In Enugu, near the Awhum Monastery, in Amaugwe village, is the Awhum Waterfall and Cave. Cascading over granite, is water which forms a small, narrow river. Aesthetically lining the stream are several caves. Spiritually, this is also a prayer centre and a choice location for christian pilgrimage. Since the waterfall is believed to be curative, it can chase away satanic or evil forces (SUPPOSEDLY).
Just 45 minutes from Awhum Monastery (Arguably the reason for its healing powers), the flooded Limestone Caves leads to the marvellous showers of Awhum Waterfalls. Beds of sand and sandstones at the ridge tops evolve into layers of limestone as you descend further into the valley. The narrow paths look like a ruggedly sculpted chain of staircases formed by small depressions dug into the rocks, serving as foot holds.
The journey to the waterfall is a long one, the kind of pace required is even too fast for quick-steppers. A statue of Mary stands on a platform above the path and beneath the caves. It is not uncommon to meet people singing and marching past with their faces costumed with looks of piety. Most of them carrying jerry cans of water (Remember the belief is that the waterfall has healing powers).
The first waterfall intrudes the cave at about 100m from the entrance, while the second and biggest cascade stands at the far end of the cave. Small sinkholes at the roof of the caves allow a stylish illumination of the cave and the flowing stream along the cave floors sparkle with every light ray that hits it.
Cameras are not allowed, so as not to defile the work of God. There is a major signboard on the road to the cave, stating this. The Catholic Church at the Monastery has responsibility of the management of the caves and the waterfalls, and for reasons best known to them, they had banned the use of cameras at the caves.
The water is cool and pristine. At the rear end of the cave, the second waterfall plunges down from the 30m-high roof with enormous vigour. There are numerous sculpted figures reposed at a corner in-front of which pilgrims can stand or kneel to offer words of prayer.
Surrounded by rolling green hills, valley and caves, Awhum is a uniquely beautiful town. We would love to hear of your personal experience at Awhum waterfall and cave, so feel free to use the comment section.