of the rock.
  • Wear Something comfortable: Wear a gripping shoe or a sport wears to make the climb easy.
  • Get a bottle of water: Ensure you get a bottle of water, you will need it for the climb.
  • Ensure you eat well before leaving: Hiking requires strength, please ensure you eat well before embarking on this journey.
  • Avoid food that may cause stomach upset
  • Wear a hat, face cap or sunshades
  • Carry a bag pack or strap where you can put your valuables and belongings during the climb.

Fun Things to Do at Olumo Rock

The Olumo fountain
The Fountain at Olumo Rock
  • Hike to the highest peak of the mountain
  • Visit the Restaurant for local delicacies
  • Learn about the people, lifestyle and culture from the Historical Museum
  • Take amazing photos
  • Visit the Art Gallery/Gift shop and get yourself a branded artwork from as low as three hundred naira
  • Interact with the locals and learn more about the people
  • See the cowrie studded status of the founding fathers and earliest kings of Abeokuta
  • See The Shrines where the god of Olumo is worshipped
  • Access to the Pansheke garden which lies on the rock
  • Learn about the culture and history of the Old Egba Kingdom
  • See the natural caves where the inhabitants hid during the war
Olumo Rock Complex shrine
One of the Shrines

Gate Fee to Olumo Rock

The entrance fee to Olumo rock varies from Children to adults

For Adults 1,000 if you plan to hike or climb your way up the mountain and 2,000 if you are using the escalator.

For Children is it 500 Naira per head.

If you are using a Professional camera it goes for 300 per individual and if you come as a group it is 1,000

Parking is 200

Facilities at Olumo Rock Tourist Centre

  • The Elevator
  • Remains of The hideout cave
  • Waterfall
  • Gallery
  • Museum
  • Pansheke garden
  • the ancient Tunnel  that leads to the top of the mountain

Getting Accommodation

The complex itself does not have rooms for rent. There are several accommodation options around Olumo Rock. It is, however, important to make a reservation before going. This is because most of the rooms are usually booked during the festive period. The cost of hotels around Abeokuta ranges from 3,000 to 50,000 naira per night.

How to Get to Olumo Rock

There are different ways to get to Olumo Rock it depends on where you are coming from. You can either go by air, train or road. However, the closest Airport to Olumo Rock is the Murtala International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. From MMA2 you can either take a Taxi, or a bus or book a train ride from a train station to Abeokuta.

Location of Olumo Rock

Olumo Rock It is located at Ikija Town in Abeokuta, Ogun State Nigeria.

Views from the Peak Of Olumo Rock

From the top of the Rock, you can see the different landmarks in Abeokuta, some of the landmarks are listed below:

  • A rare view of the first Church in Nigeria and West Africa
  • The Popular Ogun River flows through 3 Cities which Includes Lagos, Ogun, Oyo
  • NTA Abeokuta was the first TV Station in Nigeria and West Africa
  • The Abeokuta Central Mosque
  • The family House of Late MKO Abiola
  • The Family house of Tunde Bakare the Pastor of Latter Rain Assembly

Package Tours to Abeokuta

Lastly, If you need a packaged tour to Olumo Rock, we offer custom tours, hotel/Airport pick-up. If you want a tour to Abeokuta, which will include the following

Abeokuta City
Cross Section of Abeokuta city
  • Visit Olumo Rock
  • Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL)
  • Abeokuta City Tour
  • Visit Alake of Egba’s Palace – King of Egba
  • See the adire market, you get a chance to see how local fabrics are made and can also buy some as a souvenir.
  • Visit the museum
  • Visit the Art gallery
  • See the 135-year-old Priestess at Olumo Rock
  • Visit the ancient Itoku Market which is some minutes drive from Olumo
  • Have fun at the recreation park which seats at the bottom of the rock
  • Visit the OOPL zoo
  • See Inside the prestigious Olusegun Obasanjo Library
  • See the prototype of the Presidential Library at OOPL
  • The Centenary Hall

Other Attractions Close to Olumo Rock

Abeokuta Central Mosque
Abeokuta Central Mosque – First Mosque in Abeokuta
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