ABOUT OYO STATE
Oyo State, popularly referred to as the PACE SETTER is one of the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It came into existence with the break up of the old Western State of Nigeria during the State creation exercise in 1976 and it originally included Osun State, which was split off in 1991. Oyo State is homogenous, mainly inhabited by the Yoruba ethnic group who are primarily agrarian but have a predilection for living in high density urban centers.
The indigenes mainly comprise the Oyos, the Ogbomosos, the Oke-Oguns, the Ibadans and the Ibarapas, all belonging to the Yoruba family and indigenous city in Africa, south of the Sahara. Ibadan had been the centre of administration of the old Western Region, Nigeria since the days of the British colonial rule. Other notable cities and towns in Oyo State include Oyo, Ogbomoso, Iseyin, Kisi, Okeho, Saki, Eruwa, Lanlate, Sepeteri, Ilora, Awe, Ilero, Igbeti, Igboho and Igbo-Ora.
The climate in the State favors the cultivation of crops like Maize, Yam, Cassava, Millet, Rice, Plantain, Cocoa tree, Palm tree and Cashew. There are a number of Government Farm Settlements in Ipapo, Ilora, Sepeteri, Eruwa, Ogbomoso, Iresa-adu, Ijaiye, Akufo and Lalupon. There is abundance of Clay, Kaolin and Aquamarine. There are also vast cattle ranches at Saki, Fasola, Moniya and Ibadan. Ever since the existence of the pace setter state they have been various places named to be a tourist attractions. some of it are listed below:
UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN
The university of Ibadan zoological garden came into existence over 6 decades ago and became a full fledge zoo in 1974. It is mainly for education, conservation and entertainment purposes.
The zoo has undergone tremendous transformation in the drive towards international standards. It has been moved from obscurity to visibility and greater patronage among other means through the renovation and acquisition of infrastructure and by being ICT-sensitive. With a new architectural design for the Zoo, there have been changes to different structures.
The garden has now been stocked with more and new species of animals. Animals are grouped in different sections of the zoo. Sections in the garden include the Avian, Herbivore, Carnivore, Reptile, Primate and small animal sections.
Indeed, the vision and mission of the zoo has been redefined.
The Vision is to be a world- class zoo geared towards sustaining the ecosystem through conserving wildlife while our Mission is aimed
- To serve as a dynamic custodian of animal species;
- To see to the conservation of animals especially endangered ones, so as to sustain biodiversity; and
- To contribute to the transformation of our society through educating and inspiring visitors to take action for the protection of wildlife.
Below are the top tourist attraction places in Oyo State
UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN
AGODI GARDENS AGODI IBADAN
Formerly called Agodi Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Agodi Gardens was created in 1967. The garden was destroyed by the Ogunpa flood disaster in 1980 as most of the animals were swept away by the raging water. The garden was renovated in 2012 by the Oyo State Government and the new Agodi Gardens was reopened in 2014.
Agodi Gardens is a tourist attraction in the city of Ibadan. Also called Agodi Botanical Gardens, Agodi Gardens, Ibadan, the site is a serene environment on 150 acres of land. It is usually patronised by families during festive periods and weekends. The major attraction of it is the water park, lake, restaurant, mini zoo, play areas for children, picnic and gardens area
Agodi Gardens is also a first choice recreational facility for nature enthusiasts, garden parties, outdoor events, concerts and even weddings. In addition, you can explore the mini zoo and check out the waterpark, as well as enjoy a boat ride with friends. It is very serene, lush and green. And needless to say, it is perfect for those who crave the quietness of solitude, picnics, a get-together with friends and family time out.
Agodi garden is located near the oyo state secretarial complex, Agodi Ibadan. To also find your way there, you can ask the locals or you make use of your google map. The entry fee is #500.
IYAKE SUSPENDED LAKE ADO AWAYE
Ado-Awaye is a town in Oyo State, Nigeria. It is popular for its hill (Oke Ado), upon which is a lake (Iyake), one of only two suspended lakes in the world. Ado Awaye suspended lake/ hanging lake lies about 20km West of Iseyin, Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State. The suspended lake is housed on one of the crests of rocks commonly referred to in surveyor’s language as the “sleeping lion”. Similarly, the 350 steps leading to the top of the hill housing the suspended/ hanging lake takes about an hour to climb. The route to the lake contains many shrines and notable historical spots that make a tourist delight.
Evidence of past civilization is many in this nature’s gift, there are broken crucibles of earthen pots and other archeological remains. The geographical axiom of the “higher you go, the cooler it becomes” is manifested on the lake. The beauty of the hill is seen in the thick vegetation which remains evergreen all through the year. The suspended lake is a large slopping rocky plain, which can be developed into picnic/camping site. On top of the hill, one gets a panoramic view of the beautiful scenery of the area.
The Ado Awaye suspended lake is a special and lovely place that attracts lots of tourists from all over the world and majority of them wish to take the lake away if possible. Visit Ado Awaye town to see this wonderful lake and you will be glad you did. It will equally make your day a fulfilled one.
Iyake Lake is the most prominent attraction on the mountains. It is a semi-circular shaped lake with clean turquoise colour water. No one knows the depth of the lake although local folktales claim some foreign tourists who attempted to establish its depth lost their lives in the process. Many folktales surround the lake. It is believed the lake leads to another world. The lake is also credited with mysterious powers to solve personal and health problems. No wonder religious bodies throng the venue for prayers. Many visitors go away with bottles of the water which they believe contains medicinal properties and magical powers.
About two metres away from the lake is a spectacular hole which is called Agbomofunyake. It is a foot- like formation which accounts claimed was accessible to the Iyake Lake. Anyone who is pulled into the hollow formation ends up in the lake.
Idere Hills is one of the latest tourist attractions in Oyo State. Idere Hills was recently commissioned as a tourist attraction site in Oyo in the year 2020. It is a historical mountain surrounded by a beautiful green landscape. This mountain has an interesting story dating back as far as over 600 years. It is located in a quiet town known as Idere in Oyo State. Idere Hills has one of the most beautiful landscapes in Nigeria. A view that will take your breath away keeps you wanting more. There are several attractions you should look out for when you visit this beautiful mountain.
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. Visiting Idere Hills will afford plenty of opportunities for hiking, bush walking, caving, rock climbing, bonfire on the hills, etc.
ODU’A MUSEUM AND HALL OF FAME
ODU’A MUSEUM & HALL OF FAME was conceptualized by Odu’a Investment Company Limited to reflect a memory of classical gild of history, technology, people and culture, arts and crafts as they relate to occupation and ingenuity of the past.
The idea of putting up a Museum and Hall of Fame has been in the uppermost mind of the Board and Management of Odu’a Investment who believe that most Yoruba have lost touch with their past, especially at it relates to the customs and traditions.
Management of Odu’a Investment Company Limited therefore put this Centre in place to showcase some objects of historical and aesthetic values that are evidence of the material culture bequeathed to us by our forebears. It is no doubt, an eye-opener to school children, visitors and other people who are interested in Yoruba cultural values.
it is located at the 24th floor of the cocoa house in Dugbe Ibadan
MAGNUS PAINTBALL GAME ARENA IBADAN
This is a competitive team shooting sport in which players eliminate opponents from play by hitting them with spherical dye-filled gelatin capsules (“paintballs”) that break upon impact. Paintballs are usually shot using a low-energy air weapon called a paintball marker that is powered by compressed air (nitrogen) or carbon dioxide.
Bower’s Tower can be seen at the top of Oke-Are in Ibadan. It is an historic monument put up to honour Captain Robert Lister Bower in 1936 – he was the first British Resident in Ibadan, and appointed by the British government to administer the ancient city, which he did between 1893 and 1897.The Bower’s Tower was designed by Taffy Jones, the engineer that designed Mapo Hall.
The tower is 60 feet high and 11 feet square with two entrances and a spiral staircase that leads to the top of the tower. From the summit of the tower, you can see Ibadan round about sprawling before you and appreciate the pre-historicity of the town. The Bower Tower is someplace to check out if you happen to be in Ibadan.
From the top of the Tower, the ancient city lays before you, spread out in her splendor; but today, getting to the peak of the Tower will not make one see more that 1/3 of the great city of warriors.
Anyone with a good vision can see the Lagos-Ibadan toll gate as well as Ife- Ilesha toll gate from the top of the Tower. One can also see the whole of UCH, University of Ibadan, the Polytechnic of Ibadan, the Adamasinga stadium and the colourful conference of rustic brown metal roofs which covers a larger percentage of the buildings in the city.
MAPO HALL IBADAN
Mapo Hall is a large Ibadan City Hall built in colonial architectural fashion. The Hall lies top the Mapo Hill in Ibadan, Oyo State. The construction of the Hall took four years and it was finally unvielded in 1929. It was constructed for administrative use during the colonial era. Mapo Hall is well known for its seven columns which represents the seven hills on which the city of Ibadan was built.
Mapo Hall boasts of a mini museum which hold various relics of the colonial era. There are also various pictures of the city’s rulers, dating back to the first Olubadan to current available at the hall.
Cocoa House is a 26-storey building in Ibadan constructed in the year 1965. It was once considered the tallest building in tropical Africa. Cocoa House was established using the proceeds of Cocoa trade and export proceeds.
It is a property owned by Odu’a Investment Company and was formerly known as Ile Awon Agbe which means House of Farmers. Cocoa House was gutted by fire in 1985 but has been renovated and is still in use today. The hill can seen most parts of the city, it was renovated in 2006 and has played host to several political and social events in Ibadan.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF UNITY IBADAN
The National museum of unity Ibadan serves as home to a number of priceless historical relics and artifacts that celebrate the rich historical culture of the Nigerian people. The museum is divided into four sections namely, unity gallery, Yoruba gallery, masquerade gallery and pottery gallery. You can visit the museum with friends and there are tour guides available to explain the significance of various elements in the museum.
IITA FOREST RESERVE
The IITA Forest Reserve (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) is a 350 hectares of land established and managed by the Natural Resource management department of the IITA. The IITA Forest Reserve was set up to provide solutions to the degradation and extinction of natural resources in Nigeria.
The forest reserve preserves is absolutely beautiful, highly diversified forest reserve which preserves over 200 birds species, over 220 butterfly species and 440 plants used for medicinal purposes.