AJALA NENE’S TRIP: HIKING IN NIGERIA – EXPLORING ADO-AWAYE AND IYAKE LAKE (AFRICA’S SUSPENDED LAKE)

ABOUT ADO-AWAYE AND IYAKE LAKE

I finally climbed the famous Oke Ado Awaye and it was both strenuous and break-taking. If you love hiking, then this is a must do. This mountain located in Oyo State, Nigeria got its name from the two communities surrounding it namely – Ado and Awaye.

Honestly, the view of the town from the mountain is spectacular and breath taking.

There are only two suspended lakes in the world and one is located in Ado-Awaye called Iyake Lake.

So what is a suspended lake? It is described as a lake found on top of a mountain. Iyake lake is one of only two recognized suspended lakes in the world. The other one is known as the Hanging Lake located in Colorado, USA.

Rumor has it that drinking from this lake heals all sorts of diseases and even cures infertility.

THE HIKING WONDERS OF ADO AWAYE

The journey to the peak of the mountain takes about 3 hours, that’s about 2 hours to get there and about an hour coming down, which includes rest breaks and enjoying the view.

THE ISHAGE ROCK

The first encounter when you start climbing is a long stairs. This could take roughly 10-15 minutes depending on your pace.

By the time you reach last step, you would be greeted with a huge rock called Ishage.

It is believed that some sacrifices are made to the rock to control the weather. When the community is experiencing drought, a white piece of cloth is placed at the base of the rock. A few days, the clouds precipitate and the rain falls in about 3 to 4 days.

THE MYSTERY FOOTPRINTS AND THE ELEPHANT TREE

As we climbed the mountain, we came across impressions on the ground that looked like big footprints. It is known as “Ese Awon Agba” meaning “Footprints of the Elders”. There is a belief that that the impressions are actually footprints of those who lived on the mountain.

Along the way, we saw a huge tree in the shape of an elephant trunk. a perfect place to take some photos.

We finally made it to the suspended lake, Iyake lake which had a huge tree close to it.

There is a belief (yeah many superstitions here) that the lake is bottomless and that anyone who tries to swim in it would sink and never make it out.

The community also believes the water has healing powers. If you drink from it, you would get healed of whatever ailment you have.

JOURNEY TO THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN

After sight-seeing the suspended lake, we treked on wards towards the top of the mountain.

The journey up was not easy…so many undulating grassy paths, passing bridges and climbing sloopy rocks.

One particular sloop was quite scary to go through but with the help our tour guide, David Atabo, we all moved through like champs!

The view on top of the mountain was worth every climb to be very honest.

It was breathtaking…very reflective experience and photo worthy environment.

Trust us to utilize every moment, I mean a lot of us didn’t want to leave – that is how beautiful it was *smiles*

After taking all our Instagram worthy photos (grins), we went down the mountain with ease and less time.

Apparently climbing down is much smoother and faster.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HIKING AT ADO AWAYE

Here are a few things you need to know to help prepare and enjoy your Ado-Awaye Hiking trip:

  • Outfit: It is advisable to wear a comfortable t-shirt with shorts or joggers. Hiking or running shoes are highly recommended to help with good grip when climbing the sloppy mountain and to feel comfortable while walking long distances. The shoes is very important, I didn’t wear the right trainers and ended up with nail hematoma (bad blood) in my two big toes, took almost 6 months to clear out.
  • Refreshment: Have a bag (knapsack or pouch) with some snacks and bottle of water. Trust me, you would need them for energy boost while hiking.
  • Photographs: Go along with a phone with good camera for photos. Professional cameras are okay but get ready to carry them up and down as you slide over bare rock, holding on to a stick and the rock.
  • Cash: After a good hiking up and down the mountain, you deserve to reward yourself with the local meal of hot amala *shines teeth* Then drown it with a chilled bottle/sachet of water and soft drinks *wink*
  • Crew: Grab your crew (friends, family, etc) and hook up with Ado Awaye’s finest tour guide David Atabo for your hiking adventure and explore one of Nigeria’s hidden treasures.
  • Time. This was TVP Adventures biggest request: “Don’t rush this mountain. You’ll want to soak it all in” . And I totally agree, take your time to enjoy this beautiful experience. However, do note that hiking Ado Awaye takes about 3 – 4.5 hours, depending on your pace.

MORE PHOTOS OF OUR HIKING EXPERIENCE AT ADO-AWAYE

Have you visited Ado-Awaye?

If yes, do share your experience in the comment box below.

If not, you should hook up with TVP Adventures to take you there.

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Happy go-lucky. An Explorer. Fun and blunt. Simple and natural. Jesus baby!

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