The Ogbunike Cave is basically a chain of around 10 caves of different heights, widths, lengths, and stature. All of them lead to different directions. These caves have a special status in the local area of Anambra, and it has religious and mystical importance as well. If you ask a Nigerian to list down the top 5 mysterious sights and wonders of Nigeria, he or she will surely put the Ogbunike cave on the list.
If you are in Nigeria or want to visit Nigeria for any reason, you just cannot afford to miss out on visiting these surprising, unique, and one of the mysteriously blessed caves not only in Nigeria but in the whole world. Please find the exciting details of these most important caves in Nigeria below.
Location and Timing of Ogbunike Cave
The Ogbunike Cave is situated in Anambra State, in the southeastern side of Nigeria. The official timings of Ogbunike Cave are from 8 am to 5 pm.
A Brief History
Ogbunike Caves were discovered around 4000 years ago. There are many stories about these caves. Some relate these to the religious activities like the fasting of father Mbaka (a Catholic Priest) and others term these caves as the hideouts of slave traders in ancient times. These caves are also associated with the places to hide from soldiers during the Nigerian Civil Wars in the 1960s.
Before we discuss the sparkling features of this extraordinary cave, let’s take a virtual visit to these amazing sight from start to finish. This location will truly leave you in awe and wonder.
A Virtual Tour
You will start your journey from one of the nearest towns in Anambra to reach the location of Ogbunike Cave. You can have whatever you want for your visit to these caves in the way because there are plenty of shops that have things to attract tourists. A rough and plain pathway leads you to the location of the Ogbunike Cave. You will first see a board with instructions written on them. We have reproduced the exact words of these instructions in the section of this article below. Your actual journey will start from here.
You will start walking on the path that would lead you to these caves. The journey along this path is very pleasant. You can enjoy passing right between the old and huge trees that are really eye-catching and provide a soothing effect to your visit. The path will gradually lead you downwards. You will find beautiful and antique stairs to lead you to the fabulous entrance of these caves.
The sacred water
Huge rocks welcome you at the entrance upon which the water is dripping slowly from above. This water is believed to be pure and sacred. People put the containers to fill them with the sacred water of the Ogbunike cave.
The locals believe this water possesses healing powers so you can drink it if you possess a similar faith. It is compulsory to take off your shoes and slippers before entering this water. You may be asked to give money for charity and the maintenance of these caves, especially if you would want to take pictures.
Visitors take selfies and a lot of pictures while they are standing above and looking at the breathtaking views of these incredible caves. The huge rocks and the long-stretched branches of oldest trees add beauty to the ambiance of this amazing sight.
Inside Ogbunike Cave
There are many tunnels inside these caves, and all are interlinked with each other. One of them is known as Toll Gate. If you want to see a crocodile, python, tortoise, and the famous Talking Stone, there are different sections for them each.
You can start by going through the Toll gate, then dining, then the mountain and the river. Most of the caves and tunnels are dry.
They are of different sizes and heights. You may have to kneel down to pass through a few of the caves. There is dark inside the caves with no electrical connection. Most visitors take torches with them, and some also use the flashlight of their mobile phones.
Don’t be scared if you come across a lot of bats because there are so many of them with different sizes. You can also find a temple inside one of the caves. There is a place inside one of the caves where father Mbaka fasted for 7 days.
Don’t think it is over yet. You may also opt for going towards a place that is called a mountain. It is quite tough to climb the twisting, turning, and steep area that leads towards that mountain.
You will explore many places inside the caves where there will be water flowing like streams. Watch your step and try not to slip or fall. You will also have a unique and surprising opportunity to explore the sight where warm water from the streams meet the cold water from the river.
You can also visit the river Nkissa where you will find water flowing at a stronger pace. This will give you an exciting opportunity to swim and take a bath to freshen up and let go of all the fatigue you had in your way.
Surroundings of Ogbunike Cave
The excitement is just not limited to the Ogbunike Cave. The surroundings of this mysterious cave also hold huge importance. The Ogbunike Cave is located on the downward side of a valley that is all covered with greenery and tropical forests.
The cave itself has its unique importance for the tourists and local people, but the trees, grass, plants, streams, and river that this cave is covered with also enjoy a lot of appreciation from the visitors and tourists.
Instructions for Visiting Ogbunike Cave
The Ogbunike Cave is not a trespassing area where everyone is allowed to come and spend the time of his choice. It has proper rules, regulations, timings, and protocols. As discussed earlier in the virtual tour, the first thing you will see when you reach the starting point of these caves is the set of instructions written on the board.
- Only the cave manager and his assistants are authorized to operate at the cave.
- You are duty bound to pay for the upkeep of the cave.
- Official hours 8 am to 5 pm. Visitors outside official hours are at their own risk.
- Women in their menstrual period are prohibited.
- Do not steal within or around the cave.
- Deforestation of the cave environment attracts a fine of N 5000.00 only.
- Water in containers at the main entrance is for drinking. Please do not abuse.
- All items of sacrifice must be dropped in the Ogba River.
- Fighting attracts a fine of N 5000.00.
Our Suggestions for Visiting Ogbunike Cave
While Ogbunike Cave is surely a must-visit place, we found it important to guide our readers with the set of suggestions for a safe and pleasant visit. Please consider the following suggestions while planning to visit Ogbunike Cave.
- Don’t come here if you are claustrophobic. There are small places that may seem daunting to a few people.
- Make sure to take eatables with you. It is hectic to visit these caves.
- Drink a lot of water.
- It is advised not to come alone here. Always come in groups or couples to watch your back,
- Be physically strong enough to climb steep rocks.
- Don’t drop off your things in the caves.
- Try to hire a guide and tip him off well.
- Don’t enter the Ogbunike cave with a backpack or a lot of stuff. Keep yourself as light as possible.
- Try to use feet covers made of rubber or plastic to save them from getting hurt.
- Keep a towel or an extra pair of clothes in case you get wet or decide to swim in the river.
Challenges and Government Steps for Ogbunike Cave
The Ogbunike Caves have all that it takes to become an international tourist spot. The local government has taken some actions to protect and promote the sight, but still, a lot needs to be done in this regard. The following steps have been taken by the local government for Ogbunike Caves.
- Proper boundaries have been developed to keep the location safe and protected from any damages and deforestation
- Arrangement of Ogbunike Cave Carnival started in 2013.
- Health and Awareness Walk known as Ogbunikewalk4life
- Sports competitions and parades
- New Year Celebrations and Concerts
- Ada Ogbunike Beauty Pageant Contest
- Awareness programs through lectures and seminars
While the above-mentioned initiatives are highly appreciated, the government and the local authorities are highly advised to take the following steps immediately.
- Installment of electricity lighting inside caves and tunnels to attract more tourists.
- Make it safe from the bats and other reptiles.
- Proper picnic spots must be introduced to attract families.
- Play areas must be put in place to attract kids.
- Shops must be made to use them for commercial purposes.
The world is full of mysterious and wonderful places, but the Ogbunike Caves truly stand apart owing to their mysterious history and discovery, promising locations, lush greenery, and the adventurous tourism potentials. With all the religious, catchy, and exciting opportunities for friends, families, and couples, Ogbunike Caves must be your first priority if you have still not visited this incredible sight.