Idanre hills are also referred to as Oke Idanre. It is a large hill located in Idanre town in Ondo State, Nigeria. The Idanre hill has unique landscape, its variety of cultural sites such as ‘Owa’s Palace’, shrines, The Old Court, Belfry, Agbooogun footprint, thunder water (Omi Apaara), burial grounds and unique ecosystem. These beautiful features have indeed made Idanre popular and have put Nigeria on the nomination for the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. Idanre is 3000 ft (914.4meters) above sea level.
This town is also home to forest elephants, antelope, snakes, hyrax, mona, monkeys, bats, bush pigs, buffalos, African civets, birds, and Amietophrynus Perret as Perret’s toad. The people of Idanre once lived on the hills before relocating to the lower parts. In addition, the town is over 800 years! The people are farmers who are known for cocoa cultivation. Thus, the Idanre hills are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Nigeria.
Furthermore, it was nominated for UNESCO World Heritage site on October 8, 2007 (Cultural category). Idanre hill, according to myth, also has nine ancient wonders.
Idanre Ancient Wonders:
- “Ibi Akaso” The Steps
- The King’s palace
- Agboogun’s Legacy
- Unreadable signs
- Agboogun’s footprint
- The wonderful mat
- “Omi Aopara” Aopara Water
- The Orosun Hill
- Arun river
As the name implies, there are so many hills surrounding this town with vast vegetation. These hills are namely:
- Carter hill: The Carter hill was a famous hill named after the Colonial Governor in 1891 after signing a treaty between the Oba and the governor. Also, see the magic of the naturally cold and warm Ikogosi Spring.
- Ajimoba hill: This is also another famous hill, named after an ancient King’s Guard for his service.
- Orosun hill: The Orosun hill has quite a story behind it; named after a girl, the daughter of a warrior. So the warrior vowed to sacrifice the first living thing that came out of his home to welcome him if the gods granted him victory in battle. He was victorious, and in fulfilment of the vow, hence he sacrificed his first daughter and buried her beside the hill.
Idanre hills are indeed full of exciting things that will make your visit worthwhile. These include:
The white man’s house
This was the house of the missionaries and colonial masters. They lived there during their stay at Idanre.
Ibi Akaso, meaning the steps on the hill, it is a significant attraction. From top to bottom, it has six hundred eighty-two steps and five resting points.
The first primary school
This school is on the hill, built in 1896. Although now old and abandoned, it is very much in existence. The first primary school in Ancient Idanre (‘Igbo Ore’ Elementary Primary school Est 1896) is a sturdy mud infrastructure built by Christian Missionaries. Although, the school’s site used to be an evil forest-where mayhem and all the bad spirits resided. However, the people gave the place to the missionaries as the ancient Idanre people’s way of resisting civilization and sentencing the Christian missionaries to the wrath of their gods.
This is an ancient court built in 1906 by British missionaries. Thus, this court ensured law and order. Unfortunately, it is now abandoned and in ruins.
The prison, also located on the hill, was kept for offenders found guilty by the court.
An old palace that dates back to the 17th century was the people’s palace before they moved.
House of Lorin
The custodian of Idanre is Lorin. To visit Lorin, you don’t enter his house in clothes and shoes. The custom forbids the Lorin to do so. He dresses only with a tied wrapper. consequently, one tradition that is upheld to date is that you don’t enter the house or Lorin uninvited.
Omi Apaara means “Thunder River” in English. It is a freshwater stream along with one of the main tourist routes to the top of Idanre Hills. Indeed, Omi Apaara is close to the Igboore Elementary primary school, the first citadel of western education in Ireland.
Omi Apaara served as a vital point for the warriors on their way to battle. However, the myth holds that every warrior who professed a positive satisfaction with their time at the river would emerge conqueror in war and return safely, whilst any warrior who professed dissatisfaction will end up not winning in the war. See the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, the sixteen lakes interconnected by a series of waterfalls.
Things to do at Idanre Hills
- Hike to the top of Idanre hill by climbing all 682 steps.
- You can also decide to see the hills by hiking through Idanre Hills.
- Take your time to feed your eyes the peace and beauty of the landscape.
- In addition, get to learn the history of Idanre Hills and the Idanre people.
Also, do not forget to come with a camera! Capture moments and beautiful places. Furthermore, you may need a guide. So get a tour guide.
The entrance rate to the hills is #1000. However, you may need a tour guide, and that might add a little to the expenses. A tour of the whole city may take 2-3hrs, although depending on your pace.
From outside Nigeria, take a flight to Lagos International airport. Then, you can take a 5-hour drive to Idanre or take another flight to Akure airport. Finally, take a cab to Idanre Hills.
Coming from Lagos, Idanre is a 5 hours drive from the city of Lagos. First, drive to Akure through Ore road, Ogun state. Also, it is a less than one hour drive to Idanre. Make quick bookings at the Heritage Continental Hotel Akure.
Come Along With
- A face cap
- Bottles of water. You sure will need them.
- A face towel
- Snacks & fruits
- Your phone and a good camera
- Enough money also.
Tips for Climbing the Hill
- Wear something light and comfortable
- Wear a hiking shoe
- The Arun river gets slippery sometimes, be careful.
- Pack a small hiking bag
- Have enough money on you
- Place your water where you can easily reach it.