SPLENDOURS OF NIGERIA: THE WARM SPRINGS OF THE WEST
IKOGOSI – TRANQUIL REFRESHING HOLIDAYS –HOT OR COLD?
After driving for about four hours from Lagos, I begin to silently question my craving for an attraction that was probably over hyped. As if to douse my fears however, in a short while the flat plains gave way to an undulating terrain. This is what I call ‘nature’s welcome’ and I happen to have experienced this many a time now. You can clearly tell from the mountains and terrain that something lovely is waiting for you somewhere close.
I had planned to also visit a few other tourist attractions close to Ekiti State on this trip. I figured that this region had to be one of the richest in Nigeria in terms of clusters of natural phenomena. This thought was in fact the motivation for my trip, as I could easily fit in three waterfalls, two zoos, mountain climbing and more into my three day trip to the south western states of Nigeria.
I did not have to. What was waiting for me at the climax of my journey was enough for this journey. It was pure relief and then some. That relief is called Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort. Let me share a few things that wowed me.
Even the die-hard anti-naturalist would marvel at the rare phenomenon of warm and cold springs originating from about the same source and flowing side by side. The meeting point still feels like an age-long trick, in this case however, the trick is true.
Late in the evening you could almost ‘touch’ the heat of the flowing ‘smoking’ warms springs. It has to have some healing effect and there are lots of tales on the therapeutic powers of the springs. Trust me, some natural spa was all I could think of. I remember galloping up and down the wooden trails like a child who had just been given a new toy. I was going to describe the feeling of touching the warm and cold streams together but there is yet a word to describe it, so hopefully you can suggest me when you visit and experience it yourself.
The Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort built around the warm springs is a joy to behold. A lot of things stood out for me. The first of which is the coherent design. Very well thought out design that accentuates the natural surrounding instead of competing with it. The walkway lets you enjoy the natural phenomenon without leaving much of an imprint. The landscaping was apt. The rooms, 75 chalets and 12 suites, were very welcoming and cozy and would hold their own against established chain hotels.
And finally, I must put on record that I met some of the best hotel staff at Ikogosi. It is truly a luxury in Nigeria to see hotels staff smile and exhibit a high level of courtesy. It was truly heartwarming.
Even though I suspect there are a number of undiscovered waterfalls in the area due to the amazing topography, Arinta waterfalls is the only known waterfall.it is just about less than 10 minutes’ drive from the warm springs. Again, it is heralded by an undulating and scenic route as if to confirm my “nature’s welcome” theory. The cascading waters can be reached by a leisurely walk through a conspicuous bush path and the prize for that walk is simply breathtaking, soothing to the mind and body.
I have not even mentioned the sumptuous meals and drinks. Yes, there’s even a Palm Wine Bar if you like natural liquor to go with the green setting. In all, my trip was so very worth it and I made a mental note to start group tours once a week to Ikogosi, life is more fun when our special memories are shared!