Lake Eleyele, Ibadan
Ibadan isn't known for having many water bodies, and this is why the Eleyele Lake was one of my must-see destinations. There aren't many online resources about the lake, so I had to rely on few youtube videos, and some "Mum, how do I get there?". I soon felt confident enough to drive there and so I called up my friend Daniel and we headed out. Daniel is a budding film maker and videographer so I thought it'd be nice to capture some Saturday morning footage.
It wasn't very difficult to find, but HERE is a google maps link to make things easier. 10 minutes and some medium level navigation, later found ourselves in a lush grove and our excitement mounted with each step towards the water.
The grove has an obscene amount of plastic waste however the lake is beautiful. The boats looked a bit worn but this in itself felt charming because it reminded me that we were in an ancient city. Some people might groan about it but I have been on worse boats and so we met "Aafa" our guide, and were on our way!
Aafa has wise eyes and spoke with a certainty that made you feel at ease. We learnt quite a lot from him as he gave details on the pivotal roles the lake played in the ecosystem and how it caters to the numerous communities around it. These include:
A tourist hotspot
Transportation channel for intercity travel
Water source for Ibadan city water project
Location for film/videography projects
Research hub for studying marine plants and animals.
I was fascinated to be honest. I grew up in this city and didn't know there was a water channel that could get you to different parts of the city for ₦50 ($0.13). Our guide took us to the infamous Eleyele dam, a water source for most of the city and I started to wonder what I actually went to school to learn. Google maps gives a clearer idea of the geography of the lake.
The calmness of the water filled me with peace and it felt great to forget everything, if only for a moment. You can hear the calls of the different birds and it felt like a morning out of a story book. There were storks, kingfishers, ducks and many other aquatic birds.
The skies were a bit cloudy and made for some really scenic and dramatic shots and so we made sure to get lots of amazing pictures and videos. Watch what Daniel made below:
The tour did not end when we got back to shore because we wondered why a lot of people didn't know about the lake and the many potentials it held. Aafa, with a very recognisable look on his face, tells us that this is actually a branch of the Kosoko Marine and Tourism Centre and not much has been done to develop the area. I couldn't find anything online about them or their projects, so that's a shame.
Irregardless, Aafa encourages people to visit the lake and soak in the serenity and calmness that only nature can provide. The entire experience cost us ₦1,000/$2.45 each. You can reach him on 0803-885-4352 to organise a visit.
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