Osogbo (Oshogbo) is a town in Southwest Nigeria.
It is known for the Oshogbo School of Art and the Oja Oba Market building, said to be the former Oba's palace. Osogbo has several hotels.
- 1 Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove. A sacred forest along the banks of the Ọsun (Oshun) River just outside the city, dedicated to the river goddess. The Osun-Osogbo Grove is among the last of the sacred forests which usually adjoin the edges of most Yoruba cities before extensive urbanization, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 2 Nelson Mandela Freedom Park (Osun Park). Open 24 Hours. Not a lot to see, but a tribute to the man from South Africa in the form of a 15 m or so tall statue, plus some statues of fruit nearby (banana, pineapple) - somewhat unique. But the neighborhood is rather rough looking right next to the train station. Best not to go after dark.
Osogbo is the venue of the annual Osun-Osogbo festival along the River Osun. The festival is centered around the Osun-Osogbo Sacred Grove.
- 1 Nike Art Gallery (on Ede-Osogbo Rd west of Ofatedo Rd). best to call. This venue was started by the wife of a Chief Nike Okundaye (hence the name), and seeks to empower women with the development of artisanal skills with free training through its nonprofit arm while preserving African culture. It has several locations in Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire and claims to have the largest collection of indigenous Nigerian artwork. Fabrics, sculpture, painting, aluminum and copper works are some of the products. This particular location is kind of gritty, but you can also shop online on their website.
- 1 Captain Cook, Station Rd, Osogbo. (on Oshogbo - Ilesha Rd, downtown, in kind of ostentatious yellow building), ☏ . 7AM-10PM M-F, 12PM-10PM Su. Place to get local delicacies, chicken, fish, bread.
- 1 Adolak Hotel (on Gbongan-Ibadan Rd across from Ayegbaju International Market), ☏ . Multi-story modern hotel with indoor pool, bar/restaurant/night club, security, and a/c. ~15750 Naira.
If you can stand some more of the sort of dodgy, abject poverty everywhere, you might consider a side trip to Ile-Ife, considered to be the ancestral home of the Yoruba people, as it is where Oduduwa is said to have grabbed the three items of creation from his older brother Obatala on their rather contentious trip down from heaven while the latter was imbibing on palm wine. Oduduwa then sprinkled some earth on the ocean and set a chicken on it, which spread the earth upon which Ile Ife came to be built, in a nutshell. The following are sites related to the cultural history of Yoruba in Ile-Ife:
In the core palace-sort of area of downtown Ile-Ife:
- Ile Nla- Ooni of Ife Palace - this is where the current king of Yoruba (the Ooni of Ife) and descendant of the godking Oduduwa presides. It may be possible to take a tour of the palace and even possibly meet the Ooni.
- The National Museum - showcase of Yoruba culture and history, including the characteristic elongated bronze face sculptures that demonstrate Yoruban smelting ability and belief that the inner power and energy of a person, the Ase, are in the head.
- Oduduwa Afewonro Park - a park centered around a statue of the deity Oduduwa, complete with his cockerel (chicken) ready to spread the earth.
- Tower of Independence - an obelisk type monument celebrating Nigeria's independence in 1960.
- Moremi, Statue of Liberty, Ile-Ife - this is a statue reminiscent in ways of the Statue of Liberty with a torch and all. This is said to be a monument to the autonomy of women.
A little ways out from the core:
- Opa Oranmiyan - a shrine having to do with a Yoruba warrior whose descendants are royal heads in various parts of Nigeria, and a sacred grove.
- Oduduwa Grove and Shrine - a similar sort of shrine, but unfortunately restricted without prior authorization
Also in Ile-Ife is the:
- OAU Museum at the regarded Obafemi Awolowo University, which is perhaps one of Nigeria's only natural history museums.
Another outing on the other side of Osogbo (through Ilesha) is the Erin Ijesha Waterfall, a 7-tiered fall, but since it is quite crowded and people even seem to bath in it, the hour or so long trip may not be all that worth it.