Ipole-Iloro, quiet and sleepy, is a town in Ekiti State. Typical of the towns located in that part of Nigeria, it is tucked in away from the roaring sound of vehicles that ply the Akure/Ilesha expressway. Aside its friendly people in Ipole-Ekiti in the Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State domiciles a wonder – the Arinta waterfalls.
The waterfalls is another tourist site in Ekiti State one may go to take out the stress of urban living.
For willing and adventurous tourists, it is one site one could go to after leaving the Ikogosi warm water springs which is just barely six kilometres away or the Erin Ijesha waterfalls, its twin sister which is not too-far-away Osun State.
The Arinta waterfalls, though not very well publicised by the administering body, is popular among tourists who snake through the long windy way that leads to the Ipole-Iloro, rural settlement surrounded by undulating mountains, thick evergreen forest and flowing rivers which harbours the natural wonder site.
The Olupole of Ipole Iloro, Oba Babatola Oladele, says the waterfalls has been in existence even before the founding of the town by Oba Alapa-Ajalorun, one of the grandchildren of Oduduwa in the 14th century.
According to the monarch, the waterfall influenced the decision of the founders to settle in Ipole Iloro as it is a good source of water for domestic use and drinking.
Navigating the long road to a narrow opening, bursting suddenly into sight is a long steep valley, spiced with undulating ridges and tall deciduous trees which shelter in their bowel the waterfall.
The fall is surrounded by lush green vegetation with clusters of creatures which include insects, birds and there a large water mass cascades against the rocks.
Arinta Waterfall is made up of seven different layers each with unique features which could, however, be Herculean in climbing.
In one of the seven layers of Arinta is a cobblestone of about 25cm in diameter. This cobblestone is often referred to as the ‘Wonderful Stone’. The stone is believed to be a mystery. It is so heavy that up till today, nobody has been able to lift it.
Another of the mysteries in Arinta is the belief in the medicinal power of its water. The water is said to have the power to cure skin diseases. One beautiful thing tough, the fall is not worshipped or arrogated with the power of an orisha.
Another fascinating feature of the fall is the sound that comes from its water as it flows down. The sound from the fall of water dominates the surrounding of the waterfall as if it is raining heavily.
Dotting the facility for the use of revellers are shacks with thatched roofs to make visiting interesting and exciting for tourists.
Erelu Omolara Aderonmu, an Abuja-based business woman told LEADERSHIP Tourism that she was amazed when she got to the waterfall adding that all the tour operator told her about the fall became an understatement when she go to Ipole Iloro.
She said, “I was pleasantly shocked when I got here and saw the fall. It was simply divine. The atmosphere was cool and fascinating. I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if i had not come.”
Another reveller, who spoke with our correspondent was Tomisi Olubukola, an undergraduate at an Osun State owned tertiary institution.
She disclosed that she had come to the place in company with her friend to cekebrate the birthday of obe of them.
Olubukola said she and her friends had a swim and a short party at the place even as they took photographs to mark the occasion.
“It was awesome. I never knew that something like this existed here before. I am from Ilesha and I have friends in Ekiti State but I never knew this place exist until one of my friends said she should come here to celebrate her birthday. In fact, it is a bomb.”
Chuks Arinze, a tourist said he was at the waterfalls last December and that he successfully climbed the seven layers of the fall.
He added, “I had fun. The fall is a place one should be to take a break from the heat of Lagos. I really had fun. I was not in a haste to leave the day I went there,” he said.
Wahaab Moshood another reveller hails the work of Mother Nature in the waterfalls. He corroborates the claim that the water from the pool is medicinal. This he says he learnt from the indigenes of Ipole-Iloro.
Moshhod says,“I am compelled to believe the claim even though I have not had any opportunity to put it into test. Looking at the whole environment, one is wont to believe the claim.”
The revellers who spoke with LEADERSHIP Tourism said the state government had not given the site the attention and publicity it needed to make it the tourist destination of its worth.
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