When I found out that Kwara State was home to one of the highest and most spectacular waterfalls in West Africa and the first museum in Nigeria, I knew that this state had to be my next state for my journey. As much as I love Travelling within Nigeria I don’t exactly look forward to road trips as the road conditions are bad. I still believe that this would be a thing of the past very soon. The flights to Kwara was above my budget so I had to opt for a road trip. I boarded a sienna car from the Ojota bus garage in Lagos and in 6 hours, I had arrived in the State of Harmony.
I checked into my hotel, had lunch and was set to go to Owu Falls. I met up with Mayowa of Naidrenalin Adventures who helped me in planning this trip so much. Mayowa had told me that the trip to Owu Falls from the state’s capital would last for 3 hours, 2 hours in a car and 1 hour on a hike and it was a hardcore adventure, I thought he was exaggerating but Lord knows that the road network leading to this beautiful waterfalls was the worst I had ever seen and experienced in my 21 years of existence. No words can truly describe how bad the roads were. No wonder Zig Ziglar said that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations
This is also an appeal to those in power to please work on the road network leading to the falls. After a rigorous and uncomfortable bike ride and hiking we finally made it to Owu Falls. This falls remains the most beautiful I had seen so far and I was truly amazed .I am sorry that I don’t have a lot of pictures of the falls as the water was affecting my phone camera. One thing that struck me here was how we were told the louder we screamed, the higher the water coming down would increase. I tried it and and it was truly beautiful!Did you know that one of the Highest and most Spectacular waterfalls in West Africa is located in Nigeria? Find out more here! Click To Tweet
We gathered our strength back and started our journey back to the Capital with yet another hard core experience. It started raining and the rain dealt with me mercilessly . I had dinner and slept off right after and this ended my first day in Kwara.
The next day, after a heavy rain down power which followed with intense sun, I got a cab who took me to the first ever museum in Nigeria known as Esie Museum which is located about 90 minutes from the State’s capital. On our way we passed by the famous Gammo market .
Getting to the museum was a bit difficult cause the cab man didn’t know it but thanks to Google maps we were able to find the museum. On arrival, I had one of the most amazing welcomes ever . The staff were so hospitable and I was really happy.
I paid the gate fee of a hundred naira and my tour started . I was taken into the gallery which has all the collection of the soap stone images which is the largest collection in the world . At first it was creepy but I later got comfortable. My tour guide explained that there are two stories of the history of the soap stone images; the archaeology history and the ethnography history
The Ethnography story has the history that the images were found by a hunter named Baragabon in a semi circular arrangement under a palm tree known as Peregun in Yoruba Language who was on an assignment by the king while the the Archaeologists believe that the images were sculptured. I believe the images were sculptured though as I don’t feel human beings could have been that way . The soap stone images are so unique consisting of men, women, children, musical instruments and weapons of war. The images also show the representation of their tribe either through their dressing, tribal marks or other features.
As usual I am sorry that I don’t have images to show as just like the other museums I have visited here and here , pictures are not allowed in the museum . It would interest you to know that the people from the town worshiped the images till 1995 even though other religions had been introduced to them. From here , I was shown the representation if the Oba Ere who was the King after which my tour had to end as there was no power supply to see the other gallery as the tour guide said it was too dark . Again I hope the government takes this place more seriously. I bought a book to get to know more about the history of the soap stone collection and left.
From here, I had the cab man drive me to the University of Ilorin as I wanted to visit the Zoo which I had heard about.
On arrival, I paid the gate fee of five hundred Naira and went around looking at the animals ranging from Crocodiles to antelopes, bush pigs , Pythons, birds, parrots , a Lion and more!
After seeing the most of the zoo , the next activity was to go on the Suspended Walkway which cost two hundred Naira.
After I got on the Suspended Walkway, I walked for about 300metres and then I slipped as the wood was wet. Compared to the canopy walkway at LCC which is made of cable, the one here was made with wood. The Adventurer in me wanted to continue even after slipping but the baby girl in me couldn’t just continue and I turned back and left the zoo.Find out Places to visit in Kwara State Here! Click To Tweet
From the zoo, I got Fresh Pounded Yam and Vegetable soup from Iya Yusuf Reaturant which was recommend by Unravelling Nigeria. I ended the evening by having a quiet and serene time at Succoth Valley Gardens in the GRA Axises.
The next morning, I packed my little bag and returned home to Lagos having conquered my 15th state for my journey to visit 25 Nigerian states before I turn 25!
Other things to Note
– Kwara State is hot!!!! Don’t be like me who took a lot of dark clothing. If you ever plan to visit , please go with bright colored and light outfits
– Please go with Sunscreen, sunshades, face cap and any other thing that can help you not get sun tanned like me. I returned home a shade darker.
– If you want to ever visit Owu Falls , please never go alone . I would not recommend the falls to you if you are unfit and not ready for serious adventure cause with the present road network leading there it is a hard trip.
– I really do hope the government both state and federal look into the state tourism well and the potentials that can come from it.
Have you been to Kwara state before and to ever of the places I visited? What was your experience like? If you have not visited these places, would you like to visit them? I would love to hear from you in the comments section.
Till my next trip, Love from your Favourite Ajala!