It’s quite impossible to talk about nature’s gift to Enugu without mentioning The Awhum Waterfall. Although it’s quite on the city’s outskirt, some 24km away, in Amaugwe village, this 30 meters high waterfall and the cave are something for the adventurous tourist. Though a Catholic Monastery manages the site, there is no religious restriction into the place.
The site’s attraction is not merely its waterfall; there is a mind-blowing stretch of 300m long limestone wall. The towering limestone walls engulf the footpath that terminated beneath a wall, narrowing into different parts of the cave in which laid the twin cascades of Awhum Waterfalls. 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. The statue of the Virgin Mary stands on a platform above the path and beneath the caves.
Thick forest canopies that cast a mild blanket of green tincture on the limestone walls cover a good part of the site, giving the enchanting milieu of an ambiance of awe and wonder.
The waterfall itself is an incredibly charming sight, luring its beholders to pull off their clothes for a marvellous shower.
The adventure actually starts while en route to the site, from 9th Mile Junction along the Nsukka-Enugu expressway. A lot of patience is need to ‘savour’ the jokes that motorcycle riders who ply the route to the waterfalls crack in their bid to charge you as much as possible. Just ensure you double-check the reasonable price from a nearby artisan before settling for any rider’s charge.
From there, the bike rider will take you on a ride that snakes through a stretch of picturesque hills and across streams, if you are lucky enough, you’ll see some village children playing around. It’s an intriguing journey that you’d thought will never end until the rider matches his break, turns off the engine and beckons for his fee, pointing to a footpath and saying “that is the way to the falls and caves” after you had given him his money.
There is a signpost by the entrance with the inscription ‘No Cameras allowed’ but conventionally, most motorcycle riders are not allowed to go beyond this point.
From here, it takes about 45 minutes to the fall with you and your legs caught up in a rhapsodic dialogue en route to the treasure for which you have come all the way. The path is laced through picturesque fields of grass and flowery plants, punctuated with low trees and shrubs, gently carpeting the ridge slopes leading into the abysmal valley that houses the waterfalls and the cave.
Quite frequently, you’ll meet locals around, many come here because the water is said to be curative and capable of dispelling evil or satanic forces if and wherever sprinkled.
Pictures are not allowed at the site, but the picturesque terrain is so tempting you’ll barely know when you start clicking the shutter button on your camera. Just don’t say we didn’t warn that CAMERAS ARE NOT ALLOWED HERE!
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with a knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for www.afrotourism.com