As the capital city of Kwara, a state in Western Nigeria, Ilorin is one of the largest settlements of its kind in the country and offers plenty for tourists and business visitors alike.
Ilorin enjoys a convenient central location and is well served by road, rail and air transport. Ilorin International Airport offers a regular schedule of flights to Lagos, Abuja and Jos. The city also enjoys a reliable public transport system, with inter-city bus transport available.
About Ilorin, Kwara State
The city of Lawyers was founded by the Yoruba people far back in 1450. Now the capital of Kwara State in Nigeria, Ilorin is a conflux of various ethnic groups such as Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Nupe, Baruba and foreign nationals. In time past, Ilorin was a major slave trade center from where slaves were being sent across the Sahara to the north before high demand through the coastal south from Brazil, USA and West Indies changed the plan. Ilorin was once the military headquarters of the ancient Oyo Empire. Ilorin is home to three universities: Univerity of Ilorin, Al-Hikmah Universities and Kwara State University.
Travel In and Out of Ilorin
Ilorin is located northwest of Offa, northeast of Ogbomosho. Ilorin is an intersection of 3 major roads; Alimi road from northwest, Surulere road from southwest and Emirs road from the southeast. Visitors coming into Ilorin can do so by road or air. From Lagos, you can board a bus coming directly to Ilorin at the Ojota motor park, or indirectly to Ilorin via Ibadan. You can also board a flight to the Ilorin International Airport, which serves the city.
Travelling with the family?
- Pay a visit to the Unilorin Zoo, or pack your hiking boots and get back to nature at the Old Oyo National Park.
- Witness the Owu Fall, a perennial waterfall which forms an ice-cold pool at its base. Owu Fall is one of the highest (at about 120 meters) and most spectacular waterfalls in West-Africa.
- Take a sightseeing tour to the beautiful village of Odo-Owa in Oke-Ero local government area to observe the Imoleboja Rock Shelter rock formation that can accommodate over 100 people. The name ‘Imoleboja’ in local dialect means ‘God has built a house’. Other attractions are Alfa Alimi’s Mosque and Residence, Agan Festival, Dada pottery, Lord Lugard’s office to name a few.
- Visit the spectacular Emir of Ilorin’s palace. You will find dongaris (palace guards) waiting to take you on a tour of the palace.
-The Ilorin Central Mosque has been built and rebuilt over the years. The current structure of the Ilorin Central Mosque is an architectural masterpiece worthy of seeing.
- Shop at the 12,000 square metres Kwara Mall, which is styled the American way. The mall has the popular Shoprite, which offers affordable and modern shopping for residents and visitors in Ilorin.
Other attractions include the Metropolitan Park on Unity Road, the baseball park in Adewole, and the pottery workshops in Dada which is reported to be the biggest in Nigeria.