After the tour of the Groove, Erin Ijesha, a top tourism destination in Nigeria, was the next stop, to experience the famed waterfall. We had to rely on our Google map again with help from Tosin. Erin Ijesha is a town off the expressway that leads to Akure from Ife (I hope that road actually leads to Akure, before someone will say I misdirected him/her).
We turned off the express into the road leading to the town, we saw some guys walking down and we decided to reverse and pick them, since they looked like they would know the exact location of the waterfalls, turned out they were no different from us, fellow blind bats. It was easy to locate afterall.
Once you get to the town, you would see the surrounding hills that formed a very high wall to one side of the town, a real picturesque landscape.
Entrance fee was as low as 500naira. Locals were selling hairnets and slippers along the road leading to the groove. Demola bought hairnet because of his dreads…I know it’s embarrassing, I mean even Kachi, a woman did not buy.
The place was a bit rowdy, especially the first level, as it was a festive period and a public holiday.
There are about seven levels, each level is increasingly difficult to climb. We were initially told that nobody has successfully crossed the seven levels until someone later debunked the rumor and confirmed his team actually made it through the levels. I also learnt by the time one gets to the seventh level, one would already be in Ekiti state (FACT).
So we started our hiking, error one was that we bought slippers, as against getting a proper hiking boots. We didn’t stop at the first level at all, as it was crowded and filled with children and locals.
Second level wasn’t as crowded but still felt too basic for the adventurous spirit in us, so we started for the third level. Lol, this level was tolerable with few people and waterfall is just as breathtaking as with those on the other levels. The water was sooo cold, you would be shivering after coming out of the water. It was beautiful. We played with the idea of going up to the fourth level but when we saw how steepy it was going up there, we borrowed sense and decided against it. Basically, we weren’t kitted for such a climb in our flip flops. But then we saw some boys practically running up the hills, the same one we were not able to climb. Consolation was that they were obviously used to the terrain.
We left after a while and bought asun at the ground floor where there was a mini concert going on. Ohh I ran into a sweetheart from university days on our way down, she was already looking stressed only after climbing up a level. A friend of mine was also there with her family, even though we didn’t meet but only realized we were at the place around the same period when we were reliving our travel experience days later, she thought the place was too stressful.
So that brings me to the part where I get to drop some unsolicited but necessary advice on how to maximise tourists’ experience and reduce stress and increase fun.
1. Cable cars to take people to different floors for those who would rather not climb.
2. A proper tour guide to provide guidance and control movement of kids. I saw some small kids climbing looking endangered without adult supervision.
3. A medical facility that can provide some emergency services, should the need arise.
We travelled back to Osogbo and stopped at a local restaurant to eat pounded yam and ogufe, that was the highlight of the journey for me, the pounded yam was too good I had to raise a glass to whoever prepared it.
To wrap things up, I think Erin Ijesha waterfall is an interesting place to visit but not family friendly especially if you have kids in tow. And if you want to treat your girl to this kind of experience, make sure she has strength and flair for the adventure before you will go and stress somebody’s daughter and spoil her mood.