Cloud shrouded peaks of Akure | Places to visit in Ondo state
Travel teaches tolerance, hiking teaches endurance - TAB
All the way to Akure I went in search of history, culture and nature. Idanre hill has an astonishing natural and historical landscape. Idanre hill consists of high plain with spectacular valleys interspersed with inselbergs of about 3,000 ft above sea level. Attractions at Idanre hill include the Owa's Palace, Shrines, Old Court, Agbooogun foot print, thunder water (Omi Aopara) and burial mounds and grounds. UNESCO. Basically, the settlement of the Idanre people.
After a couple of hours driving from Ekiti to Ondo State, we arrived at the foot of the conspicuous mountain. I was met with a professional tour guide who apprised me of a N1,000 entrance fee and also educated me about the historical significance of the hill. Of all he said, I remember that the indigenes were constantly harassed by intruders and so they sort refuse on the hill top. The hills was a place of safety for the people for about a millennium.
The pleasant tour guide further informed me that I had to climb almost 700steps to get to the peak. However, there are various resting posts on the way to the top. Quickly, he added that it wasn't advisable to climb the rock at the time I arrived because the sun was out.
Let's just say I climbed to the third resting point and descended the rocks in honour of the advise. From where I stood, I was graced with a view of the town and it was sufficient. It is advisable you hike in the morning, during the dry season. After the second resting point, it becomes very steep.
Be encouraged through my pictures to visit Ondo State, Idanre hills being one of the major highlights of the state. I can't wait to visit the state again. The state has a beautiful golf course and a National Museum amongst other attractions. Now we know there's more to the state than the Idanre hills.
All the views. This satisfied my quest but I encourage you to climb to the very top
Final thoughts on places to visit in Ondo State
As you will expect, civilisation has seen the locals relocate from the hills to settling properly in the town but that's not to say they have abandoned their beliefs about the power of the rock.
Guess what? Idanre hill is potentially a UNESCO world heritage site and by that I mean it is currently on the tentative list and will be confirmed once all the criteria are met. There are 10 criteria to be met before a cultural or historical site of a country can be confirmed a UNESCO heritage site. In Nigeria, only two sites (Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove and the Sukur Cultural Landscape) have met the criteria and are confirmed UNESCO world heritage site.
Anyway, I was impressed with the level of development in the state in general. The town, more specifically, is beautiful and the drive to Idanre hill was loaded with views of mountains. I observed that the care takers seem to understand the importance of tourism as they were very courteous and helpful but most importantly, knowledgeable.
I was super thrilled to see one of the most talked about places in Nigeria and I look forward to returning to the state. Stay tuned for Ondo State, Part II.