Ikogosi is a small quiet town in Ekiti West Local Government area of Ekiti State, which has been catapulted to national and international limelight because of the presence of warm and cold springs flowing side by side in the town.
The spring is known as the Ikogosi Warm Spring. The spring is a source of life for the people of the town and a source of revenue for the Ekiti State Government. There are many mysterious tales toward the flowing and origin of the springs.
One being that the springs were wives of the same husband, whom after much rivalry and fighting, were turned into water springs; one, the fiery-ill tempered wife as the warm spring, and the cool tempered wife as the cold spring, whereas the surrounding hilly areas became the husband.
Another myth says a powerful hunter, who was hunting for animals in the bush, discovered the warm spring. After the discovery, the people of the town discovered that the warm water was curative, curing many diseases among them. Hence, the people started to worship the water.
This was the situation until the 1960s when the late Nigerian educator and author, Tai Solarin heard about the spring and brought his students to the place for excursion.
It was Tai Solarin that started the publicity for the warm spring before Rev. MacGee of the Baptist Church arrived to establish a student camp near to the area. It was Rev. Macgee who built a chapel (now the Conference Hall) and hostels (now Macgee Camp chalets) at the resort.
The volume of water coming from the springs remains constant and warm from morning to evening. A strong steam is noticed when one pays a visit to the warm spring source early in the morning.
During the Harmattan period (a dry period which occurs usually from November to late March, including the period of dry, dusty Harmattan winds in December), a fog is also noticed at the source of the spring.
Scientifically, the reason for the hot and cold springs is that the further water travels underground the warmer it becomes. If by chance the water is pushed through an earth fault creating a spring, the flow will remain relatively high. The cold water comes from an adjoining hill.
The warm and cold springs of Ikogosi flow parallel and meet somewhere down to form a confluence, with each maintaining its thermal quality. This is the first of such an occurrence in the world.
The warm spring has a temperature of 70°c at the source and 37°c after meeting a cold spring. The meeting point of the warm and cold springs is a unique attraction to tourists.
The whole environment of the area is left untouched by the government for eco-tourism appeal, while the source of the warm springs have been provided a canopy so that tourists and visitors can relax underneath. The Ikogosi warm spring, according to tourism experts, is one of eight of such warm springs discovered in the world.
Adding to the natural beauty, there is a tree and a palm growing from the same source at the meeting point area of the warm and cold springs. Another attraction of the Ikogosi Warm Spring is that it is believed to be curative. Therapeutic powers have been reputed regarding rheumatism and guinea-worm.
To create comfort for visitors, a resort named Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort has been located very close to the warm and cold springs at Ikogosi by state government. The resort has 4 VIP chalets, 32 Federal Chalets, 8 VIP Quarters chalets, 4 Western chalets and 18 Macgee Camp chalets.
All the chalets are fully air-conditioned and provided with satellite services. A multi-purpose Conference Centre, restaurant/bar and recreational facilities were also provided for tourists and visitors to the warm spring resort.
The warm water swimming pool helps people with body pains such as rheumatism and back ache. People visit on a regular basis for the cure of their ailments. Public toilet facilities are also provided, and souvenir shops. A herbal farm is being built for the planting of herbs and other local medications.