Oyo is a state that can be found in the SouthWestern part of Nigeria. It happens to be an island state that is rich in so much culture and history that it is basically impossible to not find any cultural or historical artifacts and sites. The state is tied deeply to the mythical origins of the Yoruba people.
Built where the great Oyo empire, a very powerful empire that ruled the Yoruba lands and people for approximately five hundred (500) years. Today, it has grown to have a capital (Ibadan) that has become the third most populated city in Nigeria.
Thanks to this fact, it has become a very diverse place to be, with lots and lots of interesting sites to visit, especially for tourists. So, in no particular order, here are ten of the best tourist attractions in Oyo state.
Located in the expanse of Ado-Awaye region; a place that is filled with so much wonder and awe, it has become a popular tourist attraction especially for lovers of nature. You can take a casual stroll or an adventurous hike along its paths.
#2 Iyake Lake
Also found in the valleys of Ado-Awaye. This lake provides a serene atmosphere that teleports you from the harsh and bustling city to a calm and tranquil haven. You can enjoy a relaxing and quiet picnic with you and your loved ones while watching the sunset behind the towering Oke-Ado Mountain.
#3 Agodi Park
This fun filled park is located in Ibadan; the capital of Oyo state. It offers a variety of fun-filled activities like water slides, fun rides, horseback riding, petting zoo, mini bars and so much more. You can partake in a nice relaxing picnic with your family and friends. There is so much more that can be enjoyed at Agodi park.
Or UI zoological garden; is a zoo that is managed by the University of Ibadan or UI. Located in Ibadan, the capital of the state, UI zoological gardens is one of the best and well-maintained zoos in the whole of Nigeria.
And for just a measly five hundred Naira N500, you can get access to see all sorts of animals, from giraffes to zebras, to a wide variety of reptiles and other aquatic animals. Do not come to Ibadan without visiting UI zoo.
#5 Amala Skye
Now, amidst your tour of this great city, I am quite certain that you must feel a little hungry from all the excitement and wonder. Well, why not come on down to Amala skye and get that tummy of yours filled.
This place is the number one food joint in all of Ibadan. They serve all sorts of soups and dishes including the scrumptious amala. Trust me when I say that you will have no regrets coming here.
#6 Mapo Hall
Located on top of the renowned Mapo Hills in Ibadan is Mapo hall; a city hall that was designed and built during colonial times. Commissioned in 1929 by Captain Ross with Engineer Robert Jones as the lead construction engineer, the hall stands firm till this day, overlooking the city of Ibadan in all its glory.
#7 Bowers Tower
This place dates back to the early twentieth century, 1920 to be exact. The tower was built in honor of Captain Bowers, a man who was sent by the Matriarch of the British empire to find a way to put an end to the seemingly eternal battles among various tribes within the Yoruba kingdom.
This was a job that was done so superbly that years later, a tower was built in his kingdom. Today the tower which has stood the test of time considering the fact that it is poorly maintained still stands tall and overlooks the great city of Ibadan.
#8 IITA Forest reserve
This is the most secure and the sole urban forest the south western region of the country. Thanks to this fact, there is a high level of bio diversity and the forest has become a safe haven for all species to breed and thrive.
Today it is a major tourist attraction and it brings people from all works of life and from every nook and cranny to the IITA Forest reserve to come and see animals and plants of various species for both recreational purposes as well as academic purposes.
#9 Odua Museum
Also known as the Odua museum and hall of fame, is termed as a “must see” by other tourists who have visited Ibadan in Oyo state. The Museum can be found in Cocoa House in Ibadan, and is home to a lot of rich and historical artefacts as well as some traditional and cultural art works.
Odua Museum also proudly showcases some notable Nigerians and their newspaper cutouts from memorable or historic moments. It is affordable to tour and it provides a great view of the whole city of Ibadan due to the fact that it is situated at the center of this great city.
#10 Irefin Palace
Last but certainly not the least on our exotic list is the Ancient and hidden Irefin Palace. This place is said to be owned by one of Ibadan’s royal family. The Irefin people of old were a warrior clan that settled in the area and were ruled by a man whose title was termed as The Bale’ of Irefin.
It was in this place that the Irefin Palace was erected. It houses a lot of rooms, designed for certain purposes. Like judgment, dispute settling, worship, and other traditional practices that were prevalent at the time.
Now, it is a bit disheartening to know that the palace is not as well taken care of as one would expect a historical landmark such as this, should be. Notwithstanding, the simple fact that the palace is still able to stand tall and strong till this very day is a testament to the thriving culture and tradition of old that this country so holds dearly.
Oyo state is a place of historical value and importance especially as it regards the southwestern region of the country. Feel free to visit all or any one of the places and sites listed above. Thank you for reading.