I always wondered what it would feel like to just get up and go and so on that day I let myself have a taste of it. I had wanted to do a train trip Lagos – Kano and back preferably (I still want to do a train trip, so help me God) but time was short and I couldn’t put the logistics together, plus I needed travel partners (I still need travel partners). I soon got in touch with Godwin who would later doubled as tour guide and travel partner, and Micheal his friend. At first deciding where to go was tough because neither of us had been to either of the places on our list and we needed to pick somewhere exciting, we narrowed it down to Enugu and finally to Ngwo pine Forest, cave and waterfall. I had never been in a cave or seen a waterfall so I knew I’d have a time of my life, plus the prospect of traveling, I was pretty excited.
We were setting off from Owerri and we needed to leave early and opted for ABC transport cos of their good reputation (bad choice, they really did mess up our timing), 6:45am bus but we left at almost 8:30am. The trip to Enugu was enjoyable, I caught myself taking a lot of Photographs from the window, there were a whole lot of beautiful sights to see especially the Hausa settlement around Lokpanta. Little or no traffic and a stop and search later we were in Enugu say around noon. Yay! None of us had had something to eat so it was the famous Enugu Okpa to the rescue. Lol. We got a Keke to take us somewhere where we got a bus that took us to the forest. At this point let me talk about the roads in Enugu (that we saw), being that we were coming from Owerri we really had to doff our hats for Enugu city, they have such good roads and their transport charges are so fair, unbelievable even.
Soon enough we were at the Pine forest, and the first thing that hit me was, ‘okay, is this the place’? I had read up a lot before the trip happened but nothing exactly prepared me for what hit us. There wasn’t even a signboard to say this is it. Lol. But that wasn’t even a thing for us because Michael was already heading into the forest to search out the cave and waterfall wherever they may be hidden. Seeing his Motivation, I had to set up my camera and then our hiking began.
I think the most interesting part of our hiking was that we were out there on our own, there wasn’t a clear cut path to the cave, there was really no one to ask, the only person we managed to ask just pointed us ahead. I was relying on my senses to tell when we were close to the waterfall because I just have a way of knowing when a waterbody is closeby, I hardly miss that very cool relaxing smell.
We had gotten to a hilly path and it seemed like there was some bush burning going on up ahead, we stopped to take photographs standing on one of the highest points overlooking the foggy atmosphere. At some points the path went steep and we kept navigating until we thought we were going to get lost and I wasn’t even the least bit scared. Lol. I can’t remember who but I think it was Godwin that picked a big twig and placed it across the path so we would know we had been there before and not keep going around in circles. Shortly we found a small water path and thought if we traced it it would lead to the waterfall. But it didn’t. It led nowhere, Godwin was making videos and Michael had already taken off his footwear.
Finally we were on a path where we saw a group of persons some of whose clothes were soaked and all of whom were carrying their footwear on their hands, we immediately guessed the were coming from the waterfall and we went the way they came from. That was when we met the persons who were supposed to be the official ‘tour guides’, actually they were just indigenes of the area who accosted visitors for stipends or what you might call access fee. Michael wasn’t even listening, he had found the waterfall and that was all that mattered, I and Godwin made the men see that we had already guided ourselves all the way down and there was really no need for him to tax us. He ended up taking 1k from us.
In the Cave…
At this point I really could not hold in my excitement. Lol.
Before we got in I took some seconds to admire the Magnificence from the outside before letting myself get swallowed up in the cool arms of the cave, standing, staring, touching, snapping and recording. Even though I had a wig on I could not wait to stand directly under the waterfall, never felt natural water so cool. I also found that previous comers had engraved their names on the walls of the caves using little rocks or anything at all. It occurred to me that those names may remain engraved on those walls for ever, as a signature, reminding comers that the bearers of those names had once been there. I still don’t know why I did not leave my name there, I really don’t. But I took Photographs of all the signatures I could reach.
On our way out I asked the guide if there were any peculiarities to the cave, anything sacred or a kind of visitor that is not welcomed around there but he said there wasn’t, he also said something about the water being Female. Summarily it’s a totally harmless place however you look at it. Be sure to visit when next you’re in Enugu!
We only experienced the Pine Forest on our way out cos we totally ignored it when we were coming in. A group of persons, most likely a church group were picnicking there, playing football and catching fun.
It was at the forest we met Mohammed, a sugar cane seller who sold some to us when we couldn’t find a place to get water. We lingered around the pine Forest which was majorly an expanse of finely arranged sky-reaching pine trees. We all had our photo sessions and made to leave.
• I was particularly disappointed at the sheer Nigerianness of the place, there was absolutely no sign it was being taken care of, not by the government, and definitely not by the persons taking ‘access fee’ from visitors.
•The experience was absolutely worth it. It is not the biggest waterfall you can find but it is one you should visit.
•Enugu has good roads and transportation does not cost so much.
•The serenity in the cave is one thing that still draws my memory. I think it helped that it was only I and my travel partners in the cave at that point in time.
If you should visit the Ngwo pine Forest and cave, try not to go alone, I mean your partner would vibe up your trip. There’s a lot to see in Enugu, and I’d sure be heading back there sometime! Until then, keep up!
Do leave me a comment, I’d absolutely love to hear from you! And you can share your adventure ideas with me, who knows, we might just hop on it together.