A visit to the State of the Living Spring, Osun state , is not complete for a tourist without a visit to Erin-Ijesa in Oriade local government. You might be wondering why a tourist will need to take such trip from the state capital, Osogbo, which is home to the popular Osun Osogbo festival and culture. The answer is not far fetched as Erin Ijesha is host to the popular Olumirin Waterfalls.
Olumirin water fall, according to Engr. Daniyan, is the most visited tourist site in Nigeria today. As at November of 2014, from January to November the tourist site grossed 50,000 visitors. No other tourist site has had that level of patronage .
The waterfall is 2km off Erin Ijesha town. According to one of the custodians of the waterfall, it was discovered by a woman called Akinla, founder of Erin-Ijesha town and a granddaughter of Oduduwa, the progenitor of the Yoruba race, in the year 1140 AD during the migration of Ife people to Erin- Ijesa. Legend has it that when it was first discovered, the waterfall had the appearance of a mysterious figure.
Travelling in company of three other tourists I came across at the Ilesha park in Osogbo,I was spellbound seeing the seven layers of rocks and seven waterfalls as the water flows majestically among the rocks and splashes down with great force on the vegetation around like a mysterious figure indeed.
Erin-ijesa as part of south western Nigeria falls within the tropical climatic belt with alternating hot dry and warm humid seasons. Atmospheric temperatures only slightly from 30-34oC ranges while the annual rainfall averages 1500cm.
The breeze at the waterfalls is cool and refreshing. The whole scenery is fascinating and idyllic. I tried comparing the scenery with that of Agbokim waterfalls in Cross River state.
What I saw at the Olumirin water falls is like the collection of seven cascades which pour over a cliff creating an impressive seven-part waterfall as in Agbokim Waterfalls.
As we savour the surroundings of the waterfalls, the tourist guard on duty, Oluwole explains that when the falls was first discovered that no one dared move near it for fear of being swallowed up.
“It was believed to be a living spirit through whose several mouths water gushed out; a very tall and huge spirit whose height reached to the high heavens. The inhabitants therefore named the fall Olumirin.
“They thought this was another god whose power over the whole area was only similar to Akinla, the founder of Erin Ijesha town.”
According to a tourist who has visited the waterfalls, “it doesn’t look like anything out of this world until you begin climbing the seven levels of the ascending plains of the waterfalls.
“So, we begin the climbing, the view at all the levels is wonderful and the freshness of the water is energizing. However, the last and seventh level is definitely the most intriguing, well that’s if you ever dared the torturous climb.”