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Toby Nwazor: 9 Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Your Birthday at Olumo Rock

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A big shout out to all my fellow ‘Octoberians’ in the house. My birthday is on the 25th, and I have so much to be grateful for.

I couldn’t help reminiscing about my previous birthdays. As I thought about them, I quickly concluded that the one I celebrated at Olumo Rock is my best so far.

Here are a few facts you should know before I proceed.Pic 1

  • Olumo rock is located in the heart of Abeokuta Town, the capital of Ogun State in Nigeria. If you are in Lagos, this is less than a two hour journey depending on the traffic.
  • Just like Calabar, Abeokuta has a very good transport system. All you need is to remember the name of the place you are going to. You will find a cab to take you there at an affordable price. Personally we were charged #300 from our place to Olomo rock.

So friends, below are 9 reasons why you should consider celebrating your next birthday at Olumo Rock:

You can give your friends a treat
I am sure that most people are tired of the traditional birthday culture of eating jollof rice, cutting cake, singing a birthday song, and dancing skelewu at your house.
Pic 2- Don't go alone
Why not do something different this time and take your friends on a sightseeing adventure. They will appreciate the thrill of experiencing something new.

Their restaurant serves good food
In the past, when people visit Olumo Rock, they usually carry large coolers of food. This usually made the experience a bit more tedious.
Pic 3- their restaurant serve good food
Instead of just preparing for a sightseeing adventure, one equally had to make arrangement for what to eat. Na serious work be that o, especially if you expect more than 10 friends to come.

Thankfully, there is now a restaurant within the premise where you can take your friends to eat. This makes it very easy to focus on the main thing and not worry about food.

The beautiful sight of the Rocks

Pic 4- The beautiful sight of the rocks
Immediately you get to the site, the first thing you will see is how beautiful the environment is. The rocks are carved out expertly as if by a professional stone carver. (Baba God, twale. You too much jor)

Rails are built in around the edges of the rocks to prevent accidental falls too. This makes the experience safe.

Pic 5- rails built around the edges

They have very friendly tour guides.
In my post about having a vacation in Calabar, I advised against getting a tour guide.

This case is different. Tour guides are very necessary. Without them, you won’t get to hear all the stories, myths, facts and fabrications surrounding the rock.

The tour guides here are friendly. Moreover, their services are affordable, so don’t be afraid of spending beyond your budget.Pic 6- they have very friendly tour guides

In my own case I think he charged about #2000, and that was including his price for all the pictures he took.

Most of them are professional photographers by the way, and you will appreciate their wonderful service.

Climbing the Rocks is very thrilling
Unfortunately, I can’t fully explain how the rock climbing experience was for me and my friends. It is better experienced.
pic 7- the climb was thrilling pic 7b- thrill of climbing
The rock is said to be about 137 metres above sea level. It is normal to lose your breath once in a while if you are not used to that kind of physical activity. Either way, it is fun and you should not miss out on it.

Kpatakpata, you can use the elevator.
pic 8- use the elevator

Both are great. To have the best experience, use the stairs. Get down and use the elevator too.

The excitement of passing between boulders of Rocks.
Have you ever heard the phrase “between the rock and a hard place” before? You get to experience it firsthand here.

Pic 9- between a rock and a hard placePic 10- suspended rockThe rocks are arranged in such a way that they leave fantastic paths for tourists. There are places to jump too, so don’t bother coming with your six inches heels. A pair of sneakers or any other flat heeled shoes will do.

One place I love so much is the spot where a rock is held as if in mid air, but suspended between two rocks.

The myths, facts, truths, and fabrications
If you hired a tour guide, expect him to do his job, which is telling you everything he knows about the rock.
pic 12 - facts and mythspic 11- truths and fables
Most of these are historical facts you can find on Google. Others are mere fables told so much that they now sound like the truth. Whether truth or fable, accept the stories and have fun jare.

For instance, I was taken to the Olumo Rock shrine and told a fascinating story about the spirit of Olumo. The best story for me is the one about how the spirit will not allow anyone to fall off the rock.

There are lots of other stories too. For instance the rock was supposedly producing water that cures sicknesses in the past.

The breathtaking sight from the top of the rock.
On getting to the top of the rock you will be rewarded with a fantastic aerial view of the ancient city.
pic 13 breathtaking sight from the top
According to what I was told, I was supposed to see M.K.O Abiola’s house, NTA Abeokuta, Baptist Boys High School, the Central Mosque and other places.

The option of going shopping in the popular Itoku market.
Olumo rock is very close to the very popular Itoku market. The market is known for tie-and-dye materials (called adire in yoruba). This is a wonderful opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

Personally, I had never owned an Adire clothing material before going to Abeokuta, so I got some.

When you go visiting Olumo rock, I’d suggest you drop by Itoku market and get some of their locally produced items local beads, sculptures, and bracelets etc.
pic 14 adire material
At the end, it’s your choice. As for me, as long as I live, any time I can, I do my best to live my best life.

Your Turn . . .
What was your most memorable birthday experience like? Have you ever celebrated a sightseeing birthday? Let’s meet in the comment section to chat it up.

Toby Nwazor is a free lance writer and motivational speaker who believes that life is meant to be lived and not just existed in. He is equally an entrepreneur with a lot of hands-on experience in business start-ups, marketing, and customer service. He passionately writes every Monday and Wednesday on www.mystartupceo.com about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs build successful start-ups

56 Comments

  1. Tosin

    October 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I love you, man. Did this four birthdays ago. A few friends a taxi some fast food… a lot of fun.

    Happy birthday in advance.

  2. Gracee

    October 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Wow,nice.
    My birthday is on sunday,i cant take that chances and travel to Abeokuta to come back all tired and go to work the next day. Maybe next year by God’s grace.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 14, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      I understand dear. You can always plan to do it some other time. Moreover, who said your birthday must be celebrated on that particular day. You can shift the date. Just make sure you have a great time, Y.O.L.O (you only live once)

    • CYNOSURE

      October 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      WOW!HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN ADVANCE BIRTHDAY MATE.

  3. Onetallgirl

    October 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds like fun to be out in nature and getting exercise. Btw, Toby you have a nice smile, are you single?

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      You are absolutely right onetallgirl. nature is great. Reminds me of when I visited the pine forest and the waterfall at Ngwo in Enugu State. The sights are breathtaking. Thanks for the compliment, I feel flattered

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 14, 2015 at 11:02 pm

      But you no answer the question oh… BN Elders are at work today on man-and-woman matter, so answer quick-quick, before dem go come “arrange” you…

      Californiabawler, I still dey find this location where una don start the Igbaukwu for me, ohhh….?

    • Atoke

      Atoke

      October 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      E dey Love Lint. Why you still dey this side na? We are all waiting for you there. We don gather our stool, juice and snacks. Do quick biko!

    • ATL's finest

      October 15, 2015 at 5:04 am

      @ Mz Socially awkward thank U! He didn’t answer the question lol.

    • TobyForPresido

      October 15, 2015 at 11:42 am

      Toby For President!! These your write ups are cool, no long ting. Please you spoke about the pine forest and the waterfall at Ngwo in Enugu State, would love to see pics. Maybe your net write up? Also like to see your review of Whispering Palms in Badagry when you decide to visit Lagos. Kudos Toby

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      Hahahahahaha. MSA, Atl’s finest and other BN elders, you caught me red handed. Unu dikwa very observant. o. I dey single @ onetallgirl

  4. amaa

    October 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    I am so ashamed of myself I am Nigerian and I haven’t been to this tourist site. Its so beautiful and well taken care of. I expected it to be run down. Kudos to govt of the state. Another way of publicizing this is have it on trip advisor create a proper website for it and advertise on it

    • Ije

      October 14, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Check out Truppr, they are going in November https://www.truppr.com/1532/sights-of-abeokuta

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 14, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Hey Amaa, you don’t have to be hard on yourself. My people say that mgbe onye ji teta bu ututu ya. (Nan when you take wake up your own morning go start). So relax and live your best life from now. Life is wonderful.

      You are right about the government of Ogun state.

  5. Ochouba Chidinma

    October 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Nice!! Happy Birthday In Advance!

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 14, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      100 likes Chidinma. Thanks a lot.

  6. E.A

    October 14, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Really enjoy your articles, hope to visit Nigeria in the coming years, haven’t been since I left at 8?, hopefully I remember all this places ?

  7. Mariam

    October 14, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    HBD in advance Toby. Av been there twice the experience was indeed awesome. U can try Erin ijesha water fall out on ur birthday.

  8. Sweetchy

    October 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Nice one Toby Nwazor. You inspire me alot. From Calabar trip to Abeokuta. You go Guy! Many happy returns and a wonderful birthday to you in advance.

  9. Toby Nwazor

    October 14, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    You know how to have a great time and it is admirable. Kudos.

  10. ATL's finest

    October 14, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Omg! I so wanna visit here now;) this could be a great getaway! I love mother nature & everything is so beautiful… Abeokuta where all d great & real Ase-oke & fabrics are made from. This dude ain’t playing ooo. Thanks for sharing ..Now I have Ogbodu ranch, Olumo & Zuma rock on my mind.

  11. red

    October 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    E SA MA SUBU

  12. Toby Nwazor

    October 14, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Yippeeeee! That is so cool. You should return, at least for a visit. Stay tuned.

  13. Jojo

    October 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Interesting. Great guide

  14. Duchess Maria

    October 14, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Toby, I always like you articles. Very refreshing, funny and entertaining. I have to add Olumo rock to my list of places to visit.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Thanks dear. I feel flattered. All glory goes to God, my source of inspiration.

  15. La-ate

    October 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    Lovely piece, Toby!!! Happy birthday in advance!!!

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Thanks so much La-ate. I have someone in my local church choir that bears your name o. Are you the same person? Lol

  16. Itunnu

    October 14, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    I am sending this to Olawale. He should start preparing., Xmas holiday. Me and him alone without the kids! The breathtaking ambiance is awesome~

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:47 am

      You will be glad, and have a great time. Have fun. You can equally check out the Olumo Guest house or the Gateway hotel nearby . And then there are others in Quarry road, Olomore and Ibara which are not so far away from Itokun (the location of the site)

  17. Koffie

    October 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Whoop whoop! That’s my beauriful home town right there. Glad you had fun, you’d be amazed that there are indigenes who live in Abeokuta and have never been to Olumo. I went there once right after the stairs and elevator were constructed and it was on a class excursion. Even at that, it was fun. So many things we the locals take for granted that others would visit and be wowed about e.g the kampala, adire and ofi (aso-oke). And those tales, probably exaggerated truths but all join.
    Did you learn the song? “M’ayo m’ayo m’ayo oo, lori Olumo… m’ayo m’ayo m’ayo oo, lori Olumo…” Hehehehe, I’m in my ‘ibile’ mode, bye!. Happy birthday in advance by the way.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:39 am

      That’s great Koffie. I really did have fun. Wish I can sing the songs you sang to add to the fun too. Lol

  18. Mimi May

    October 14, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Wow! Toby, u remind me of Abeokuta. I served there during my NYSC @ OPIC precisely. I visited Olumo rock with friends. I really enjoyed my service there. This article of yours would make me visit Abeokuta again. Thumbs up in ur entertaining write ups n do have a great BD, My hubby’s BD mate.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Yaaaay. Shout out to your hubby Mimi May. Abeokuta is a wonderful place. you are right about that. I love the town. I learnt a couple of words too, like “wa jokoo” (come and sit down), and of course, “wa jeun” (come and eat). Hahahaha. Opic is around Okeilowo, beside sweet sensation, right? I remember the place.

  19. oma D

    October 14, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Happy birthday in Advance, you just resurrected my hope for tourism within Nigeria, My birthday is on the 29th but i cant make it, this will have to be part of December yawo…to Olumo we go

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Oma. I am glad I could do that. Have a swell time anytime you can. And live your best life every time, we don’t have a spare. Cheers

  20. passerby

    October 14, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    TOBBBBY!!!!! you guys went to olumo rock without me? Diaris God. nice article. so proud of you

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:31 am

      passerby why do I have the feeling that we know each other? Lolz. I will still catch you one way or the other. Lolz

  21. Mabel

    October 14, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    The location does offer some lovely views. You don’t have to have a birthday to go, just go!

  22. arikeagbe

    October 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Thanks for this Toby! Is there a nice hotel nearby?

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:37 am

      Yes arikeagbe. There is the Olumo Guest House and then there is also the Gateway Hotel. They are close by.

  23. Abeokutian

    October 14, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Hi Toby, apologies for raining on this party but Olumo Rock as a tourist site is in reality NOT what you’ve painted it to be. And I do hope you weren’t sponsored to write this article.

    I was in Abeokuta last week for the weekend. And due to the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve been to Olumo Rock I was so excited to visit. We got to the gate and we’re immediately greeted by the baba (gate man) who informed us that the elevator wasn’t working. (With the state of things in Abeokuta I’m sure it’ll be a while before the poor thing is revived).

    He then proceeded to give us a list of all we would be paying for if we still wanted to embark on the tour. This list included ‘fee for using your personal camera’, ‘fee for using the site photographer’, ‘fee for partaking in the tour’, fee for using a tour guide’, fee for using the elevator’, ‘fee for using the car park’,…. and more.
    We had already decided we weren’t going to go on anyway because of the broken elevator, but that list was something else. I then asked if I could step beyond the gate just to a few photos with my phone and of course the answer was no. So I put my phone through the bars and took what I could.

    I haven’t been to many world heritage/tourism sites and correct me if im wrong but I have a feeling it’s the responsibility of the government to fully fund and maintain those sites. Lets not forget that it wasnt the government who put these things there. God did. They can however have as an added source of income, the selling of related merchandise on or by the site. All visitors are required to do is to come , relax and enjoy the site and not be encumbered by various fees.

    Abeokuta is still and will always be my home town but this last visit (beyond the Olumo Rock episode) opened my eyes to a lot of things that need to change and fast.

    • olu

      October 15, 2015 at 2:22 am

      The gateman probably wanted to make his own quick cash. been to olumo rock before and i cant remember ever paying all those fees you listed.

    • ATL's finest

      October 15, 2015 at 5:10 am

      @ Abeokutian lmao! Fee ki to use my own camera BS.. Oya na I will make a QUICK dusty turn ASAP & keep it pushing.. But I wouldn’t be surprised it they demanded all of this cuz I paid to use toilet in Lagos while waiting to get a Nigerian passport. As in I made sure I wasn’t using every toilet but that one day was crazy! Pee was N 100 & BM was N 150 sth like that smh. Anything is possible in that Country but all d same, wanna visit.

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 7:56 am

      @ Apologies accepted, and offence not taken. I understand how you feel, and I would have felt the same way too if I had a similar experience.
      Like I implied in the post, this didn’t happen this year. And a lot could have happened between my time of visit and yours. I just confirmed from someone, and yes, the elevator isn’t functional presently.
      But you should not allow the non-functioning elevator to put you off. The fun is in the stair climbing sef. And then the views.
      Did you see me on top of the rock? I’d climb a million stairs to have that thrill and surge of adrenalin experience again.
      By the way, your name implies that you are from Abeokuta. I love your town, and I wasn’t sponsored to say that. I made a few friends there too, and we are still in touch up till now.
      And to clear the air, I wasn’t paid to write any of this either. I am just excited about life, and I love living it.

      If you have any other reservation or wanna ask me anything else, please contact me through my blog or email me at [email protected]

      Have a great day Abeokutian, and don’t forget to send me a birthday wish on the 25th.

    • Abeokutian

      October 25, 2015 at 9:11 pm

      @ Toby – It’s the 25th today so Happy Birthday to you! 🙂 Be Blessed.

  24. Chinco

    October 14, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Down to earth write up…. happy birthday

  25. Stephsteph

    October 14, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Hi Abeokutian, the young man is only writing about living your life once. If u did not meet the tourist site on one of its best days. I dont think Toby should be held responsible. Also he wasn’t paid I CAN ASSURE YOU

    • Toby Nwazor

      October 15, 2015 at 8:00 am

      Thanks Stephsteph, or should I call you Anita, winks. (I could be wrong though)

  26. kelvin

    October 15, 2015 at 9:51 am

    men i neva knew the Olumo rock is this fine, am so going there this Xmas period

  27. Chi!

    October 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Nice one Toby! I thoroughly enjoyed ur write up n ur replies. dats so matured real. keep it up dear n tanx for making me aware of our tourist sites. i’ve noted dem n will surely visit dem when I can. i understand dat no tourist site is perfect n u were out to hav fun regardless.

  28. Chi!

    October 15, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Nice one Toby! I thoroughly enjoyed ur write up n ur replies. dats so matured n real. keep it up dear n tanx for making me aware of our tourist sites. i’ve noted dem n will surely visit dem when I can. i understand dat no tourist site is perfect n u were out to hav fun regardless

  29. Chi!

    October 15, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    By d way,Happy birthday in advance! enjoy ur day!

  30. Chizzy

    October 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Each time I read Toby’s post, it reminds me that am not living life o.

    Abeg I need to do something

  31. Frost

    November 4, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Love your article. You’ve really given me an incentive to visit Olumo Roock

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