Chasing the Owu Waterfall

While I lived and traveled around Kwara State for work, I never for once got to explore the many wonders of the state. Maybe the Ilorin Central Mosque which is a beauty to behold, yet I never stepped into the premises.

Owu waterfall came on my radar few months before I left Ilorin back in 2014 but I never got the time to visit or my guide was just not available. Visiting the fall came back on my priority must visit lists after I visited the Olumirin (Erin Ijesha) Waterfall in July.

The initial plan was to visit with Sandra the weekend of her birthday but she canceled last minute. I threw the trip to some friends and on Instagram, Funmi was the only one available during my proposed date. This is my second trip with Funmi, we are in Togo together earlier in the year.

The plan was to leave Lagos on the 12th of November early in the morning, visit the fall, spend the night in Omu-Aran or Offa and leave for Lagos early the next morning. Meet-up time was 7 am at the Ojota New Garage. When I got to Idiroko bus-stop, there was this mad traffic and the bus I boarded dropped us at Maryland bus-stop. I had to walk from Maryland to New Garage, the traffic was crazy. There was this pedestrian bridge construction at Ojota and that was the day the workers decided to connect one side of the bridge.

We finally left the bus park some minutes to 10 am after waiting unsuccessfully for other passengers. We had to split the fare for the last seat amongst us, those old men at that New Garage are on another level of high.

The journey for the most part uneventful. Asides from few chats with fellow travelers, the conversation was strictly between Funmi and I. I was reading Robert Ludlum's The Icarus Agenda then which was a good companion. The drive was through Ibadan (Oyo), Osogbo (Osun), Offa (Kwara)-which is actually my maternal grandfather's place of origin and Ajasse Ipo (Kwara).

Passing through Offa
The driver decided to change one of the tyres when one of the passengers alighted at Ajasse Ipo. This was around 4.10pm, the change of tyre took more than expected as the driver had issues with his jack.

While we waited for the driver to change his tyre, we decided to take a picture of the corn-selling woman. The woman decided to dash us corn.

Some minutes to 5, we were finally on our way. Few minutes after we got back on the expressway leading to Omu-Aran, we heard a burst. This time a flat tyre, the tyre was punctured by a nail on the road. We hitch-hiked a bus heading to Omu-Aran from Ilorin. We were advised against going to fall that evening, it was already past 5. We decided to alight at Oro and found a hotel to spend the night with a plan to visit the fall the next morning before heading to Lagos.

We spent the night in a hotel called Obitesy in Oro. The hotel is a decent budget hotel with bungalows. We paid 5000Naira for the night which was actually lower than our budget. We had dinner at the hotel and went to bed exhausted from the over 7 hours journey.

The next morning we were awake by 5 am and one of the okada men we made pre-arrangement with was at the hotel by 6 am. Harmattan has started in Kwara by then, it was a cold morning. 

We joined a car going to Oke-Onigbin and which luckily for us was actually on it's way to Owa Kajola.

The driver was going in another direction and we had to look for okada to transport to the fall. Sundays are for church and the first okada rider we found decided on the way he had to go church for some thanksgiving and would not be able to make it back if he took us to the fall. He found us another okada rider who took us down to the fall for 1500 Naira.

Getting to the fall was no easy feat. The fall is 7km from the closest village called Owa Onire. One advice, never go alone, especially if you are female. I felt safe with Funmi. We only met 2 people on our way after we left Owa Onire village. They were on their way to fill their plastic with water from the fall. This is apparently a weekly pilgrimage for them as they believe in the spiritual powers of the waterfall. 

The road to the fall at some point is not motorable, we had to walk at some point. The journey to the fall is another adventure on its own and good for fit fam lovers.

The Owu waterfall is a goldmine the people of Owa Onire and Kwara State government are sitting on and refusing to tap into it's many potentials. The people of Owa Onire are oblivious to economic benefits of this fall. The two men we met on our way were actually indigenes of Kogi who recently moved to one of the surrounding villages.

Who would have thought that West Africa's highest fall is in Nigeria and not to even mention Kwara State. I know I was shocked the first time I heard this and couldn't believe it. Kwara state is also home to Nigeria's first museum, the Esie Museum. The Kwara State government needs to stay woke to its tourism potentials.

It is holiday time, what are your plans? Are you staying in the city or traveling?

Until My next Adventure

Molara Brown


  1. Awwwwwn Interesting! For some reason, I thought Farin Ruwa Waterfalls in Nasarawa State was the highest waterfall in Nigeria. I hope to visit this fall next year.

  2. I have this listed out as one of the places to visit next year. Thanks for the info and advice. Hopefully, there'll be an organised tour there soon, so I can key into that rather than going alone.

    As for travel plans this holidays, I think I'm staying put in Lagos. Checked out your Togo posts too, so I'm considering visiting since it isn't so far away.. Anyway, we'll see...

  3. Travel partner, now I wonder the next time we would go on such trip again. Hmmm!

    1. You that abandon me in Nigeria, praying to baba God to get 'Amurika' visa, so that I can come visit.

  4. Wow. So what time did you eventually get to the fall and when did you leave for Lagos?

    1. We got to the fall before 9. We left for Lagos by 12 or 1, can't remember correctly.

  5. So beautiful !
    Kiss, Lucie

  6. Nice post, never been to a waterfall in Nigeria.
    I must visit one this year.

    Tuke's Quest