Adventurers, travel enthusiasts and nature-lovers gather here. Did you know that the biggest cave in all of West Africa is in Nigeria?
Well, take a trip down to Anambra in Southeastern Nigeria. Find the fastest route to Owerre-Ezukala community in Anambra State and ask for Ogbaukwu cave and waterfall, and let the adventure begin.
The Ogbaukwu Cave
The stunning Ogbaukwu cave is a beauty to behold. It’s a network of tunnels that go deep underground, some big enough to house an entire village! It measures not less than 10km in length, bordering Enugu and Abia States. The land is rocky and sandy and surrounded by lush vegetation on all sides.
Sadly, Nigeria, like most countries in Africa, does not value its rich cultural heritage and this is why many would travel abroad to visit other places similar to Ogbaukwu, unaware that they can experience such pleasures at home (literally in their backyard). Several national treasures receive no attention or funding from the federal, state and local governments, wasting the incredible opportunity to bolster the economy through tourist attractions.
To reach the cave you have to first go down a flight of stairs, which is pretty convenient. At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll find a dome (natural rock in the shape of an arena). In front of it is a natural swimming pool fed by a waterfall that never stops. It’s the kind of place that makes you think of those Nollywood movies where the women gather to gossip about everyone in the village, bathe, play games, and fetch water in clay pots.
A short walk away from the dome will bring you to one of the two noticeable entrances to the cave. It’s not called the largest cave in West Africa for nothing. If it’s your first time there, you don’t want to explore it without a guide, lest you risk the chance of making it to the missing persons segment of the news.
You would need to have a flashlight with good batteries because it takes about two hours to see every part of it. You’ll find a lot of fascinating things down there. Tucked into the ceiling of a tunnel are a rock spanner and gun that have been there for years.
At the centre of Ogbaukwu is a large area. Legend has it that it was the living room of the ‘god’ of Owerre-Ezukala. He must have been allergic to sunlight. Why does that sound familiar? The god had a very nice setup inside the cave with his household in different compartments and sentries at the cave mouth. A long time ago, he received human guests who came to ask him questions.
In another area of the cave, you would have to get down on your hands and knees to see where the remains of an elephant foot still stand or something that looks just like it. I didn’t know that there were elephants in the region once upon a time.
The place is timeless and enchanting. I hope that a lot of people learn more about it and that it gets the recognition that it deserves. It’s a spot of wilderness that makes you feel like you’ve been enveloped in the womb of mother nature. Now that you know about it, would you like to visit?
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