Traveling through the states of Osun, Ekiti and Kwara, spending four days and three nights exploring some of the tourist attractions in these three southwestern states was an experience of life and fun.
Traveling has always been a great opportunity for me to discover new worlds. The Tri-State Tour began in Osun State with Osun Osogbo Sacred Groove, a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as the first stopover from Ibadan, capital of Oyo State. It was a dream come true because over the years we have heard stories about the groove and we have always dreamed of visiting it. I was extremely happy and thrilled to visit the groove one day of this year’s Osun Osogbo Culture Festival Grand Final, which was celebrated last month. At the bottom of the wave, we connected with some of the young Nigerian tour operators who were also ashore. The list includes Bolaji Seun and his team, Ngozi from Mizfasa Trips and Rasheed from Afro Trips. Together we explored the beauties of this natural enclave which offers a lot to visitors. Afterwards, we headed to the Nike Art Gallery workshop and production site in another part of town where we saw a number of works of art on display and interacted with the artists while they were devoting themselves to their profession. We also contacted another young Nigerian tour operator, Omotosho Hakeem at the gallery. It is considered to be the main tourist promoter of Kwara State.
It was the grand finale of the Osun Osogbo Cultural Festival and it was a great testament to the festival which drew a massive crowd. It was a rare cultural exhibition with a lot of entertainment and demonstrations by the different groups. We then left for Ekiti State. It was my first visit to the state known as the Fountain of Knowledge. The town of Ikogosi, home to the Ikogosi hot spring, was our first stop.
Starting at 7 a.m. the next day, we visited the spring, which is the state’s most popular attraction. It was a marvel to see, because one was fascinated among other things by the meeting point of cold water and hot water. We also explored other sections of the sprawling resort, which has an attractive natural attraction, such as the swimming pool which is known for its heat all day and season as it receives water from the spring. At 10am we left for the Arinta waterfalls, about a 25 minute drive from Ikogosi. It was a beautiful fall and we had a lot of fun and spent time on the video and the photoshoot. The Arinta waterfalls are located in the town of Ipole Iloro, in the state of Ekiti. Later that day, the train traveled to Omu Aran in Kwara State, a two-hour drive from Aramoko, Ekiti State. From Omu Aran, we spent another hour on the road to the Ero Omola waterfalls. It was a bumpy ride due to the bad nature of the road but we had to endure it. It was an enchanting fall to see. We met three elders on our way who graciously agreed to guide us to the waterfalls. Of the 13 tourists on the trip, only seven of us had the audacity to reach the top of the waterfalls while the rest were chilled to see the sprawling and majestic falls. The Ero Omola Waterfalls, located in Idofin Igbana, in the local government area of Oke Ero, state, is a newly discovered destination. We had a wonderful time in the fall before heading to Ilorin for the night. Day Four We left at 9am. First, we visited the Emir’s Palace in Ilorin. You must see the magnificent architecture of the mosque near the Emir’s Palace. The guide showed us around places steeped in incredible history. We were won over. The Emir’s Palace is located in Oja Oba, Ilorin. Around noon, we left for the crushed rock of Ilorin. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the crash site. It’s another great destination to see and a place to be. We did video and photo shoots on the site. Shortly after, we left for the hotel and then left for our respective destinations, marking the end of the four-day, three-night tour through the tri-state. It was an amazing tour for me and also the experience was great. I enjoyed every part of the places visited as I got to know more places. * Samuel Olaniyan Olusola is from Olaniyan Travels based in Lanlate, Ibarapa, Oyo State
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