The Sunshine State
Ondo State is located in the Southwestern geopolitical zone of Nigeria and bounded in the North by Ekiti and Kogi States, in the East by Edo State, in the west by Osun and Ogun states and in the south by the Atlantic Ocean. Ondo State is located entirely within the tropics.
The State is peopled predominantly by Yorubas who speak various dialects of the Yoruba language such as the Akoko, Akure, Apoi, Idanre, Ikale, Ilaje, Ondo and the Owo and a minority speaking the Ijaw Language. Ondo State, which is indeed a microcosm of the Nigerian nation, is blessed with resourceful, industrious and hospitable people. Her crop of educated elite has led to its being classified as one of the most educationally advanced states in Nigeria. The people are mostly subsistence farmers, fishermen and traders.
The life patterns of the people represent an embodiment of culture, ranging from the local foodstuff to the mode of dressing, dancing, wood crafts, such as, carved house posts and decorated doors. The culture of the Ondo State people speaks volume. In the variety and quality of it's traditional sculptures and cultural ceremonies, Ondo State is rich and well endowed. The people are lovers of arts, music and literature. The arts and crafts of the state are dependent on the products of its luxuriant vegetation for the raw materials: wood, bamboo, calabash carvings etc. The ivory carving, bronze and brass work and wood carving from Owo is basically Yoruba and sculptures excavated at Egberin Street in the town in 1971 showed the naturalistic art of classical life. The carved house posts and decorated doors from Owo and Idanre are among the best known internationally. Small-scale museums of antiquities are to be found in parts of the state, mostly in the palaces of traditional rulers who are the custodians of the people's rich culture and ancient traditions. The palace of the Deji of Akure is for instance a national monument where relics of the Yoruba's past can be found.
Ondo State is richly blessed with varied and favourable ecological and climatic conditions with vegetation ranging from mangrove swamps to the southern coastal riverine areas through the rainforest of the mid-lands to the derived savannah in the northern part of the state. The southern zone supports fishing activities and the production of tree crops such as cocoa, rubber, oil - palm, cashew and forest trees like teak, gmeligna and indigenous tree species.
The tropical climate of the state is broadly of two seasons: rainy season (April-October) and dry season (November – March). The temperature throughout the year ranges between 21oC to 29oC and humidity is relatively high. The annual rainfall varies from 2,000mm in the southern areas to 1,150mm in the northern areas. The State enjoys luxuriant vegetation with high forest zone (rain forest) in the south and sub-savannah forest in the northern fringe.
There is a maze of numerous rivers, creeks and lakes in and around Ondo State with very prominent rivers like Owena, Ala, Oluwa, Oni, Awara, Ogbese and Ose. Generally, the land rises from the coastal part of Ilaje, Ese-Odo and Okitipupa areas to highlands and steeps down at the Northern parts of the state.