Diary of a Nigerian traveler-Ikogosi warm springs

After the exhaustion that comes with exam stress, one deserves to relax, or in the Nigerian context, to be taken care of.

To conclude the session’s activities among students, the National Association of Philosophy Students, University of Ibadan (NAPS UI) collaborated with EkitiHub, a sociocultural brand that promotes the cause of Ekiti State, to organize a two-day event titled “The Rave of Plato.” 

The journey from Ibadan, the brown roof city, through the farmlands, rolling hills, potholes, plate holes, and spoon holes, as well as ancient towns and modern edifices, was full of memories. From the ecstatic noises of freshers who will no longer be called freshers to the jubilant voices of finalists turned graduates and many more. There was no boring moment. 

The journey was to the centre of Ikogosi Ekiti, a small, quiet town with distinctive, culture and customs, in the Western part of Ekiti State, where children and grandchildren are born in the dews and grow up with the wetlands; where they enjoy being lulled to sleep by the hushed tones of water, the ballad of night birds, and the gaze of seven hills, lies a wonder – a cold spring that gushes in tandem with a warm spring and then meets at a junction, each with its own thermal properties. 

This, they say has propelled Ikogosi Ekiti into the national and international spotlight, earning it the nickname “nature’s gift to mankind. The warm spring itself with foothills and a plunge pool that’s richly decorated with rock formations and massive grasses, with tales of a distant past and people’s pride, with warmth, glory, and wonders. You’ll be taken aback as you gaze upon one of Ekiti’s and even Nigeria’s most beautiful landscapes, surrounded by seven rolling hills and you’ll see why it has the nickname “nature’s gift to mankind.”

On getting to Ikogosi Ekiti, we were told about one of the several legends that have been built over time about the beginnings and development of the Warm Spring. According to this particular legend, “the warm and cold springs were the two wives of a great hunter. One of his wives was described as short-tempered, while the other was described as peaceful. The two wives had a fight one day, and after being chastised by their husband, the short-tempered wife became the warm spring, while the quiet one became the cold spring.” However, it is widely assumed that the spring was discovered in 1950 by a Baptist Missionary. It is also largely assumed to have some kind of curative power and medicinal effects. 

We began exploring the site after being briefed on the activities and history of the warm spring. The amphitheatre was the first to go. A recreation of the ancient Roman amphitheatres seen on television was right in front of us. Despite its small size, it captivated a large number of tourists. After leaving the amphitheatre, we went to the accommodation centre, which had a number of spacious rooms with king-sized beds. More ecstasy ensued. We then left the accommodation centre to visit the warm spring. We arrived at the spring’s source by walking along the charming walkways, accompanied by a serene bamboo jungle, a flowing warm stream, and bird chirps.

We arrived at the confluence of the hot and cold springs and climbed to the source of the hot springs. We could feel the heat and cold of both bodies of water. Some of the tourists initially questioned it, declaring in the typical Nigerian manner that it was “sakamaje.” The noise started a few steps forward—it was indeed hot, and not “sakamaje.” Surprisingly, at the meeting point of the warm and cold springs, there is a tree and a palm growing from the same source. We witnessed it. We were astounded. We tried to theorize and make jokes about it as philosophers. One of which was the question “which school of thought supports this?” I’ll leave that to you to answer. 

We jumped into the warm pool, which gets its water from the warm spring itself, after touring the area, taking pictures, and having a light snack. It was relaxing, smooth, and refreshing. That was the time to wash the fatigue away, and we did just that. 

It began to rain shortly after we exited the pool to clean up. The drizzles created a stark contrast between the warm bath we had just taken in the pool and the cold water the rain was splattering on us. It left us speechless, joyous, and ecstatic. We danced our way through the rain, back to the bamboo forest, and into the bus. The beginning of the end of our trip to the Ikogosi Warm Spring and Resorts came with mixed emotions. The warmth the site and sights offered was so astounding that we promised Ikogosi Ekiti that we’ll visit again. 

Aside from the warm spring, which has been purposefully left unaltered for eco-tourism allure, there are other attractions within the same venue, such as warm water swimming pool, an amphitheatre, bars and restaurants, and even a resort where you can lodge, experience, or communicate with Mother Nature. Ikogosi Ekiti is also a beautiful, sleepy town where you can relax, eat delicious food, and feel safe. You can walk into town and enjoy the beauty of the hills, tropical forests, and spectacular landscapes, or you can visit Splash World, West Africa’s first waterpark, which is just across the street from the Warm Spring, or the Gossy Natural Spring Water factory, which is also sourced from the Warm Spring.

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