The Legendary Hills of Idanre: A Well Kept Secret

I am an avid traveller (at least that is how I choose to describe myself). I was going through my Facebook pictures and found some nice memories from my trip to Idanre Hills (Oke Idanre) in 2011 — an excursion with friends from my department. It was quite an exhilarating journey but is arguably one of the best experiences from my undergraduate days.

‘Biggy, ‘Nonso, Jed, Me, ‘Deji and Dare preparing for the voyage.

The trip to Idanre Hills was scheduled to last for three days and so they wasn’t any urgency in departing the University on the day of this trip. The ride to Ondo state was really cool and chatty, though long, but trust me the guys who went on this voyage were the coolest guys in my department (Iyke, ‘Demola, Bolanle, Azeezat, Francis, Angela, Della, Judith, and so on) at that time. We arrived at around 9:00pm, and as soon as our abode for the night was allotted, the groove went full swing. Trust yours truly, I was always gonna be the beau of the ball, churning out dance steps after the other not minding what time of the night it was (I’m sure if I was at home, one guy would have sent me to my room to sleep without smiling). Tunde, ‘Dare, Jumoke, Jedidiah et al, didn’t let me get center stage, they made the competition real and the party was dope.

The official programme of events.

The next morning after the early morning salutations and cleaning, we set off. 667 great steps, Omi Apara, Agboogun footprint (the fabled shoe-print that could fit the foot of anyone, regardless of foot size. Anyone whose foot didn’t fit is considered to be a witch or wizard), Arun river (believed to have natural healing powers), Aghagha hill, Old court, the Ancient palace (the Owa’s palace had a beautiful courtyard with carved figures), the Unreadable letters (a mysterious handwriting on the rock that is still impossible to decipher), the Old Primary School, etc were some of the tourist attractions on our lineup of activities.

667 steps? OMG!

To get to the top of the hill, we had to manoeuvre the 667 great steps and people took turns to rest at the five resting posts along the steps. The journey that started with beautiful faces took a lot from my esteemed voyagers. Girls went through awkward metamorphosis (looking tired, old and sometimes both at one point or the other) and for the guys , it was just a battle of strength. Be the first to get to any of the resting points and you had automatic license to throw jabs at those coming behind.

The view from the top of one of the hills

The view from top of the hills was extraordinary, I felt like a gigantic being looking down at the villages where we started our journey from. The green vegetation and the close interaction of the clouds (or mist, I don’t know) offered reasons to appreciate nature. The Fufu and Egusi soup, we were served when we came down from the hills was worthy refreshment, as we were able to replenish energy expended.

‘Dare in front of the Old Primary School

Reminiscing on that trip from five years ago, is prompting me to go back. The state’s government has also embarked on the construction of an 18' hole golf course at Atosin-Idanre and a 40 bedroom hotel in collaboration with a private investor, to boost the tourism potentials embedded on the hills of Idanre.

It has been listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is situated about 24 km southwest of Akure, the capital of Ondo State. It also has a resort where you can relax.

Originally published at Enroute Nigeria.