Ogbunike Caves: A Cave Women On Their Monthly Cycle Cannot Visit

OGBUNIKE  CAVES, a UNESCO world heritage site is an a array of caves that have existed for centuries that I find quite interesting and awesome.


Though I am not a Spelunker (one who explores caves for leisure and fun) nor a Speleologist (One who studies caves as a science) I can confidently say that it a wonderful gift of nature to mankind in this part of the world with paucity of caves, and the locals remain grateful to nature.
Ogbunike caves are sited in Ogbunike town in Anambra state, of Southeastern Nigeria, West Africa.
Situated in a valley covered by tropical rain forest, this collection of caves has been in use for centuries untold by the locals who attach some spiritual significance to it. The spiritual significance  is usually brought to bare yearly with the celebration of an annual festival called “Ime Ogba”(in local dialect) to commemorate the discovery of the caves.

In similar light, women cannot enter the caves while observing their monthly menstrual cycles( often strongly advised not to) and all visitors regardless of status and age must take off their shoes before entering the cave.
This site was used as a hiding place during the Nigerian civil war and during the era of slave trade. So because of the safety and refuge that these caves had provided in the line of history to its locals, it is usually held in high esteem.

As one descends  into the valley where the caves are sited,  you find a lengthy walkway made up of about 317 steps constructed by the state Government.
As earlier said, it consists of sister caves. The main cave consists of a massive structure with a big open chamber of about 5 meter high, 10 meter wide and 30 meter long at the entrance.
The main chamber has ten tunnels  leading to different directions. Noted also is the fact that within the tunnels  are big chambers and other channels of varying lengths, some of which are interconnected.

A large colony of harmless bats of different sizes occupy the caves which can be scary to bat haters.
There exist streams and body of water at various places in the caves. A stream flows out from one of the tunnels into a rapid flowing river. At the confluence of the river and  the stream one can feel the warm water from the caves and the cold river water. Beside this portion of the river, is a table land  used as a relaxation spot by visitors to the caves.
Also note that water drops continuously from the roof of the caves at many points, and some quarters believe that this dripping water has some healing capacity and many people come to collect it for different purposes.
These caves, because of their nature and topography, it has played host to movie industries as some movies have been made here.
Ogbunike caves, been one of Nigeria’s most sought and impressive natural wonders, is a place you would like to read about or visit, as been there is like a glimpse into another world.

WRITTEN BY: SAMUEL AGBOMA

P.S: IMAGES ARE NOT OURS UNLESS STATED.

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