Notable Tourist Attractions in Ilorin and their Native Folkloric Beliefs

There are a lot of tourist attractions in Ilorin and its environment. This attracts a lot of the sons of the soil at home and away. Visitors and foreigners alike come to see these tourist attractions from far and wide.

The tourist attractions that can be found there include the following:


Owu Fall


This very high and spectacular water-fall which is regarded as one of the highest in West Africa. It is located in Ilere district in Ifelodun local government area.

It is a perennial waterfall that cascades from a height of about 120 metre. When the water reaches the base, it forms an ice-cold pool of water.

The waterfall is surrounded by lovely vegetation that gives the place a relaxing ambiance. The place is available and open to visitors all year round.


Esie Musuem

esie museum

This is the first national museum in Nigeria located in the ancient town of Irepodun local government area. The museum houses some mysterious soap stone images whose origins are unknown.

Information from the museum says that the soap stone images height ranges from 14 to 120 cm and have a weight of between 0.55 to 104 kg.

History has it that this soap stones were discovered by the founder of Esie and a renowned hunter in 1775 in a thick forest.

Consultations were made with Ifa to know if the stones we’re good or evil ones. The soap stones were found to be harmless and the people started to worship them. The coming of Christianity and Islam has put an end to the worship of this soap stones in recent times.

The soap stone images look like real men and women going about their normal daily activities. Some of the images had signs of royalty and nobility on them as they were adorned with beads.

esieFacial marks and elaborate hairdos were also seen on the images, showing the likelihood that there must have had contact from people from other areas of major civilization.

The facial mark showed that the images were of Yoruba origin. Some had the stance of people in deep contemplation.

Some other set of the soap stone images are a replica of people having a good time in what looks like a local palm wine outlet.

Another set of images were seen sitting in a semi-circle formation under a palm tree with an image that appeared to look like their king in the middle.

These set of soap stone images had on different kind of beads with head-ties and crowns. Some of them were carrying weapons and they looked like people who were preparing for war.

Further excavation was carried out at the site in 2008 and this revealed that there were more of these soap stone images still buried in the soil.

How the soap stone images found their way to the forest is still a mystery that remains unsolved till today because there are different accounts in history concerning how they got there. The museum is open to visitors all year round.


Imoleboja Rock shelter


This rock shelter is located at Odo-Owa in Oke-Ero Local Government Area.It is a massive formation of rock with natural architectural design.

In the local language it means that “God has built a house.” It can take up to 100 people at a time.

This rock shelter has served as a hide-out for local maidens who are protesting against their peers that engage in pre-marital sexual relationships and become pregnant. The place is open to visitors all year round.


The Adin and Black Soap Industry

This industry is a tourist attraction that is located at Odo-Owa in Oke-Ero Local Government Area. Women and children can be found there making adin and black soap with local technology.

They make these by using palm kernel and ashes. The adin and black soap produced there are believed to have medicinal properties which are useful for a lot of skin problems and it is also used in the care of hair as well.

The place is open to visitors all year round.


Residence and Mosque of Alfa Alimi

Alfa Alimi was an Islamic scholar from Fulani. He came from the north to Ilorin to preach and he built a mosque and a place of residence in 1831.

His mosque was the first mosque where Jumaa prayer was observed in Ilorin and it is still being used up till this day to offer routine prayers.

Special prayers are also observed in the mosque occasionally.

The mosque and residence is located behind the Emir’s palace in Ilorin. It is open to visitors all year round and it is accessible by road, rail and air.


Sheikh Alimi’s Mosque

The mosque is located at Kuho near the village of Temidire at Asa Local Government Area in Kwara State.

Sheikh Alimi was the originator of the Fulani dynasty in present day Ilorin Emirate.

The area around which the mosque is built is a beehive of Islamic activities and people come there for religious tourism.

The place can be visited at any time of the year as it is always opened to visitor.


Ogunjokoro Iron Mass Park

This Iron Mass Park is located at Gbodomi, close to Jokoro in Ipaye district of Moro Local Government Area. The Iron Mass is known as “Ogunjokoro” or “Omo Owu”.

The size is about that of a cement block, but the mystery about the rock is that it cannot be lifted by anybody that belittles it.

There is a lot of mystery concerning how this iron mass got to the spot where it stands and why it cannot be lifted up considering the fact that it is not too big. The place is open to visitors all year round and it is accessible by road.


Ningurume Fish Pond

This pond houses mysterious species of fishes that are adorned with earrings and beads. They are not seen every time except on special occasions.

Sacrifices are offered to this fishes and they are also worshipped by the villagers on sacred days. These fishes are not edible and you can only use calabash to fetch water from the pond.

If a fish is mistakenly picked while fetching water, you must drop them back. This fish pond is located at Nigurume Village in Baruten Local Government Area.

The time of visiting is determined by the caretakers of the fish pond who also serve as the Chief Priest.



This is a voluminous waterfall that is located along Osi, Idofin-Igbana road in Oke-Ero Local Government Area. It is best viewed during the rainy season.

The atmosphere of the area is very cool and relaxing with a lot of refreshing breeze blowing there.

During the dry season, there is an awesome collection of rock formation to be found in the area. The place is open to visitors all year round



This stone is where the town Ilorin derived its name from. The stone is used for sharpening metal and it was used by the founder of Ilorin, Ojo Isekuse to sharpen his tools.

The stone used to be worshipped in the past but nowadays this is not the case, it is only preserved for visitors to see. The place is opened to visitors all year round.

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