TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN OGUN STATE
Ogun state is a state in the southwestern region of Nigeria. It is also known as the “Gateway state”. The state is predominantly occupied by the Yorubas with six major ethnic groups: Egba, Ijebu, Remo, Egbado, Awori and Egun. There are also sub-groups like the ikale, Ohori, Anago among others. Ogun state has the highest number of registered tertiary institutions in the country. It is also the state that has produced the majority of Nigerian political leaders; Olusegun Obasanjo, Obafemi Awolowo and Ernest Shonekan, who were either Head of State or president at some point. Ogun state aside being home to notable sons of Nigeria like Wole Soyinka, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, MKO Abiola, Ola Rotimi, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti etc., is also home to some exciting tourist sites.
On the list below are the top tourist sites in Ogun State, in no particular order;
Kemta Adire Market
One of the biggest commodities exported from Abeokuta is the Adire, which means ‘Tie & Dye’. The Kemta Adire Market, at the centre of Abeokuta, is home to the famous Egba women who ensure that the Adire (Tie & Dye) industry does not die by passing the intricate designing skills to their daughters. It is not unusual to see traders adorn themselves in the traditional Adire Bubas and towering headgears to match. The market is considered the largest Adire market in Africa. The market is one of the tourist attractions in the state. If you plan on visiting, you would like to have a camera to capture the beautiful market of colours and also lots of money to buy Adire products.
Ogun State is one of many states in Nigeria with a rich history and culture. The Lisabi Forest is another tourist attraction in Ogun state. According to history, the forest is named after Lisabi Agbongbo Akala, a warrior, who liberated the Egbas during the inter-tribal wars. It is said that he led his men through the forest. His heroic exploit is celebrated by the sons and daughters of Egbaland with an annual march to the Lisabi forest. The forest is also considered to be home to rare species of birds and plants. Also, there are rumours that the warrior’s remains can be found in the forest. The Lisabi forest has over the years received both local and international visitors. It is one of those places you should have on your to-do list if you are in Ogun state.
Olumo Rock is probably the go-to place you think of when you hear about Ogun State. It is one of the most popular tourist sites in Nigeria, and Africa at large. Olumo Rock is located in Abeokuta. It is one of the interesting places in Abeokuta. According to history, the city derived its name from the rock which translates literally as “under the rock”. It is said that the Olumo served as a fortress for the people of Egba during the 19th century inter-tribal wars. Olumo Rock over the years is home to both local and international visitors. There is arts and artifacts shop around the premises and eateries where visitors can get snacks, and also relax. On the rock, there are also knowledgeable guides who share the historic stories of the rock and answer questions of curious guests. Recently, Olumo is managed by the state government and has a heavy duty glass escalator for those who can’t climb the rock. The Olumo Rock is 137 meters high above sea level.
Alake of Egba land Palace
Our next stop on interesting tourist sites in Ogun state is the Alake’s Palace. The Alake is the traditional ruler of the Egba people, whose title is Alake of Egbaland. This can also be seen boldly at the entrance of the palace with the wordings “Alake Ti Ile Egba”. If you are probably wondering whether the palace is open to visitors, yes it is! There is a new palace built behind the old one in order to preserve the rich history, art and culture of the Egbas. Visitors are often left in awe of the old palace’s majesty straight from the entrance. It is one of those places you definitely want to visit.
Ebute Oni Tourist Beach
This is actually not one of the popular tourist attractions in Ogun state but it definitely one you won’t regret visiting. Ogun state is not home to many beaches like Lagos, and that should be one of the reasons you want to see things for yourself. The Ebute Oni Beach is located in Oni, Ijebu. It was first discovered by the locals before the government stepped in and began reconstruction. There are chalets for visitors to sleep in, with a great ocean view. If you need time away, this is definitely one place to go.
The Aké Arts and Book Festival
The Aké Arts and Book Festival is an annual literary, cultural and arts event that was founded in 2013 by the Nigerian writer Lola Shoneyin, taking place in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Although it has featured new and established writers from across the world, its focus has been to promote, develop and celebrate creativity on the African continent in diverse genres. In 2018 the festival was held for the first time in Lagos, from 24 October to 27 October, with the theme being “Fantastical Futures”. The Aké Arts and Book Festival has been described as the African continent’s biggest annual gathering of literary writers, editors, critics and readers
Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library
The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library is a library owned by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President of Nigeria. It is a historic, tourist and academic centre established as a national archive for the preservation of documents and materials used by the president during his tenure as the president of Nigeria. The library is located at Abeokuta, Ogun State in Nigeria.
The Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library was conceived in 1988 to immortalize him and it was actualized after he became the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Presidential Library complex comprises 32 hectares. The archives proper house 15 million documents, two million books and 4,000 artifacts relating to Obasanjo’s two stints in power, and contemporary Nigerian and African history more generally. The complex also includes an open air amphitheater, a 1000-seat auditorium, a 153-room hotel, several restaurants and bars, a small amusement park, a wildlife park, and an observation point.