Erin-Ijesha Falls, also known as Olumirin falls, is a tourist destination located in the Erin Ijesha area, on the outskirts of Osun State. It is an interesting patch of land that rests right on the Osun/Ekiti border. It is fascinating that you start the climb in Osun State and you end it in Ekiti state.
On getting there, you are approached by tour guides (N5,000/$13.27) and hawkers trying to sell their wares. The hawkers sell bottled water, rubber slippers, snacks, energy drinks, etc. We decided we didn't need a tour guide and went in ourselves. How hard could it be to find our way up? (Also we had run out of cash).
Parking costs N200 ($0.52), entry fee per adult is N500 ($1.31) and there is a N500 ($1.31) fee for your camera.
The site was discovered in 1140 AD and it is said to have been found by either one of Oduduwa's daughters or hunters. In the earlier days, it had substantial religious significance and once was a site for sacrifices and festivals. Nowadays its a beautiful pocket of nature that overlooks Ijesha town and attracts visitors, worldwide.
The climb is a 7-level (four hours up, and an hour down) hike with a stunning view of the cascading falls at each one. It's quite a steep climb and it bears mentioning because you should be mentally prepared before you go.
It was amazing being completely enveloped by nature. The cool air from the heavy vegetation combined with the sound of the whistling falls give a very calming and therapeutic feeling. Although you can access the waterfall at any of the levels, the best place to enjoy the cold torrential downpour is on level 3.
YOU HAVE TO GET IN! The water slaps your bare skin, leaving every tissue in your body rejuvenated and you wonder why you have to return to the hustle bustle of the city.
The water here is said to have healing properties and I can see why that is a popular school of thought - you feel like a new person after entering it. Imagine being a plant here.
After drying off, we decided to keep climbing. If you are not a thrill seeker or don't have a tour guide, you probably should not continue the climb as there aren't any stairs beyond this point. You have to rely on the vines and roots of the vegetation to make progress so bear this in mind. You should also be careful when climbing down, some parts can be quite steep.
We were only able to make it to the 4th level because it was getting dark, but I will definitely be back to conquer Erin Ijesha. Nonetheless, the views we got were always better than the last. For you to thoroughly enjoy it, make sure you are not time bound.
Things to remember:
Comfortable workout clothes (wear shorts).
Swimwear if you don't want your clothes getting soaked.
Comfortable shoes for climbing.
Bring something to carry your trash in, do not litter.
It would be amazing if a place like this got adequate support from the public and private sectors, it really is a national treasure. This would help them to put more safety measures in place, pay a work force to keep it clean, tar the road leading to it, revamp the signages to attract more visitors. This will help to boost tourism in Nigeria and Africa.
A truly ethereal experience.
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