One of the most regal and spectacular tourist destinations on earth is the caves. There are many attractions in Nigeria, including caverns. For tourists and adventurers who want to travel to discover Nigeria, visiting caves is one of the most adventurous activities.
Furthermore, these magnificent caves have existed for centuries, most of which were discovered by the earliest sojourners and descendants. According to research, some of these sojourners settled in or around these caves for shelter and even gave names to them.
In this piece, I will be exploring the top 10 most magnificent caves in Nigeria, including the history behind the caves, their locations, and the tourist attractions.
Ogbunike Caves is a cave behind the Ogba Hills in the Ogbunike Local Government Area of Anambra that has long been used as a hiding place, a means of escape, and a haven during the Nigerian Civil War. The entrance to the tunnel is reached after roughly 317 stairs.
It is said that visitors must remove their shoes at the door, and women who are on their period are not permitted inside. Thus, about ten tunnels lead into the cave’s main chamber, which is a large structure with an expansive open compartment measuring about 5 meters high, 10 meters wide, and 30 meters long at the entrance. One of the tunnels has a stream that exits into a river that is moving quickly (River Nkissa).
Therefore, every year in May, a celebration called “Ime Ogbe” is held to honour the caves’ discovery.
Ezeagu Cave: Ezeagu, Enugu State
Ihuezi Cave Ezeagu, also known as Ezeagu cave, is one of the most populated caves in Enugu state and is situated within the Ezeagu tourist complex in the Obinofia Ndiuno village of Ezeagu. One can enter the Ezeagu cave through two outside chambers, which have roughly seven chambers and tunnels. Since the cave’s finish has never been seen, it is assumed that the majority of its tunnels go to other settlements both inside and outside the local government.
Owerre-Ezukala Cave is located in Orumba South LGA, Anambra. It is said to be the largest cave in West Africa, which is situated in Owerre-Ezukala Town. It creates a complicated rock structure with roomy chambers big enough to house a sizable population thanks to its four rock shelters, two waterfalls, and other unique characteristics.
Furthermore, the living room of the Owerre-Ezukala “god” is claimed to have been a large space in the cave’s centre. Locals claim that one of the compartments, which can be entered via stone steps, has a long-dead and dry elephant foot that is still standing.
Amanchor in Afikpo South in Ebonyi State is where you’ll find the Amanchor cave. The Cave, one of many tourist attractions in the state, is around 4 kilometres long. Although the anchor cave has not yet been developed, plans are in place to do so because it has the potential to draw tourists to the area from both inside and outside the nation.
A limestone cave called “Awhum,” sometimes spelt as “Owhum,” but pronounced “Ohum,” is located in Udi LGA, about thirty minutes drive from Enugu, the state capital of Enugu. The magnificent, steep-sided hills that the limestone cave winds through were divided into distinct sections by channels of running streams.
Another feature of the cave is that about 300 meters of twin waterfall cascades can be seen at the foot of the caves. The first one enters the cave, and the second, and largest of the two, is at the far end. The caverns are illuminated during the day by the light that filters through the cave from the roof through the tiny sinkholes. The incident light gleams off the stream that is running along the floor.
These prehistoric caves are thought to have been home to a group of early humans. According to reports, Edegbake, the smaller of the two, can comfortably hold 50 people, whilst Oghodoghodo has a higher capacity and can hold up to 200 people.
In Edegbake, a slow-moving stream provides opportunities for leisurely strolls, excursions, and amateur fishing. These caves are located in Edo State’s Etsako Central Local Government Area close to Fugar.
Olumo Rock Caves
Olumo Rock stands at a height of 137metres above sea level, which is almost half the height of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, which stands at 300metres. Also, the height of Olumo Rock cannot be compared to Zuma Rock in the state capital, Abuja, which stands at 725 metres above sea level.
Iheneke Lake, Ihu-ogba Cave, and Ogbagada Waterfall are all situated inside the Enugu tourist complex known as Ezeagu. The Umuagu people lived in the cave in Omughu Obeleagu-Umana until a big downpour that created a lake forced them to leave. It was discovered during the Biafran war when people were desperately looking for hiding places.
Three chambers and two large, narrow tunnels lead into this cave. The locals consider this cave to be the home of the Ogba spirits, much like they do with every other cave in Nigeria.
The Esa cave in Irepodun/Ifelodun LGA, 20 kilometers from Ado-Ekiti, the capital of Ekiti State, is thought to have protected the residents of the town during the internal warfare of the Yoruba kingdom. The caves can hold between 30 and 40 people and are divided into a number of low-height rooms. Evidence of long-ago human habitation can be found inside the caverns.
The Amanchor village, a hamlet in the Etiti community in Edda (Afikpo South) LGA, Ebonyi State, is home to the Amanchor cave. The entrance to the cave has a natural step-like structure that is supported by a wooden ladder that the locals built. The cave’s entrance is 6 meters high.
Three tunnels make up the cave; the second, known as the “window,” leads to the cave’s lower level. The cave floor may be seen from the ‘window’. The “door” of the cave is thought to be the third entrance. The final Orie (one of the four market days in the Igbo cultural calendar) of the year, which falls in December, is often the time when Orie-Ogba, an annual festival, is held in the cave.
These caves, which have an extensive network of hollow openings and creative textures, are inside the Yankari game reserve in Alkaleri LGA. Hundreds of years ago, they were used as a colony to protect populations from intruders and wild animals.