These should be your points of interest when you visit Ibadan
Ibadan, the abode of Oluyole, ( Ìbàdàn or fully Ìlú Ẹ̀bá-Ọ̀dàn, the town at the junction of the savannah and the forest) is the second largest city and the largest in geographical area in Nigeria and the capital of Oyo State. It has a population of 3,300,000. Local industries include food processing and cigarette manufacture.
Ibadan was founded by the Yoruba in 1750. At Nigeria’s independence, it was the largest and most populous city in Nigeria and third behind Accra and Cairo in Africa. It is located in south-western Nigeria, 128 km inland northeast of Lagos and 530 km southwest of Abuja, the federal capital and is a prominent transit point between the coastal region and the areas to the north.
Populated mostly with the Yorubas. Ibadan was founded during a time of great strife within the Yoruba Kingdom. Initially intended to be a war camp for warriors coming from other parts of Yorubaland, owing to its location on the fringes of the rainforest, Ibadan became an emerging market for traders and goods coming from both the grasslands and the forest. Unlike other Yoruba cities with traditional institutions of monarchy, however, In Ibadan, the warrior class became the rulers of the city as well as the most important economic group. Which is why the ruler of Ibadan is called Olubadan (Olu of Ibadan meaning Lord of Ibadan) and not Oba.
Don’t let me bore you with history about Ibadan, a city of the brown, rusty roofs, the place where all things good come to die. That’s just bad rep from its spoilt younger brother to its South. This ancient city is an emerging metropolis in its own right and has still been able to hold on to its rich cultural heritage, unlike its infamous neighbour.
Meanwhile, If you are a guest in this city or planning to visit soon, welcome to Ibadan, and to get the true Ibadan experience, here’s a couple things to do and places to go catch fun.
Agodi Gardens and Leisure Park
Agodi gardens boast a variety of recreational activities visitors can engage in. With a restaurant, playground, water park, zoo and a forest walkway.
When you visit this beautiful park, you will feel like never to leave.You will feel at peace with the serene environment and have loads of fun singing at the karaoke bar.
The park is owned by the Oyo state government and its located along parliament road,Agodi,Ibadan ,Oyo state.The gate fee is N500 but people who intend to swim have to purchase a ticket priced at N1000.There’s a little bit of something for someone.
University Of Ibadan
Established in 1948, University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s Premier and arguably best university. With a population of over 30 000, the university is a small town in its own right, with its own unique culture and ambience. With its rich history, the University of Ibadan has a strong bearing on the Ibadan Experience.
University of Ibadan Zoo
While you’re at the University of Ibadan do make sure to step into the department of zoology, home of the famous University of Ibadan zoo. Established as a menagerie in 1948, it has grown to cater to a wide range of animals from Mammals like giraffes, lions, camels e.t.c to reptiles like crocodiles and snakes. For just a token fee of 200 nairas, you’ll enjoy the various offerings of the zoo.
Obafemi Awolowo Stadium
The Obafemi Awolowo Stadium is formerly known as the Liberty Stadium until 2010 is a historic 25,000 seat football stadium based in the city of Ibadan, Nigeria. It was the first stadium to be built in Africa.
Lekan Salami Stadium
Lekan Salami Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Ibadan, Nigeria. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of Shooting Stars FC. The stadium has a capacity of 18,000 people.
Ibadan City Mall (Shoprite)
Ibadan’s very own ICM. Amongst other retail shops and eateries, it is home to the biggest Shoprite in Nigeria. The mall, has a staff strength of 400. Shoprite has been one of the biggest players in the Nigerian supermarket chain industry for about a decade. You can find one of their stores in almost every big mall.
The total footage of the Ibadan Mall stands at 19,000 square meters. While this Mall itself is smaller than the one in Kano, the Shoprite inside takes up more space than its “cousin”. The store in Ibadan Mall has a territory of 4,700 square meters, making up one-fourth of the entire building.
Cocoa and Heritage Malls
In Dugbe, the heart of Ibadan you’ll find these two malls in the same building connected via an internal walkway. They make boast of being the first premium malls in the largest city in Africa.
This one is for the gamers. Visit Ventura Mall and enjoy the best of video games at their Game Arcade. The Mall is a three-storeyed, grey-and-red, 14-store complex owned by Stella Vera and managed by Globe Williams. As you entered, the bright lights graced your eyes. At the basement floor were two UBA ATMs, Airtel, and Latitude, an exotic lounge and café, whose aromatic cuisines satiated your nose.
You took the stairs to the ground floor that houses Vanguard Pharmacy, Strands, Luxe and Elan, Polished, Europa, Morning Star, Lily Textile, Pixels, and Chrysalis. There is also Wakanow, a travel agency that made you thought of leaving the country. Many of the stores on this floor are boutiques and beauty salons. They made you thought of your mother, sisters and girlfriends, and how the designer wears and Jewellery would look on them. Unfortunately, you could not afford them. But, there is nothing wrong in window-shopping.
Visit a Karaoke bar
Ibadan has a lot of bars and they’re very exuberant about their karaoke nights. Even if you don’t sing, it’s always fun to watch.
Built in 1965 from the proceeds of cocoa trade by the then Western State of Nigeria. Standing at 105m it was once the tallest building in Africa. Despite being gutted by fire on January 9, 1985 it has been rehabilitated for use (August 1992) and still functions even today.
Eat Out at an Amala Joint
Nothing says Ibadan like a piping hot plate of Amala. Doesn’t really matter what soup you have it with. Just make sure you eat amala at a joint in Ibadan, it’s the standard all others strive to meet. Perhaps you’re confused about where to go, try the world famous amala joint at Skye Bank, Bodija. I hear it turns even white men black.
Institute Of African Studies
There is a museum in the building of the Institute of African Studies, which exhibits several remarkable pre-historic bronze carvings and statues. A great stop for art buffs.
A separate museum building was part of the original plan of the Institute; hence the Institute has been collecting traditional and contemporary arts and artefacts since its establishment in 1962. At present, the ethnographic materials and traditional art objects in the Institute’s collection are well over a thousand. Most of the objects are largely from Nigeria and other African countries, including Mali, the Ivory Coast, and the Cameroons, which have historical connections with Nigeria.
First and foremost, Ibadan is well known with the seven hills that constitute the geographical description of the city. Among these seven hills, the most influential is the Mapo Hill traditionally known as the Oke-Mapo. Upon this hill is the easiest access to the vastness of the city at a glance. Even with the expanding nature of Ibadan, Mapo Hill can be regarded as the centre of Ibadan.
Bower’s Memorial Tower
Bower’s Tower is located on the summit of Oke-Are, the highest hill in Ibadan, from which one enjoys a commanding view of the city. Oke-Are (The Army General’s Hill) is the site central to Igbo-Agala (Agala Forest) in Sapati Area. The monument was erected in 1936 as a memorial to Captain Robert Lister Bower, the first British Resident in Ibadan and the Travelling Commissioner for the interior of Yorubaland south-western Nigeria, between 1893 and 1897.
It offers a birds-eye view of the City of Ibadan. A great way to end any visit to this great city.