This unique waterfall, also known as Ohum waterfall, is found in a cave within Amaugwe village in Awhum town in Udi Local Government Area (LGA), Enugu state. The town is in a valley bounded by lush green grasses covering rolling hills.
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Besides Awhum waterfall, this valley town is home to numerous pristine lakes and some with white sandy beaches. It is located on the outskirts of the state’s capital (24km away), just thirty minutes from Enugu city in Enugu State.
The waterfall drops from a massive outcrop of granite rocks that is 30 meters high. These rocks form different limestone caves that line the pathway to the waterfall. The 300m long path leading to the waterfall is a brown-looking stream formed from the waterfall. It might require visitors to walk barefooted because it can get knee-high in the rainy season.
There are two waterfalls in the Awhum cave. The first is 30 – 100m from the cave’s entrance and the second one is at the far end of the cave. The second waterfall is the biggest of the two waterfalls cascades.
The sinkholes at the top of the cave provide illumination from sunlight so the caves are not too dark to walk through. Also noteworthy is the fact that a part of the waterfall is usually warm no matter the season. And the best time to visit is actually between September and November even though the rainy season is the best time to visit most waterfalls.
To get to the cave and waterfall, you’ll have to go through the Awhum Monastery premises. The monastery is roughly an hour’s drive from Enugu Airport. The Catholic Monastery is also worth visiting as it is the first Monastery built in Nigeria.
Also, you need permission from monks there because it has been closed off to the public for years to avoid abuse or mismanagement of the natural environs. You can write a letter requesting permission to the monastery via P.O. Box 698, Enugu. They will reply with an appropriate date and time for your visit. or you can gate crash and plead for entry permission, the choice is yours.
The waterfall is believed to have healing properties that can also dispel evil forces. So people tend to go there for prayer sessions. The cave is said to house a crucifix of Jesus and a grotto of Joseph and Mary.
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This is where the monks and pilgrims carry out their spiritual activities. Also, because this waterfall and its cave are managed by the Awhum monastery, visiting this place is more of a religious tour for most visitors than an adventure tour.
Here are a few rules you will find on the Monastery signboard before you get to the waterfall:
- No one is allowed to visit the mountain/waterfall after 4 pm
- Anyone who is already there must return before 5 pm. Defaulters will be punished.
- Clapping and Shouting at the mountain and within the monastery, the environment is prohibited.
- Dress modestly. Women should cover their hair/head, transparent materials, shorts, and trousers for women are not allowed.
- No use of images or candles at the mountain or within the environment of the monastery. If you need light in the cave, use a torch.
Ps. There is a mountain called our Lady of Mount Calvary which is barely 30minutes from the cave that is also worth visiting.
- No Cameras or Filming allowed.
- A group of pilgrims can go in to pray but if they exceed the allowed number, they should spend no more than 20 minutes in the cave.
- No deliverance or exorcism is permitted from the point where you hear the thunderous sound of the waterfall till you get to the end of the cave.
These rules don’t mean that if you are visiting out of curiosity, you still won’t have fun visiting this waterfall. The main activities you can enjoy here are hiking, photography and enjoying the view.
The hike takes about 45 minutes to two hours from the monastery to the cave depending on your walking speed. So make sure you wear proper hiking shoes. Carry snacks to eat with water to drink in case you are hungry or thirsty during the hike.
If hiking isn’t your thing, make arrangements with the tour guide to get a bike to carry you to and fro. Don’t forget a camera, preferably a water-resistant camera to capture the moments there.
Last but not least, come back and share your experience to help others planning to embark on a trip to Awhum waterfall.
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