A couple of friends went hiking at Ado awaye and I was so excited and jealous because they were having so much fun, so I decided I wanted to go too. I put up a message on all my social media channels and got a couple of responses and a whatsapp group was created.
Fast forward, although we were initially 14 people that indicated interest, we ended up with a cute number of 5. This post is a quick:How do I get to Ado Awaye from Lagos, any tips, what should I know post; so thank me later.
GETTING TO ADO AWAYE
Although I did a couple of research before embarking on this journey, all the posts I read recommended going through the LAGOS – IBADAN – ISEYIN route but this is the longest route and in my own opinion is not advisable. My friend who also came along advised we did the LAGOS – ABEOKUTA – ADO AWAYE route which was way faster and cheaper.
Although we planned to leave Lagos by 6am, we eventually left by 8am thanks to my beautiful male hiking partners who came late.
We got to Oshodi bus-stop/park at about 7:30am and boarded the Ado-awaye vehicle which cost 1,800NGN and it took us directly to the mountain.
Tip 1: It’s usually best to haggle prices with this drivers as nothing is fixed. Initially, we were told over 2,000NGN but good, fluent yoruba and more numbers can do the trick.
We got to the mountain at about 11:30 am (approximately 3 hours) but started hiking by 1pm as we were waiting for a friend. Prices were negotiated during that period. We eventually paid 4,000NGN for the 5 of us and this was inclusive of access fee and tour guide fee.
Tip 2: If you don’t want to be cheated, ensure you have someone whose negotiation game is top notch and can speak fluent yoruba.
HIKING AT ADO AWAYE
We started hiking at 1pm and luckily for us, the sun was down or else it would have been so frustrating. It was not an easy hike! I will be honest here, it requires strength and dedication. One of my hike buddies literally gave up more than 3 times because it is tasking. Your cardio and endurance game must be on point. There are over 300 steps to climb, after which, you begin to climb with the help of your body weight and grip. The stairs are not in good condition so you really need to be careful.
Tip 3: Hike at your own pace, although you may still need to be close to the tour guide so you do not get lost, but do not be in a rush because you will burn out.
Tip 4: Make sure you wear good shoes! Although I did see a couple of other people wear slippers, it’s not safe and you may fall.
Our tour guide was a guy named Ridwan, although he tried to explain a couple of things, I do not think he was a tour guide because except prompted, he never did say anything and to make matters worse, he couldn’t speak english, so I had to rely on my Yoruba friends to interpret.
Tip 5: I hear there is a tour guide there who speaks english but charges more. His name is David Atabo @iamatabo on instagram ( I unfortunately found out about him AFTER the hike)
Tip 6: Eat something before climbing the mountain because hypoglycaemia is real.
Tip 7: Ensure you carry a big bottle of water because trust me, you would need it.
THE WONDERS AT ADO AWAYE
Our first official stop was the The Ishage Rock(Oke Ishage);
The rock is the bringer of rain for the community and whenever rain was needed the chief priest would tie a white cloth on it.
Next stop was the hanging/suspended lake called the Iyake lake;
First of all, there are only 2 hanging lakes in the world. Yes! One is right here in Nigeria.
It is a spiritual lake and it’s said that if anyone enters the lake, they would disappear. It is also said that the lake has healing powers and could be used for prayers.
Beside the lake is a small water collection called Agbomofun Iyake;This simply means take child and give to the lake.
It is covered with some wood so no one mistakenly steps on it and disappears.
We also came across the famous elephant tree which is just some fallen trees that ended up taking the shape of an elephant.
There was also the Ese Awon Egba which I hear are the footprints of the gods of the Ado awaye people.
Tip 8: Make sure you climb with a good camera, either smartphone or digital because the view is amazing.
Tip 9a: Did I mention be patient ? I cannot overemphasize this.
After we got to the elephant tree, we were not interested in going further.
However, there is he Ese kan Aiye Ese kan Orun;
A wide and deep valley on the mountain which separates one part of the mountain from the other part. He also explained that there were trees which acted as swings and could break. Once broken, the person falls to death. I was not signed up for that.
We rested for some minutes, took a ton of pictures and videos and we were ready to come back. It took us about 1 hr 30 minutes to get to the peak of the mountain.
There is a popular saying which goes coming down a hill or a flight of stairs is easier. Please disregard that saying here! Coming down is just as hard as climbing and it’s because the steps are not in good condition. It took us about 45 minutes to get down and we spent about 3 hours in total.
Although I was looking forward to having amala at a spot close to the mountain, seeing the cooking environment was a huge disappointment so my friend and I agreed to have Amala at Amala Polaris in Ibadan.
Tip 9b: Before climbing, ensure you use both sunscreen and insect repellant.
Tip 10: Have a snack after climbing, preferably, bring your snack yourself because they sell literally nothing! No jokes.
I actually did enjoy myself. At first, I was wondering who sent me message but after everything, I had a lot of fun. Will I go back ? Yea maybe! By that time, my cardio would have been top notch because as at now, its a mess.
Have you visited Ado-Awaye and what are your thoughts?
Photo Credit: @naijagirlonadiet , @crosshaired @nappyhaired @femonica