Located in the naturally endowed Awhum town, famous for its beautiful rolling hills of green and white-sand beaches encircling freshwater lakes, is a sight of lasting wonder: the Awhum or Ohum Cave and Waterfall.
The waterfall is controlled by the Awhum Monastery, which requires strict accordance with its rules, such as modest dressing, decorum, and the much-contravened no-photo policy, before anyone can be allowed to embark on the 45-minute walk from the monastery, past thick forests, and into the mouth of the cave.
A statue of the biblical Virgin Mary stands above the path and in front of the magnificent, moss-covered 300-metre limestone wall that stretches and engulfs the area. Then come hundreds of giant bats.
There are two waterfalls. The first one is small and pours lightly. The second is a thunder pouring down. The 30-metre-high waterfall begins from a massive outcrop of granite rock. Tourists often wade through the knee-length waters.
The high walls of the cave sometimes obstruct the flow of natural light and tourists tend to use torchlights, as candles are not allowed, to guide themselves in the near-dark. The hike around the cave takes approximately two and a half hours and promises a most unforgettable adventure.
With its clear water perceived as possessing healing powers, the Awhum Waterfall has become a destination for Christian pilgrimage over the years. Some scoop the water as souvenir to aid their prayers and ward off evil.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a journalist, social critic and literary enthusiast. He is the recepient of the 2017 Fisayo Soyombo National Essay Prize, the 2020 Speculative Literary Foundation’s Diverse Writers Grant and the 2020 K&L Prize for African Literature. He is the founder of SprinNG, a platform dedicated to the development of young African writers.