Travel | Exploring Osun State, Nigeria
There's a popular African saying; ''The eye never forgets what the heart has seen'' and this was all I could think about during my time in Osun state. I spent the weekend roaming its streets, historical sites, museums and then creating my own unique guide to exploring Osun State.
If you're looking for a mix of art, nature, and culture, then Osun is the place to go. For art, the popular tie & dye is the specialty of the people of Osogbo, the capital of Osun. The town is known as, 'Ilu aro' meaning, 'The home of dye'. For nature, the most visited waterfall is in Erin Ijesha. For culture, Ile Ife town is where the Yorubas believe civilization began.
In my voyage through Osun, a few places will be etched in my heart forever.
CHASE WATERFALLS AT OLUMIRIN FALLS, ERIN IJESHA
Olumirin waterfalls located in Erin Ijesha is currently the most visited fall in Nigeria because it is one of the most accessible and apparently the closest to Lagos. It comprises seven hiking stages with waterfalls on each of the first three stages. Each waterfall is glorious until you see the next one.
EXPLORE ART AT NIKE ART GALLERY.
As you step within its walls, Nike Art Gallery, Osogbo’ screams traditional, rural, ancient, and intimate. It fits perfectly into the Osogbo setting. It is home to art pieces such as adire prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, beadwork, woodwork, wire work, and raffias.
BATIK MAKING AT NIKE'S BATIK FACTORY.
As Osogbo is popularly called the home or dye, the art of fabric beautification is another of their specialties. Close to the Nike Art Gallery is the Batik centre. All the dyed fabric art pieces in the gallery were handmade at this batik factory. If you visit, you can watch the entire process of dying fabric using the batik method. The batik method of fabric dying comprises the use of candle wax to imprint patterns on plain fabrics before dipping in coloring to achieve the desired look. Different colors can be used on one fabric and each pattern created is unique. The factory helps in poverty alleviation through training of artists at zero cost.
EXPERIENCE CULTURE AT OSUN OSOGBO GROVE.
The Osun-Osogbo Grove is a large cultural landscape listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said to be the home of the goddess of fertility, 'Osun'. Many worshippers of Osun flock to the grove to pray, offer sacrifices, and pay their respects.
There is also an annual Osun festival in honour of the river goddess. Some of the attractions are the symbolic art engravings, Mona monkeys in their habitat, the Osun River running through the grove, and the 100-year-old suspended bridge over the river. If you want to learn about the Osun people and their cultural practices, then this is a place you should visit.
These destinations should certainly get you started if you're looking to tour Osun State for a weekend!
Written by Nike Oresanya
Edited by Temitope Babaoye
Nike Oresanya is Nigerian travel, content creator, trip organizer, mobile photographer, travel promoter and all-round creative.