I am a keen Nigerian Tourist, born and brought up in Lagos with a love for travelling and visiting tourist sites. For those sites I can’t visit, I read about them. I’ve visited a few sites including: Ibadan Zoo, Unilorin Zoo, Nekede Zoological Garden, Unilorin Dam, Lokoja Confluence, National Mosque Abuja, Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Godswill Apabio Stadium Uyo, Niger Bridge (pardon me including buildings… An Architect and so i love and value buildings) and so on. States visited include Abia, Akwa-ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Imo, Kwara, Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Abuja, these are the ones i can remember at the moment 🙂
I read a lot about tourist sites and in my view, Owu falls is among the top 10 natural wonders in Nigeria as it is claimed to be the tallest natural waterfall in Nigeria and in west Africa (although i think the one in Ghana is taller ….lol). When I got posted to Kwara for my NYSC, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to visit the fall.
I and my tour party didn’t get a tour guide on the day so I cannot tell you much about the history of the fall, but from research I gathered Owu falls was discovered by a missionary in the mid 90s, although another myth says that Owu falls and its environs used to be home to dangerous birds and large snakes until God came to Kill them all thereby making the area habitable for humans without fear. The choice is ours which version you believe but I know what version I will be telling my kids :). A bit of an aside, I never understand when they say a missionary came and ‘discovered’ something in Africa, as if no one else in Africa has ever seen that thing before then this European arrives with his 2020 vision and just like magic, he sees what no African has seen in thousands of years, a load of rubbish. Anyway, moving on…
We went to the waterfall as a group. We were all Youth Corpers so essentially we were a big group of friends. We arranged two buses from Ilorin to take us there and also made arrangements for food and drinks. I carried my personal Bluetooth speaker which made the journey even more fun. We left Ilorin around 10am and got to the village at 12pm, we then started our 45 minutes trek / jog to the falls. It wasn’t difficult locating the waterfall as one of our drivers was quite experienced and the footpath was pretty straight forward.
One point to note is that a courtesy visit needs to be paid to the Onire of Owa-Onire, Oba Abdulraham Fabiyi before you head to he fall. We didn’t know this and only visited after our trip to the fall. Reason for this visit apparently is to enable the Oba/community to prepare and get tour guides ready for visitors. needless to say we had no guide with us due to this error.
owu waterfall visitnigerianowThe trek I mentioned earlier was more like a hike as the footpath got steeper as we approached the waterfall so you could easily include hiking as part of the adventure to Owu waterfall. On getting to the site, there are few fun activities to do including swimming, taking shots & the all-important selfies. The ambience and the group I went with made it so much fun, beyond what can be put down in words so I will advise you to go in a group when planning this trip, you’ll enjoy it better and I guess feel much safer.
It is advisable to go with hiking shoes (not slippers, sandals, heels or anything fancy), extra clothing (for those that plan to get close to the falling water and hence get wet), swimming trunks (if you plan to swim of course), towel, camera, some food and drinks and maybe some entertainment if possible.
My best feature of the trip and the fall is how magical it is, it responds to voice. The louder you scream, the higher the volume of the water!!! I guess the little annoying thing about the trip was that at a point in the journey, we encountered some insects and also lost phone signal. Not a major but just thought I should moan about it!
In conclusion, Owu falls is a place to be, a natural beauty and a hidden treasure the government hasn’t really tapped. My wish is for the government to develop the environs, especially the access roads and other amenities in order to make it more attractive for tourists.
My name is Chinedu Njoku and a travel enthusiast.
To see more of my adventure pictures, follow me on IG @tz_chindu