On my visit to the Cave, I learnt that it was a form of shelter for my forefathers during the war. I began to wonder how they made a living staying inside that cave. Personally, I was amazed because it drew my consciousness to the fact that things like that actually happened – they lived in darkness and underground . And I became curious about how they made their food; maybe they ate those bats and used the leaves from the tropical rain forest for food. Hmm, I also wonder where their source of light came from? Well, to God be the glory – they survived! Alright, lets now talk about the cave;
- HOW WAS IT FORMED?
There are three different believes about caves (Ogbunike cave in particular); Christians believe it was just made by God (i.e. he placed it there when he was creating the world), traditional people believe it was made by their own god called “Ogba” who lived inside the cave, while science stipulated that Caves are formed by the dissolution of limestone and it comes naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. So, you are free to choose which ever one, the bottom line is that it came naturally – no human built it.
- THINGS YOU WILL SEE THERE
There is something in particular; which is the vast amount of bats that are predominant in the cave. The bats have lived there throughout the history of the cave, and the bats are not harmful. . Also, the water in the cave never stops dropping, it keeps dropping forever.
Inside the cave is very dark, you cant see unless you use a touch light.
You will also get to see a stream which is some meters away from the entrance of the cave. Visitors are free to swim in the stream if they wish to, you can also wash your cloths there and so on. I didn’t swim because I am not too good at swimming, even tough I have paid and attended so many swimming tutorials – but, I believe that once I put my time into it, I will be a wonderful swimmer someday.
- HOW WAS IT DISCOVERED?
Things are usually discovered by someone, maybe while strolling or looking for something entirely different, you may stumble upon something. The Ogbunike cave, was discovered about 4000 years ago by a hunter named “UKWA” who hails from the Umucheke family of Ifite-Ogbunike.
- MOVIES SHOT THERE
The popular Idemili movie with storyline of (Ekema, a lady from a lineage of Osimini; an offspring of Idemili has been betrothed to a honorable prince but on the eve of her engagement, while the virginity test was been carried out, something magical and fearful happened revealing she was from a lineage of powerful diviners. She’s on an adventurous and fearful journey to seek her foundation and during this quest realized how powerful and gifted she was) was acted by Veteran actors Pete Edochie, Ernest Obi, Patience Ozokwor. You can watch the movie here
- WHERE DOES THE TUNNELS LEAD TO?
There are so many tunnels and paths in the cave; I learnt that one leads to the Igwes palace One of the tunnel leads to St. Monica College in Ogbunike village, and is just about six kilometers from the stem of the cave. Another tunnel leads to Abatete town in Idemili Local government area of Anambra State, which is several miles from the cave. One other tunnel leads to Igbariam town in Anambra East Local Government Area. Another tunnel which leads to Onitsha main market ends at a small hole, which some people have converted into a shrine.
- RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE CAVE
Ladies who are on their menses are prohibited from going into the cave because they are considered as unclean.
No matter who you are, you are prohibited from putting on shoes to the cave. I also learnt that when the Governor of the state and his aides paid a visit to the cave, they all off their shoes – so you see. No one is allowed to put on shoes, no one! The reason people don’t put on shoes is simply because it is a long time culture and it is assumed that they might be future consequences – such as; a lady may be unable to conceive during marriage and sorts like that.
You wouldn’t go out from the same door you came in with. Ndi Igbo n’akpo ya “ Iman gaba iru inokata gaba azu” – which means you do not begin to go front in a journey and all of a sudden decide to go back on what you are doing.
You are free to write your name on the wall when you visit but I did not write mine.
- USEFULNESS OF THE CAVE
The water that drops/comes out of the cave is “Healing Water” and some spiritualist come there to get the water for spiritual purposes.
Barren women also go to the cave for sacrifice and pray for the fruit of the womb.
Ladies who are possessed and disturbed by the Ogbanje spirit go there in order for the spirit to be cast out.
- THE 317 STAIRS
The staircase that leads to the cave is about 317 in number. While I was climbing down the stairs, I never felt the length because I was descending ( you know it is much more easier to walk down a stairs than to climb up) . When I understood how long it was, was when I was going up (Did i just repeat “was” three times). Wow! I had to stop and take a rest for about five different times before I finally got to the end of the stairs.
I plan to continue my visitation to more tourist sites in Nigeria, because I believe so much in my country and I know it is a wonderful place.
Note : You will have to pay some amount of money to the youths of the village before you have access to the site. I paid about ₦1500.
- You should also read about My visit to Ogbononu Stream here