The only reason I have decided to break my Kwara trip into sections is because of this particular post.
Is this your first time here? start here and continue here.
Babatunde Oladosu– who solely sponsored this trip revealed to me he did so because he wanted me to unviel this wounder in the wilderness to the world, so I deliberately made it my last trip.
To be very honest here, the thought of me touring Owu falls (the tallest in Nigeria) kept me awake all night- It was the longest since my arrival in Kwara and unknown to the poor me, I was about embarking on my most dangerous mission.
The first woe which betide me was late preparation. I didn’t finish preparing until 9:30am when I finally left home for Unilorin- the only place I could charge my phone which was only 2% alive at the time.
I charged for about 30 minutes before hastily joining a shuttle heading towards post office. This journey made me #120 poorer but I cared less being a nonchalant traveler that I was.
My next hurdle was to get to Omu aran where I was told I’d get the direction to Owu falls. So I strolled relieved into the park by 12:36pm but the bus didn’t move until 2pm. why? I was the second to get there and you know that angry moment when you’d pray earnestly for passengers to just come in for the bus to get filled.
Still unknown to me how rough the journey ahead was going to be, I sat with utmost joy between the driver and another passenger in the front section of the white interstate bus as we journeyed through the infrastructure-starved Kwara state.
The only colourful things I saw aside the green weed which adorned both sides of the express road were myriads of political signboards with over 90% of them bearing the picture of Bukola saraki– With the look of things, the people of Kwara are more satisfied with the posters than the dividends of democracy.
Whats my business? I only blame the Angel who didn’t hear me properly when i told him my most preferred country was Netherlands and not Nigeria.
We soon swept past Idofihan , Igberi Owode, Omupo as our bus maintained a consistent momentum until we got to Iludun Oro– a small village where our bus decided not to move again until we replace the engine’s belt.
So we all alighted and as expected sprinkled to different spots in search of a resting place while we await the arrival of the driver who went to get another belt from a nearby town.
My wristwatch reminded me it’s few minutes past 5pm.
I suddenly remembered I don’t know my next move after getting to Omu Aran, so I decide to ask one of the passengers who was also taking her refuge beside me. She was with her colleague and I suspected from her lousy attitude and endless talks in the bus that she is a public secondary school teacher who came to greet her daughter- an undergraduate in one of the higher institutions in Kwara state.
“Ha! hope you have where to sleep because you certainly can’t return today if you continue this journey o. Its better you go back home and come back tomorrow”.
That was her exact statement. she really said it in a scary manner, the way every yoruba mother does.
I pretended like I heeded her warnings, so I requested for the direction to Owu falls so that I can come back tomorrow like she advised. so she gave me… “you needn’t reach omu aran as there is a shorter route just by that bus stop”- she said pointing to a junction on our left.
I immediately stood up, dusted my partially stained shorts and headed backwards towards Oke Onigbin where she advised.
The time raced fiercely towards 5:30pm as I increased my pace. My tongue was drying up and the sky’s attitude wasn’t encouraging either. I knew i was feeling tired but I decided not to feel it. I was thorn between going back home and forging ahead.
“I cant go back, I managed to mutter. I was already head and neck into the journey.
It occurred to me that the son of man hadn’t eaten anything aside the #50 orange he bought at Igberi Owode. His tummy rumbled but that was the least of his problems.
I finally got to Oke Onigbin where I asked for the buses going to owu falls. The woman smiled and told me buses don’t go there due to how dangerous that road is. My heart skipped as I immediately knew they have finally get me. You know that mogbe moment naw.
I was brought back to life when she said pointing to the right, “go and meet those bikers, they might take you there”.
Its on probability again? kuku key me.
So I proceeded with a shattered mind while the bikers all stopped their conversation immediately on sighting I was coming for them.
“I want to go to owu falls” i said to no one in particular so none answered me except one who told me he can’t go even if his mum begged him.
I finally understood the teacher’s warnings. The time was 5:48pm. My tongue became sour.
Suddenly, one of them volunteered to take me on just one condition, and that was if I would pay him #4,000. I begged him with all the known names that works till we finally arrived at #2,000 for both going and returning.
I hopped on his bike and we zoomed off.
We sped past Ijara, Owu, sabaja, oba isin, owa onire and didn’t stop until we reached Owu falls.
All through our journey, he kept lamenting about the bad state of things in Kwara state, emphasizing on how the Government has refused to tap into the potentials of Owu falls, according to him, this falls has the potentials of being the most sought-after travel destination in Nigeria. I couldn’t agree less even though I haven’t seen it yet.
We journeyed through this path- only the two of us and series of thoughts raced through my mind as the horrible sound of the bike couldn’t drown them. At a point I thought about being kidnapped, at the other, it was the fear of being killed but the friendly nature of my biker did a lot in restoring my hope.
This continued until we got to Owu falls.
These pictures should summarize my experience:
Many thanks to my biker who was more friendly than I thought. He doubled as my photographer and guide.
I’m tempted at this point to throw jabs at the Nigerian government for their negligence towards this place. I’m not being biased here, but I think Owu falls has better chances of topping the list of the best tourists sites in not just Nigeria but Africa at large.
You need to see the videos on my IG page @nomadic_negro to understand me clearly.
The sky alerted me it was time to go, so I quickly took a selfie with my tour guide before jumping on the bike again. It was 6:40pm.
We soon got back to Oke Onigbin where I joined a space wagon which charged me #400 back to post office, leaving me with only #100 which used in joining another cab which took me home.
I was tired but I couldn’t stop rethinking the experience till sleep took me to the regular unknown destination it usually does on a daily.
I was brought back on Sunday which was the next day, did all the necessary rituals and headed straight for the train station but couldn’t catch one due to some technical issues, so I opted for a bus ride instead, even though it costs more.