13, Olumo Rock Tourist Centre Road, Sodeke, Sodeke Rd, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
All year daily.
Adults NGN 1000, Children NGN 500.
Elevator: Adults NGN 2000, Children NGN 1500.
Museums: Adults NGN 500, Children NGN 300.
Tour Guide: Individual NGN 400, Group (-20) NGN 1000.
Photo NGN 1,000, Video NGN 2,000.
|Classification:||Erosional Cave Talus Cave Cave House, sandstone cave|
|Dimension:||A=137 m asl.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Olumo Rock Tourist Complex, Ikija, Near Itoku Adire Market, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Tel: +234-8066429002, Tel: +234-7068473607. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1830||the Egba people hide under the Rock.|
|1976||opened to the public.|
|03-FEB-2006||inaugurated by the former president of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo.|
Olumo Rock is a hill which consists of granite, huge blocks which are rounded and enclose cracks and ledges, small erosional caves. The granite resists weathering much better than other rocks, so it was eroded slower and formed a hill. The boulders are a typical result of the weathering of granite. With a height of 137 m asl it is 90 m higher than the surrounding city Abeokuta. The name Abeokuta translates "Under The Rock", as the city developed around the rock, which was the place which was first inhabited. The reason is obvious, a steep hill in a plain is of great strategic importance. It allows to see the surroundings very far, and attackers have to climb the hill to get to you, so they are already exhausted when they reach you.
According to legend Olumo Rock was discovered by a hunter by the name Adagba. It was named Olumo, which is the combination of two words, “Olu” (God) and “Mo” (Moulded). The combination of these words is translated as "God has ended our troubles and sufferings”. As far as we know the legend does not tell, when the rock was discovered, but most likely it was known since prehistoric times. The Egba people, who inhabit the area until today, worship the rock and its caves in the belief that they derive their natural strength and protection from supreme beings. But it became quite important to them in the 19th century during the days of intertribal wars. The Egbas were part of the Oyo Empire before the empire collapsed and conflicts between former neighbours began. They moved to the caves and shelters on the rock, and erected cave castles in the openings. This was possible because there was a seasonal spring on the mountain. As the rock became famous for being a secure place, it also became a unifying factor. After the wars the city began to grow at the foot of the rock, and it was named Abeokuta, which translates "Under The Rock". The rock is still held in high esteem by the members of the clan. Its patron spirit is venerated in the Yoruba religion as an orisha. Until today the rock symbolizes unity and freedom for all Abeokuta residents.
Today this site is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nigeria. It was opened to the public after the addition of a long staircase in 1976. Many people have trouble with the ascent, so an elevator, or better two subsequent elevators, were built, which bring visitors for an additional fee to the top of the hill. This elevator was inaugurated by the former president of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo on 03-FEB-2006.
The rock has numerous sights, one are statutes of Egba heroes and warriors like Ilesha Abi Agbongbakala, Agaba the great hunter, Okonkenu, the first paramount ruler in Egba land, and Jagun Jagun, the sharp shooter and general in command. The famous spring is also visible, though it stopped producing water over 50 years ago. Nearby is the tomb of chief Sonni Osi-Toko who died 03-JAN-1965 at the age of 122 years. He was the right hand of the King. And there is an Iroko tree which flourishes in dry and rainy season and never sheds its leafs, which is said to be over 200 years old.
The last inhabitant of the rock is Sinatu Aduke Sanni, who lived most of her 135 years on earth  in one of the cave castles. She witnessed the coronation of four Alake (kings) of Egba Land. She is the Chief Priestess and the only one who is allowed to enter the Orisa Olumo Chamber on the rock.
At the foot of the hill, near the parking lot are a museum and a gallery, restaurants, a market, and a water fountain. On Itoku Market Adire, the signature product of Ogun State, is manufactured and sold. Today the Olumo Rock Tourist Complex is owned by the government and under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. If you visit the rock, you should definitely hire a guide, which is actually cheaper than the fee. Its also recommended to take a bottle of water with you.