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Folu Oyefeso

Eleyele Lake, 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.

Pathway to Eleyele Lake
Eleyele grove

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, our boat guide at the Eleyele Lake
Aafa in all his splendour

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:

  1. A tourist hotspot

  2. Transportation channel for intercity travel

  3. Fishing area

  4. Water source for Ibadan city water project

  5. Location for film/videography projects

  6. 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.

Google maps view of Eleyele Lake
Map view of Eleyele Lake

View of Eleyele Lake from a boat
Scenic views at Eleyele 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 so it’s a fantastic place for bird watching.

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.

Kosoko marine and tourism centre

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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