Ogbunike cave | Places to visit in Anambra State
Ogbunike cave is one of the natural wonders of Nigeria. TAB
Growing up, I heard a lot about caves from watching movies and hoped that someday in my adulthood I would get the opportunity to visit a cave. I was awestruck when I discovered that Nigeria has a number of caves. Though a bit scared but I was determined to discover all of them and Ogbunike cave was my first.
Ogbunike cave was a place of refuge in the days of the Nigeria civil war. It was a suitable place to hide because of the complexity of the cave. There are a number of chambers which an outsider will find difficult to navigate through. 'Spirituals' worship at the cave in the days of old (perhaps till now) and they believe that a deity called Ogba resides there.
Ogbunike cave wasn't exactly easy to find, but goggle map gets you close enough. The neighbourhood was quiet and sleepy but we were fortunate to find an elderly man who gave us directions to the cave.
We (myself and the driver) were welcomed by all the many rules of the cave which was clearly written on the signboard. No one was in sight for a minute until some young men came along and introduced themselves as tour guides. We were asked to pay an entrance fee of N1,500 per person and we did. They also reiterated the rules before we proceeded walking towards the cave.
As we walked down the valley that leads to the big open chambers (the entrance) of the cave, the tour guide who is a native of the village enlightened us about the cave. He said the cave was named after a hunter and a brave warrior called Ogbunike. Ogbunike murdered a fellow warrior in a royal fight. Saddened by the incident, he ran away to avoid punishment. He took off into the woods till he discovered the cave which served as a shelter for him. The cave was later named after him.
We took over 300 unsupported steps to get to the entrance. Just then did the tour guide insist that we take off our shoes before we move any further to exploring the 15 tunnels of the cave. That in itself wasn't bad until he said a sacrifice is required before the gods will allow us in. This is to ensure safety during your visit, he said. Choiiiii......What sacrifice I asked. Money, a little token, he said.
Perhaps it's time I get a full understanding of the adventure I seek here. I began to ask so many questions.
Any snakes here? Yes, he said. "The cave is segmented into two parts. The left and the right. The left chambers lead to the home of a massive python". Okay...
Do we walk through each of the chambers on the right side of the cave? No, "there are areas where you are required to crawl". Okay...
Is there light or visibility beyond this entrance? "Yes, only at the exit. Hopefully, you came with a touch-light or we can manage mine as it is pitch-dark". Okay...
Asides from the activities of 'spirituals', what other unconventional activities occur in the caves? The villagers organise and celebrate Ogba festival in praise of the caves and its spirits. Okay....
Any other information to aid my decision as to whether to move any further or not? Well, there are loads of bats but they will be harmless after the sacrifice, he said. He also asked if I carried a bottle to fetch water from the flowing stream in the cave as it's believed to have spiritual powers.
By this time, my heart was beating a little bit faster. I have seen and heard enough. Thank you for the time, I told the tour guide. I will head out now. Mission aborted. Why? I can't entertain the thoughts of crawling in the dark in a cave that has loads of bats and a python somewhere. Mbanu (No)!.
After the story, comes the pictures below. Enjoy!
The most important instruction is on Number 4. Women on their menstrual period are prohibited from entering.
The entrance ONLY. You don't exit through the entrance
I was wondering what happens if the Python decides to move from the left to the right of the cave. Lmao!.
Away, I go. No one got time to crawl in the dark.
Final thoughts on Ogbunike cave
"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions" by Oliver Wendell Holmes