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Ogbunike Cave


Encyclopedia » Places
Anambra

          Ogbunike Caves is located in Anambra State, southeastern Nigeria. In a valley blanketed by tropical rain forest behind the "Ogba" hills in which lies behind St. Monica College Ogbounike, in Oyi Local government area just 10km drive from Onitsha the commercial nave center of Eastern Nigeria. The cave was discovered by a hunter called Ukwa,he did not bargain for the kind of discovery he made. He set out from his home, filled with the greatest expectation and hopeful of the day’s biggest hunt for wild animals. Then came the shock, for he suddenly came face to face with what in his imagination looked abnormal, something clad in immaculate attire. For a moment, his mind drifted from the reality to the unknown; his heart beat failed him, and he stood petrified. Sitting some few meters away from him on an anthill was a weird looking figure of extraordinary size. He was caught in a vortex of fear, and apparently seeing the state of mind the hunter was, the monster then broke the silence and spoke for the first time, thus allaying his fears. He made it known to the hunter that his mission was to keep watch over the people of Ogbunike, to ensure their safety in times of war, and to protect them from the pangs of evil. He pointed towards the valley where the cave was situated as his “Obi”. He told the dumbfounded hunter to visit him again on Eke market day, but warned that on no account must he be accompanied by dogs. For dogs are taboos to the Ogba Cave even till today.

 

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365 STAIRCASE THAT LEAD TO THE CAVE

One chamber of Ogbunike caveOne tunnel of the Cave      

       Descending into the valley where the cave is located is a lengthy walkway made up of about 365 steps that was constructed by the Anambra State Government in the mid 90s. At the end of the walkway is an open space used as a reception point where visitors are by tradition to remove their shoes.

entrance to ogbunike cave

Entrance to the Cave

One chamber of ogbounike cave

       One chamber of the Cave

They are various branches of the cave but the main cave consists of a massive structure with a big open chamber of about 5m high, 10m wide and 30m long at the entrance. There are ten tunnels at the main chamber leading to different directions. Within the tunnels are 58 chambers and other tunnels of varying lengths, some of which are inter connected. Inside the cave there is also a waterfall which is use for spiritual healing. The cave is occupied by a large colony of bats of various sizes. There are streams and body of water at various places. A stream flows out from one of the tunnels into a rapid flowing river (River Nkisse).

 

River Niksse

River Nkisse

Warm and cold water in Ogbounike cave Warm and Cold water joined together at river Nkisse

 At the meeting point of the river and the stream one can feel the warm water from the cave and the cold river water. Beside this portion of the river is a table land of about 5 X 5 square meters used as a relaxation spot by visitors to the cave. The immediate environment of the cave is up to 200 meters radius in a thick tropical rainforest type of vegetation. Among the fauna of the site are deer, antelope, grass cutter, porcupine, rabbit, alligator, snakes and frogs. Others are fish, crabs and birds.

              The cave is associated with living traditions and is said to be used by the people for many centuries. The site still retains its historical and spiritual significance. There is an annual festival called "Ime Ogbe" celebrated in commemoration of the discovery of the cave. The biodiversity of the site has remained almost intact. The integrity of the site can be attested to by the presence of the primary forests around the caves. The Nkisa River flows by the side of the caves into which the water that drains from the cave empties itself. At a point, where there is a difference in temperature is felt between the river and the water from the rock. The entire site is within ranges of undulating hills and valleys which stretch across other communities and farmlands. The site has sufficient boundaries (20 hectares) to protect its values from direct effects of human encroachment.
 

 

 

 

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Updated 11 Months ago
 

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