My visit to Iyake Lake, the only suspended lake in Africa

In July 2018, I decided to join two other people I had never met before on a trip to Ado-Awaye, the community in Oyo state where Iyake Lake is located. How did I end up traveling with two strangers? Well, I saw a message about the trip on the Whatsapp group of a Book Club I belonged to.

Pictures on Ado-Awaye Mountain​
Pictures on Ado-Awaye Mountain

It was affordable and a lot of us showed interest. Turns out the only people that turned up for the trip were a Guy, a Babe, and I. The rest had pulled out, and I was left with these two members of Bookhangout whom I’ve never met before. Ghen Ghen Ghen Ghen.

Turns out the two strangers already knew themselves before, so lowkey, I way the only stranger in the mix. I wasn’t even fazed. It took me a few minutes to read their energy and realized they were actually very cool people. Both were fun, expressive, and social, so we bonded immediately and set out on our trip. I know you’re here to read about Ado-Awaye Mountains and Iyake Lake, so I’ll skip the rest of the background story and cut to the chase.

We left Ibadan for Ado-Awaye the next day and arrived Ado Awaye around 10:30 am. The trip from Ibadan took about 2 hours. Once we closed in on Ado-Awaye, it was obvious that we were close to our destination as one could see the tall mountains on both sides of the road.

By the way, the town of Ado-Awaye has a very interesting history that you can read here

We connected with our Tour Guide ‪@ComemakewegoAfr and headed for the entrance to the Mountain. I think the fee to Access the Mountain can be negotiated for groups, but I remember we didn’t pay much, it was less than one thousand Naira per person (asides fee for the Tour Guide). It was time to start the climb.

Climbing Ado-Awaye mountain in an effort to reach Iyake Lake

After 20 minutes of climbing 365 flights of decaying stairs, we finally got to the top of the Mountain. The first thing we saw was Ishage Rock. This is a boulder of rock standing at the entrance to the Mountain. It is regarded as a bringer of rainfall in the community. Whenever there is a drought, the Chief priest covers the lower part of the rock with a white cloth after which rain would start falling for days on end.

It took another 10 minutes of mountain trekking to get to the prime attraction we came for; the Iyake Lake. As you may already know, there are only two suspended lakes in the world and Iyake Lake is one of them. The other is somewhere in the State of Colorado, USA.

When we got to Iyake Lake, I was baffled for a bit. I didn’t know what to expect, but I probably expected a much bigger body of water, but here it was, a really small lake reputed to have healing powers amidst other interesting narratives around it. I couldn’t believe that I was standing right in front of something that could only be found just one more place in the world. Mind-blowing!

Iyake Lake, Ado-Awaye​
Iyake Lake, Ado-Awaye

We spent about three more hours picnicking and exploring the Mountain. There are actually some more interesting things about this Mountain and Iyake Lake. I have written a straightforward list of all the interesting things about this destination and you can read it via this blogpost “8 interesting things you need to know about Ado-Awaye Mountains and Iyake Lake”.

Overall the experience was one I haven’t forgotten two years down the line. If all things work out as planned, I hope to visit this place again later in 2020.

If after reading this post, you’re still not convinced to visit Ado-Awaye and Iyake lake, then you may want to read this blog post where I have curated 6 specific reasons why you should visit Ado-Awaye and Iyake Lake

Author: Favour Onyeoziri

Favour Onyeoziri is a travel enthusiast. He also loves writing about his travel experiences, while sharing valuable guides and tips that would be valuable to fellow travel lovers

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