Idanre Hills

Idanre Hills is a major tourist destination in Ondo state, Nigeria. In the past, the hills offered protection against invaders. The ancient town of Idanre is fifteen kilometers South West of Akure, the State Capital of Ondo. The Idanre hills was added to the UNESCO World Heritage in 2007. In the past, the hills provided protection for the ancient town of Idanre from invaders The ancient town can be found on top of the hill while the modern day settlement is at the base of the hills.  The Idanre town is one of the highest Cocoa producers in Nigeria. The Ondo State Government has commenced the construction of an eighteen inches hole-golf course at Atosin-Idanre and a forty bedroom hotel in collaboration with other private investors.


The different hills were named after historical figures of Idanre land namely the Olofin and Orosun Hills named after Olofin, the pioneer Oba of Oke-Idanre and his queen. The Ajimoba Hill was named after a gateman and the Carter Hills was named after a former Colonial Governor who signed a peace treaty with the Oba of Idanre in 1891. The Aghagha Hill is quite unique because it has a footprint named Agbooogun into which visitor put their feet, although, it is believed that anybody whose feet do not exactly fit into the Idanre hill footprint is considered to be a witch or wizard.

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Since the migration downhill in 1923, the vegetation, as well as the fauna and floral life, have remained undistributed. There are a special species of tailless animal called Hyrax that lives on the rocks and there are special monkeys spotted on the hills. The hill is home to a group of bats and the people hold a unique festival of bats every year. In addition, the Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in Africa, Professor Wole Soyinka wrote his longest poem titled “Idanre and other Poems“.

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History of Idanre Hills

A descendant of Oduduwa, the ancestors  of the yoruba people, stole Ade Omo Oduduwa which is the magical crown and fled Ile Ife, Osun state. The crown was meant for Oduduwa’s son and  for that he incurred the wrath of his kinsmen. They were chased deep into the forest and hence had to live  a nomadic lifestyle for many years until they came upon a range of hills. In awe, they exclaimed: “Idanree!”( a yoruba word for “this is wonder”). The hills became their protection from invaders, hence, they lived for over 800 years on the hill until they migrated to the base of the hill in the year 1923.

The legend of the Idanre Hills is related to Agboogun,who was a great hunter with supernatural ability. It was believed that the great hunter asked three of his friends to accompany him on a journey which on their way, he paused to inscribe hieroglyphics on a hillside, and the cryptic inscription became known as the “Unreadable Signs” on the hills. It was believed that the warriors of ancient Idanre drank the sacred thunder water(Omi Aopara) which was formed when lightning strikes the rocks and it made them victorious in all their battles.


Climbing the Idanre hills

To get to the top of the hill, you would have to climb six hundred and sixty seven idanre hill steps with five resting spots. During the course of climbing you will come across notable historical monuments such as the native court building, the mausoleum, the Owa’s secretary’s office, the Oloris’ quarters, the ancient palace, the first primary school in old Oke-Idanre, the mat rock at old Oke-Idanre, the native court, Owa Cave and Arun River.

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Before climbing the Idanre Hills, you need to take along with you :climbing gears, bottle of water and a first aid box in case of any emergency.


Major features of  Idanre Hills

Oke Idanre hill consists of high plain with valleys interspersed with inselbergs of about 3,000 ft. An inselberg is an isolated hill that rises abruptly from a virtually level surrounding plain. Major features of the Idanre hills includes:

The Agbagba Hill: This hill is related to Agboogun. On the hill, there are mysterious footprints that contract and expand to accommodate all feet put into them. Although,it is believed that anybody whose feet do not exactly fit into the footprints is considered to be a witch or a wizard.

The Carter Hill: This hill was named after a former colonial Governor who signed a peace treaty with the Oba of Idanre dated back in 1891.

The Ajimoba Hill: This hill was named after a dedicated King’s gateman.

The Ilesun Hill: This is named after a great warrior who killed his daughter in fulfillment of his vow to sacrifice the first living thing that would come his way if he should win the war he went into. The daughter was buried at the base of the Ilesun Hill.

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The Arun River: It is a small river found on the hill. Arun is a crystal clear river where crabs and some other aquatic creatures can be found.

Owa’s palace: It has a courtyard with carved figures and doors believed to be built in the seventeenth (17th) century.

Old primary school buildings: the first primary school in Idanre which was called Igboore standard school can be found on the hills.

The tombs buildings : It is also called a mausoleum.

The quarters of Oloris : The queens quarters can be found on the hill.


Names of past Obas of Idanre

There are 25 Obas who had ruled Oke Idanre before the present Oba Arubiefin the IV, who is the 26th Oba in Idanre. The 26 Obas of Idanre land are listed below:  

    • Owa Beyoja
    • Owa Jarugan
    • Owa Ogbogbomudu
    • Owa Agunmanyan
    • Owa Amuwaro
    • Owa Bogede
    • Owa Sofin
    • Owa Oganyeri
    • Owa Oluodo
    • Owa Obojo
    • Owa Olugharere
    • Owa Resilebete
    • Owa Elegbehoho
    • Owa Ogedemeru
    • Owa Orile
    • Owa Yiworo
    • Owa Kulumo
    • Owa Arowojoye
    • Owa Ajikansekun
    • Owa Agunleye
    • Owa Arubiefin I
    • Owa Gbolagbeye Arubiefin II
    •  Owa Adegbule Aroloye Arubiefin III
    • Owa Dr. Frederick Adegunle Aroloye JP. OFR. (1976 – till date)

Looking for an adventurous getaway in Ondo State? You can visit the Idanre Hills. You can also get the best houses in Akure, Ondo state on


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