Looking at the name Ilesa (Iléṣà), you will thinkit is one of those rural, rustic and pastoral Nigerian communities. However, a visit to the city will definitely make you abdicate and purge yourself of such a perception.
Although the pace of the city cannot be compared with other vibrant Nigerian cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt, Aba, and Kano, it has some measureof peace, order, hospitality and warmth which are visibly absent in the aforementioned city.
This is what makes Ilesa stand out from others and it is a destination every tourist must check out on a visit to Osun state.
Ilesa, is a city located in Osun State, Southwest, Nigeria. People from Ilesa are referred to as Ijesas.
The towns which make up Ilesa include Erin Ijesa, Ipetu-Jesa, Ijebu-Jesa, Esa-Oke, Ibokun, Ifewara, Ipole and Idominasi among others. Ilesa is a 6 hours drive from Lagos. It is a day’s journey if you leave early.
Top three sites
The Olumirin Waterfall
This is the most popular tourist destination in Ilesa. Any tourist visiting the city is most likely to visit the Olumirin Waterfall.
The Waterfall is located in Erin Ijesa, one of the local divisions of Ilesa. The waterfall has 7 layers from which it cascades from and visitors only need to pay N500 to gain entry.
Climbing the Waterfall is a different experience. Although it is enthralling, it takes only the strong and the patient to climb. If you are able t get to the 7th layer, you will have a panoramic view of the locale.
However, it is a whole different challenge coming down. Importantly, do not forget to en mesh your whole being in the water which is said to have spiritual significance. And if you want to really enjoy your time at the Waterfall, arrive early.
Kiriji war Museum
The Kiriji war was sour phase in the history of the Ijesas. It was a war between two powerful Yoruba groups which share the same lineage.
They are the Western Yorubas (Ibadan and its allies) and Eastern Yorubas (Ijesas and Ekitis’).
According to findings, the war was as a result of the crash of the Oyo Empire as well as the domination of the Ibadan soldiers despite the collapse of the Oyo Empire.
This led to bitter rivalry and eventual war. The war lasted for 16 years. Thus in order not to forget this important part of Ilesa history, a museum was established.
For 11 days in December, persons who trace their heritage to Ijesal and, return home to celebrate the Iwude festival.
The festival showcases the culture, dance, music and tradition of the people. It also features game and a processions.
Where to eat
In the center of the city, there are restaurants where you can have the best of Nigerian cuisines. Just ask the locals and one of the restaurants they will direct you to is The African Restaurant. Other places to eat include Bukateria, and Royal restaurants among others.
Where to shop
You may not find the high-end shopping malls in Ilesa but the small scale shops can suffice. Some of the spots where you can shop include Format Ventures, Phonson Boutique, Adebambo Tayo stores, and Brainfield shopping mall. You can also visit the popular Atakumosa Market to shop.
Where to sleep
With Jovago.com; you do not need to worry about where to sleep in Ilesa.
You simply walk into your hotel, settle your bills and relax. Some of the hotels on your Africa’s no 1 hotel booking portal include Spring Hill Hotel, GoldCity Hotel, Garrett Hotel, Royal Park International Hotel and Heis Hotel.