Over the years, tourism has been known to be a growing field amongst other disciplines. For the purpose of tourism, several immigrants have had to travel both far and wide to savour the importance of places whether man made or nature-given. However, every day introduces and brings in new places to visit and man, knowing the relevance of tourism and leisure has developed innovative ideas to promote his quest. Tourism and leisure has been known to perform very many functions to man. It relaxes the mind and like music; it sooths the soul.
Olumo Rock indisputably is a tourist’s delight and a destination that must be included in travelers’ itinerary. The Rock has attracted both locals and nationals all around the world and it has remained a point of reference to all those who have visited the monument and have savoured its experience. The Rock is a nature-given monument hanging in a perfect-fit architectural placement with cave like surroundings that provided refuge to dwellers in the ancient times.
Olumo Rock is an irregular formation of igneous rock with a massive outcrop of granite rock composition. Olumo Rock is located at Ikija in Abeokuta, around Itoku Market where the signature product of Ogun State, Adire is manufactured and sold. The Rock served as a testament of refuge and safety to the ancient dwellers of the Egba Kingdom. History reveals that in the 19th century, the Rock provided a vintage for the people who took solace at the cave-like openings beneath the Rock called ‘Abeokuta’ in the Yoruba language. Intra tribal wars broke out amongst the then Dahome people and the Egba people and in search for refuge, Olumo Rock was discovered.
As a nature given edifice, the height of the Rock which is 137 metres above the sea level provided an aerial view of the surrounding communities and with this picturesque, warriors could prepare a better attack against their opponent. After war times, the Rock which provided both refuge and shelter to the old settlers of Egba kingdom became a rallying point and thus the faith of the settlers became fixed on the Rock which brought an end to their many strives and wonderings. Also, in appreciation of God and nature, the people named the Rock ‘OLUMO’. Interpretatively, Olumo means; God in his benevolence moulded the Rock and in other parlance, it means a point where God had put an end to the strive and travails of the people.
Significantly, the cave-like structure benevolently created by nature provided rooms for safety and a home of abode to the settlers in times of war. Thus, the people after victories won at war, prided in the fact that they hid underneath the rock during the wars. Consequently, ‘Abeokuta’ became a word popular amongst the people and a pride to the Egba people. Following the importance of the Rock, the capital of the State was named after the historic event which took place in 1830, when the Egba people hid under the Rock (Abeokuta, a translation in Yoruba) Hence, there is a true ‘Abeokuta’ in the city called Abeokuta and it can only be found at Olumo Rock Tourist Complex.
Amazingly, nature has it that flourishing inside the Rock at its pinnacle is an Iroko tree. Tourists have wondered with awe the secret behind the growth of a tree that does not wither and its root untraceable, living gracefully with the Rock which has been delightfully made by the supreme hands of nature and God. Blessed also with the Rock is the existence of a Boabab tree that has amazed tourists who would have expected that such a tree would have grown in the Savannah region.