Located in a valley blanketed by tropical rain forest, is situated in a valley behind the Ogba hills in which lies St. Monica College, Ogbunike. Descending into the valley where the caves are located is a lengthy walkway made up of about 317 steps said to have been constructed by the Anambra State government in the mid 90s. At the end of the walkway is an open space used as a reception point, where visitors are by tradition expected to remove their shoes, and women who are having their monthly cycle cannot go in.
The collection of caves has been in use over centuries by local people for whom it has particular spiritual significance. This spiritual significance is still apparent, as the “Ime Ogba” celebration is undertaken every year to commemorate the discovery of the caves. The main cave consists of a massive structure with a big open chamber of about 5m high, 10m wide and 30m long at the entrance. There are ten tunnels at the main chamber leading to different directions. Within the tunnels are big chambers and other tunnels of varying lengths, some of which are inter connected. The caves are occupied by a large colony of bats of various sizes. There are streams and body of water at various places. A stream flows out from one of the tunnels into a rapid flowing river (River Nkissa). At the meeting point of the river and the stream one can feel the warm water from the caves and the cold river water. Beside this portion of the river is a table land of about 5 X 5 square meters used as a relaxation spot by visitors to the caves. The immediate environment of the caves up to about 200 meters radius is a thick tropical rainforest type of vegetation. Among the fauna of the site are deer, antelope, grass cutter, porcupine, rabbit, alligator, snakes and frogs. Others are fish, crabs and birds. The site has sufficient boundaries (20 hectares) to protect its values from direct effects of human encroachment.
The Ogbunike caves is like the ancient cave temple of Arochukwu in Abia State of Nigeria were a symbol of justice. Ogbunike caves have attractive waterfall at the North West part of the cave that could compare to Kalambo falls in East Africa. The caves are believed to have been in existence for centuries with minimal defacement. The caves occupy a large expanse of area. Ogbunike Cave is associated with living traditions and has been used by the people for many centuries; the site still retains its historical and spiritual significance. The biodiversity of the site has remained almost in tact. The integrity of the site can be attested to by the presence of the primary forests around the caves.
The Nkisa River flows by the side of the caves into which the water that drains from the caves empties itself. The entire site is of undulating hills and valleys, which stretch across other communities and farmlands. The site has sufficient boundaries (20 hectares) to protect its values from direct effects of human encroachment. The caves, described by geologists as millions of years old, are the yet undiscovered cash cow of Anambra. One of the cave tunnels exit at the Ogbunike Town Hall, about six kilometres away from the cave proper, and another tunnel, according to folklore, terminates at Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area.
The cave can best be described as one of the greatest wonders of creature, found within the crust of a range of hills surrounding the area.
“Ogba Ogbunike,” as the locals call it, has been known to them for a very long time. It is a location where Africans hid for slave raiding parties during the African holocaust period. According to oral tradition of the Igbos, two hunters one named Ukwa, from the Umucheke family of Ifite-Ogbunike, from Ogbunike town discovered this cave at the dawn of history and received “divine” instruction on the cave by a spirit angel called Pantheon.
It was also said that there was a god called “Ogba” who lived inside the cave in the middle of a large rock. Despite the opaque nature of the rock, he was an all seeing spirit who could detect criminals especially thieves. When someone was accused of some sort of crime, he could prove he was innocent by entering the cave. The guilty ones never returned alive. Today, the cave is the most popular which attracts a quite number of visitors every year. Because of religious traditions, the visit to the cave is only allowed with bare feet. Painting graffiti on the walls is not forbidden, so many walls are full of them.
Leading into the cave is a track (a multiple of 60 steps) which leads into a number of other mazes (a complex and baffling network of paths, lines). The entrance to the five tunnels of the cave is a wide and tapering mysterious hemispherical vault of solid rock with all season cool spring water dripping from top and all corners. Once inside the vault, you feel quite serene as though you have come to a wonderland.
The caves have become a location of interest for movie directors looking for a bit of the mysterious and natural. In 2013, much of the seminal Nollywood movie series, Idemili was shot at the Ogbunike caves.In 2007, UNESCO added the caves to their tentative list to be considered as a World Heritage Site, after it was submitted by the Nigerian Commission for Museums and Monuments.