How I almost died at Iyake lake

I headed up to Ado-Awaye in Nov 11, 2016 with the single purpose of hiking the Ado Awaye mountains and visiting the popular suspended lake – IYAKE LAKE. I did some jogging and long walks just to ensure I was fit enough for the climb. After paying the mandatory fees at the foot of the mountain, as there were no official tour guides around at the I time arrived that morning, I was given a volunteer tour guide who turned out to be a Pastor who has a Prayer ministry on top of the mountains.

The climb

As we started climbing, he told me to walk in front while he will be at the back. This was strange to me but I agreed and off we went. He would show me the pathway to walk through, then he would go on to climb the rock directly. By the time I finished walking the pathway, I would find him waiting at the end of the trail. He explained to me that he prefers to climb the rocks because it’s faster that way because following the trail was making the hiking too slow for his liking. I mentioned the danger of climbing directly without having a safety harness on etc, but  he assured me that he climbs the mountain about 3 or four times a day so he knew where to step on.

The Machete

As we proceeded, (remember I was in the front and he was behind me on the trail till he gets to some spots where he leaves me and goes on to climb the rock directly on (“all fours”) he suddenly brought out a machete from his trousers. I was surprised and  afraid at the same time. Here I was, climbing a rock with a total stranger who is walking behind me with a machete  in his hand. From that moment, I wished I had a third eye at the back of my head so that I will at least know when he will attempt to strike me. If he had shown me that machete at the beginning, I would have declined his offer to be my guide and would have preferred to wait for any of the official guides to  show up.  

The death Monologue

To further complicate matters, he started talking about how he died in the hospital and later woke up in the mortuary.  The more he spoke, the more I got scared. So I started weighing my chances of outwitting him in case he attempts to attack me. I calculated that since the machete appeared not to be razor sharp, he would need more than one strike to finish me. My plan was after the first strike, I would use everything I knew in hand to hand combat to finish him off. I did martial arts (Taekwondo) in my school days. 

The explanation

After awhile, probably sensing my apprehension, he explained to me that the purpose of the machete was just in case we met snakes or anything dangerous on the way.  I was consoled but I had new fears. Snakes, dangerous animals I asked. He said yes. I must confess that though I was a bit relaxed about the presence of the machete, my eyes were still focused on it.  Without him knowing my new fears, he continued the monologue on death. You may wonder why I didn’t ask him to stop. I was too tired to be impolite and I felt I shouldn’t offend him since he was still holding the machete.

Sudden turn of events

As we proceeded, I started  getting dehydrated and dizzy. I complained to him that we were going too fast and I would prefer we slowed down so that I could catch my breath. He told me we should continue at the same pace since we were almost there which turned out to be about 2 hours or so more . The intense bombardment of the unforgiving sun and the heat emitting from the granite rocks plus our hiking speed had started taking its toll on me. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore so I insisted we had to stop. But the monologue on how he died continued.  Seconds after I sat down, everything began to spin and go dark and I passed out. After a little while, I felt hands on my body and could hear him screaming my name as though from a distance. I opened my eyes slowly, and recalled seeing him helping to remove my backpack, Photographers’ jacket etc . He spent time fanning me till I regained full consciousness. He now suggested we should go back. I said no. I didn’t want to come that far and not finish what I had started. So we resumed. This time slowly with him I believe now more cautious of me than I was of him. I was now more relaxed with him because at the time I blacked out, he could have either killed me or stolen my gear and all the money and stuff I had on me if he was a thief or murderer.

So what happened.

He told me that as he was talking to me I suddenly fell off the rock I was sitting on and could have smashed my head on some of the rocks around or rolled down the mountain to sure death had he not reached out to grab me. Anyway I completed the hike, enjoyed the view and even returned leading a photo group to the mountain the next year (2017).

Lessons learned.

If you are not fit, don’t attempt mountaineering or hiking. If you must, do it at your own pace.

It’s always better to go with known guides especially when you are on a solo journey.

Never judge by what you see. I am referring to the machete .

All the fearful imaginations I had were wrong.

I gained a very good friend that day.

Never succumb to fear or accept defeat.

I urge you to visit Ado-awaye mountains/Iyake lake in Oyo State, Nigeria. The view up there is great and the people are very hospitable.


My volunteer guide remains my friend till today and I have not included his picture in this post because I have not been able to reach him to get his permission. The death experience he shared with me was just to let me know that God saved him from the hands of death and that was part of why he was a Preacher. He told me so many things about the suspended lake some of them mysterious which I hope to write about on another day.

( Pic of IYAKE LAKE Africa’s only suspended lake below. This is one of the two known in the world .)

If you enjoyed this story or had some bizarre experiences please share with me in your comments. I appreciate your comments a lot because the feedback helps me know you are reading this .

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Till next time when I bring you more interesting stories, keep traveling.


Benedicta Saroh · May 26, 2018 at 5:17 am


    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 6:21 am

    Thanks Benee. It’s God that has been keeping watch over us. You are the first person to comment. That means you get a N500 credit. Congratulations. Which service provider should I use beloved. PLS you are not permitted to decline this weekend bonanza offer πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Adekunle Folorunso · May 26, 2018 at 6:20 am

That’s great experience. God blessed Nigeria with so many things yet to be explored as ssources of income. That’s by the way, however l wonder why you were taken these kkinnd of expeditions without someone accompanying you. Take the issue of passing out as example; had it be the volunteer your guide became afraid & rann away, leaving you in that position. What would have happened? How differently would this story have been told. It is a good disvovery absolutely, but always be safety conscious.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

    Good observation and advice Pst Mode Sir. We were actually supposed to be two. But my other friend backed at the last minute when I arrived Abeokuta for the journey. So I had to go alone. I returned for the 2017 version with over 15 persons. That place is a money making centre/ great for tourism if the Oyo State Govt will just do what her Ogun State counterpart did with Olumo Rock.

Pst IFEANYI Ebenezer Uwaegbu · May 26, 2018 at 6:57 am

All is by His grace, we are kept by His power, He knows all things concerning us. Thank God for another life to live.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Yes o, He is our PROTECTOR at all times. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Tunde Akinseye · May 26, 2018 at 7:11 am

Travelling for tourism has always been my thing. You are my mentor in this area. Impressive story and lessons learnt. We have wonderful tourist sites in Nigeria and I wish the government can harness their potentials as a revenue earner. Kudos to you daddy. In all my travels in Nigeria, I have seen some wonderful sites.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Mmm Tunde, thanks for your comments. How I wish the Govt in Nigeria will just take Tourism serious the way Kenya, and the nations in South Africa have been doing.

Akin Laoye · May 26, 2018 at 7:40 am

Interesting read and many lessons to learn on our imaginations and high things. Your imaginations will define you. Can make you or mar you. God help us

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Yes o Bishop Akins. May God deliver us from hurtful imaginations. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Sir.

Melody · May 26, 2018 at 8:09 am

That was too great a risk! I almost skipped a heartbeat when I read where the passed out. It could have been worse. The joy in it is that you can narrate those experiences.
God will continue to guide us but we must never over-stretch that.
Awesome piece! More ink in your pen!

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Amen, the one and the only Tsunamiii. His Grace watches over us. πŸŒ·πŸŒ»πŸ’

John Kayode Aderinoye · May 26, 2018 at 8:32 am

I thank God to share from this story. What i learnt is for one to reach the pinacle of success and achievement in life, courage can not be found wanting, on it stand all other virtues, likewise we need endurance, determination and above all God’s grace, when human power ends. We need to learn how to put all this in the know, to successfully make the journey of life. Thanks so much.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Yes so, I live the angle you saw this from. Thanks. I appreciate your commentsπŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”

lordside · May 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm

Keep exploring the gift of nature and using it to bless people

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement and advice my very good friend Lordside. You areπŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”

Keji · May 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm

God will always protect His own. Looking forward to more of your waka waka stories.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Amen. Thanks so much my beloved.πŸŒΈπŸŒ΄πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈπŸ’

Ugochi Kenechukwu · May 26, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Great post! Daddy, with lessons learnt. I thank God for watching over His people continually

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Yes and Amen, Ugochichichi πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Get everyone for me

Gaspard Lihouenou Koutchika · May 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm

This is awesome piece…..well done sir.

    Ovyay · May 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Gaspo, you know I appreciate your comments always. Thanks so much. You did well on that gated communities and Lagos as I see am project. πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”πŸ”

FUNMI · May 29, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Determination with faith in God makes great things happen!! Thank God for His faithfulness.

    Ovyay · May 30, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Amen o

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