Photo by

The Undiscovered Natural Heaven in Nigeria- Ogba Ukwa caves and waterfalls

The Ogba-Ukwa Cave and Waterfalls are best described as one of nature's greatest treasures, located within the crust of a range of hills encircling the area. It is a beautiful place that can be found in Nigeria. The cave is bathed by an inviting waterfall, making it a very pleasant place to visit.

Discovery of the Ogba-Ukwu Cave: According to Igbo oral tradition, at the dawn of history, two hunters from Ogbunike village discovered this cave after receiving "divine" instruction about it from a spirit angel named Pantheon. The water in the vicinity of the caverns is revered as miraculous. A stream emerges from one of the caverns' passages into River Nkissa, a swift-moving river at one of the caves' exits.

Location of the Ogba-Ukwa Caves and Waterfalls

It is hidden in the Owerre Ezukala neighbourhood of south-east Nigeria, about 75 kilometres (46 miles) east of Onitsha, and is considered the largest cave in West Africa. It comprises a deep and complicated rock formation with cavernous sections large enough to accommodate an entire settlement.

Location of the Ogba-Ukwa Caves and Waterfalls

There is a long walkway with 317 steps that leads down into the valley where the caverns are situated. It is believed that the Anambra State Government built the walkway in the middle of the 1990s. There is an open area utilized as a greeting area at the end of the walkway, where it is customary for visitors to take off their shoes. The entrance to the main cave is a large open room that is roughly 5 meters (16 ft) high, 10 meters (32 ft) wide, and 30 meters (98 ft) long. The main cave is composed of a gigantic structure. 

How much time is required to explore the cave?

Ogba Ukwa cave is the largest in West Africa, having unique and spacious sections that can house an entire village. A minimum of two hours are needed for you to explore. The stunning vistas and stunning views of the majestic waterfalls will bring out the beauty in you! The Mbida Ogba stream is also close to the Ogba-Ukwa cave. The benefit of enjoying the tranquillity of the stream is another reason for you to visit the cave.

Best time to visit

The area around the caves have warm temperatures year round ranging between 29°C (84°F) and 33°C (92°F). The best time to visit is during the drier months: January and December. Click here for more climate information.

Interesting places to visit in the Ogba-Ukwa cave

The ‘God’ of Owerre-Ezukala:
According to legends, the deity Ogba is responsible for the creation of the caves. A vast courtyard in the centre of Ogba Ukwu is claimed to have been the living room of the 'god' of Owerre-Ezukala. His throne, as well as many rooms in his home, are also located inside which you can visit. Always posted at the cave's two entrances, his sentries kept an eye out for guests and trespassers.   The wardrobe and storerooms are carved into the rock. There is one particular room that may be reached with the help of stone steps and has the long-dead and dry foot of an old elephant. Another crevice contains a natural rock spanner, and a third holds a stone pistol that is as old as the cave.        

• Tunnels of the Ogba-Ukwa Cave:
The vast and sloping, enigmatic hemispherical vault of solid rock that serves as the entrance to the cave's five passageways drips with chilly spring water all year round. You will feel very calm once you visit them and enter inside the vault, as though you have arrived in a wonderland. There are two levels to the naturally formed chamber and tube system.

Tunnels of the Ogba-Ukwa Cave

A 100-meter-long bottom level connects to an underground river. Here, you will find a waterfall and a bat colony that is located near the northwestern end of the higher level, which is twice as long and dry. It is recommended that visitors enter the cave bring a touch light, wear pants, and get ready to do some crawling.       

• Testimony of the walls of Ogba Ukwa Cave:
The local people have known the caves for a very long time under the name "Ogba Ogbunike." During the African genocide, it served as a hideout for slave raiding teams. Inside the cave, you can find inscriptions, carvings, sketches, signatures, and etchings on the cave walls bearing witness to the hundreds of people who have passed through throughout the centuries.     

• The ‘Ogba Ekezu’:
Another interesting place you can visit is the ‘Ogba Ekezu’. It is a bottomless well inside the cave that no one who falls into ever comes out of. In the past, locals would visit the cave once a year in March to hold the "Aja Ala Onwa Ito" festival. Visitors were welcomed to parties and picnics inside the cave.

If you intend to visit the Ogba-Ukwa waterfalls and caverns, I can tell you that you will be awed by this spectacular work of nature on guided tours both inside and outside the exhibit. Just beyond the waterfall is a big cave where you can find refuge from the falling water or the elements while taking stunning shots! If you want to take a view of the Ogba-Ukwa caves and waterfalls prior to visiting, this video will be helpful for you:

This article was last updated on September 18, 2022.