This is a guest post by Jumoke Munu Also Known As: Jumoke Smiley of the Smileys Place Travels. Please read her amazing guide below:
Idere Hills is certainly one of my favorite places to visit and hike in Oyo state. I visited here first as a day trip with Nikeh, Sola Sly & Wemmie. My second and third visit were also a day trip(they were private tours for some of The Smiley’s Place Travels customers) while my fourth trip there was on overnight stay and this was a group trip with The Smiley’s Place Travels. Interested in visiting, either as a day trip or for an overnight stay?
Here’s everything you need to know in order to plan your trip successfully.
About destination and how to get there:
Idere Hills is located in Idere town, in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State. Idere town is a 5 minute drive from the Twins Capital of the World, Igboora. This place is a wonderfully dynamic destination for hiking and sightseeing and it’s also one of the newly discovered wonders of Nigeria.
It’s best to use google maps while driving there and if you’ll be using commercial transport, you will have to get to Igboora first (there are direct buses to Igboora from Ibadan, Lagos, and Abeokuta) after which a hundred naira cab will take you to Idere town.
Activities on Idere hills and in Idere town:
Visiting Idere Hills will afford plenty of opportunities for hiking, bush walking, caving, rock climbing, bonfire on the hills, etc.
Idere hills is what I’ll describe as diverse rocks of different shapes, sizes and forms. These divers rocks formation has caves, natural pools, layered rocks, ancient defense walls, and the summit, where one gets the birds eye view of the town and neighboring towns. Idere hills has quite a good number of sites/attractions with loads of historical significance and they are:
- Aroye – meaning ‘we can see and understand’. It is a three layered rock formation. It is a post/office for the secret police/spy. Areas in front of ‘Yara’ can easily be seen and findings communicated to the guards and palace for coordination.
- Yara – Yara means room in Yoruba language. It is the real main gate to the town on the hills proper. The walls on either side is rocky and approximately about 40ft in length, 18ft in height, and about 6ft apart. It served the trio purpose of security gate with inlet and outlet, room or office for the guards, and the top to the right (Iho Eja) for the snipers.
- Eeyore – is the natural water pool on Idere hills. It is a big indentation with water storage capacity of approximately over 12,000L which is sufficient to support the community then even during the dry season. Its water is majorly for household and agricultural purposes.
- Olorogun meji – two small lakes believed to have been formed by two female rivals, wives to a particular husband and are both mystical.
- Odi Ilu – defense wall, specially formulated and constructed, it has holes for sighting and shooting. It has withstood wind, sun, rain for over 200 years. It is one of the major relics on Idere hills.
- Kosomonu – an area on Idere hills, about the tallest place. From here the whole township can be viewed. Kosomonu means, ‘ he does not lose the child’ – if somebody is lost, instead of running aimlessly around, they go to Kosomonu section of the hills, locate the child and send to fetch the child. It has a tunnel that also serves as a hideout – narrower and longer than ‘Yara’.
- Iso Eleko Idere – the spot at which the famed Eleko Idere of Irosun meji in IFA panegyrics sold her pap on Idere hills. Idere is undoubtedly an ancient town in Yoruba land, Southwest, Nigeria.
- Isoku-Iruku – a place where you have to put the corpse down before you carry it again. While and after coming down from the hills, a section of Idere hill is designated for burial of members of the royal family. While taking the corpse up there, they get to this place where they have to put the corpse down, climb a step and carry the corpse again otherwise the corpse can’t be carried comfortably. It becomes a place of rite or ritual during princes and princesses burial.
- Ape tree – one of the oldest trees within the township. It was met when the town was founded and is at the then new community entrance now Saaro’s compound. It is estimated to be over 300 years.
- Idopa – Idopa in Yoruba language means ‘where walking stick and staff are submitted’ by chiefs, baales and lesser oba’s that came visiting as Onidere is a strong royalty.
- Aafin ( palace) – there are two places that served as palaces. The structures are caves. They serve as both abode and office for the king ( oba).
- Iho Eja/Omi Eja – this is a hole on the rock to the right side of Yara that looks like a fish indentation into the rock. Its water is meant for commercial laundry and other forms especially during the dry season.
- Oja – market, it was an open space where people bring their wares – farm produce, food products etc. Eleko Idere was once one of the traders in this market.
- Atapa water springs – this is actually a spring at Atapa hill on the Idere hills. It never dries, though not much but always there. It served as drinkable water for the whole community. It is also said to be medicinal and curative for many ailments.
Other things to do in Idere/Igboora for an overnight stay includes food tasting; tasting their famous Amala and Ilasa soup (this is said to be the reason behind their excessive birth of twins) and a city tour of Igboora which also includes visiting the King, Olu of Igboora.
What you should know:
- Go with hike buddies, remember the old rule that says there’s safety in numbers. You can as well visit as a solo traveler, since you’ll always need to book a tour guide before you can have access to the hills.
- Go with sun protection and rain gears if possible, there are no places to hide yet if it starts raining, unless if you’re inside the cave.
- Wear the right shoes and clothes. Wear sneakers, trekkers or boots with good grip, also wear long/free joggers and long sleeves, it’s good for sun safety and protects your body against cuts and bites(I experienced cuts and bites while bushwalking on my first visit, it left me itching my body terribly for more than 3 days)
- Going with water is important. You need to stay properly hydrated, you also need to go with something to munch on, soft drinks and glucose.
- Before entering the cave, allow your guide lead.
- Don’t try dipping your foot in any of the suspended lake, some are endless.
- Be prepared to take amazing snaps, there are loads of beautiful sceneries you shouldn’t waste.
Interested in experiencing Idere Hills and more? The Smiley’s Place Travels curates and creates private and group trips to Idere hills.
About The Jumoke Smiley:
Jumoke Munu is a travel content creator who shares useful tips for easy and safe travel. She’s currently the MD and Lead Advisor at The Smiley’s Place Travels. Click click here to view our Instagram page and find out more about us. Send us a direct message for any Inquiries.
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