Ngwo pine forest and cave waterfall are collectively one of the major tourist attractions in Enugu state. The forest, being a farmland to the locals, gained tourist recognition because of the wide field of pine trees which offers a serene countryside view to the forest. Ngwo pine forest is also home to a massive limestone cave above which courses a small waterfall that empties as a shallow pool at the bed of the cave. It is better described as a canyon with a mini waterfall.
Location Ngwo pine forest and cave waterfall
It is located close to Ngwo town, at the edge of Enugu city, the Ngwo pine forest is the hub for relaxation and picnics after a long hike back from the waterfall. The scenic picturesque of the environment also makes it perfect for camping and campfire parties. History fondly remembers the Ngwo caves due to the collective efforts of the early locals in conserving their cultural values and significant events through narratives engraved on the cave walls and ceilings. These prehistoric writings and cave paintings depict the rise and setbacks of the early Ngwo town down to its current state of growth. This beautiful gift of nature is a must visit for everyone.
How to get to Ngwo pine forest and cave waterfall:
Ngwo forest is best accessed through a direct link to Newmarket or Old park (they’re popular locations in Enugu). Upon arrival to Newmarket, there would be buses enroute to Ngwo pine forest. Inform the diver and the bus conductor of your destination lest you miss your stop.
The entrance of the forest is made up of long pine trees, so you will definitely know you’re in the right place. Bus from the old park is 100 naira and from the new market is 80 naira.
You can get a direct cab to the place from either places. The journey to and fro costs about five thousand naira.
Ngwo pine forest is less than 30minutes drive from Enugu city. On the road to Ngwo pine forest, make sure you don’t miss the beautiful experience of the Spiral Milken hills.
The only fee you would be charged with is the tour guide fee. We paid a total sum of 2500 naira to the tour guides that led us to the waterfall. There is no gate fee because there is no structure put in place for that.
What to wear to Ngwo pine forest and crave waterfall:
Dress prepared to hike but also to get wet. The waterfall is located down below. I will advise on; loose pants that can be easily rolled up, a waterproof top and a jacket to cover up.
When hiking down the waterfall, there’s a stream of flowing water before the farmland and the fall. You will have to march past the pool to get to the fall. Make sure your footwear is prepared for that.
Useful tips from my experience when planning your visit to Ngwo pine forest and waterfall:
• Be vocal; ask, ask, ask…
As an explorer, I got really excited when first got the opportunity to visit Ngwo pin forest and waterfall. Seeing a place for the first time gave me an immense satisfaction and I can’t wait to make another visit. Prior to my visit to Enugu, I had never heard or read about the attraction. I started researching about tourist centres in Enugu state before I came across the forest a day before my visit and my resolve became firm on making the visit. Sadly, majority of the information I got online were false. Google map told us the forest was 2hours from Enugu city but it was just less than 30minutes.
When visiting a place for the first time, emphasis is being laid on the need to ask as many people as possible about the place. Be smart about it and always reconfirm what someone tells you from another source. Communication was way harder and a major hitch because none of us could understand or speak the Igbo language.
• Don’t go alone, go in groups and be security conscious:
Imagine going deep into a forest alone with strange men speaking a strange language to themselves? Trust me, the odds are not in your favour. Going from the pine forest to the waterfall is another long and hectic journey. The waterfall is seated deep into the forest. Without proper guidance and fun friends around, the hike will be a boring and frustrating escapade. Ngwo pine forest and waterfall is not a place you will enjoy visiting alone. It can be a scary ride and there are no activities on site. Go with friends or go on an organized trip; that’s the only way you can enjoy the place. I went with three other explorers like myself and we motivated ourselves to get through. As we got closer to the cave, I could feel the air get colder and hear the sound of the water.
• Use the official tour guides and be alert:
The language barrier was a major problem for us. We made lots of enquiries from people that have explored the cave waterfall. We were told the maximum we should give the tour guides was 2000naira for the four of us. When we got to the pine forest, we didn’t meet anybody at the entrance. We went into the forest through the accessible walkway. We continued to go into the pine forest until we met two guys, having some nice time in their car. We approach them with the thoughts that they were young and might be easy to engage with. They offered to take us to the waterfall for 10,000 naira. We knew they were trying to exploit us and after exchanging words with them, we found out that they were drunk and we instantly declined their offer. We later went back to the entrance of the forest to see if we could get other people to take us. Luckily, we got. On our way back into the forest with the new set of guides, the drunk guys started harassing and insulting us and even said they will make sure we don’t get to their waterfall. They claimed they were the sons of the soil and we had to pay them. After so much disagreement; our new guides finally decided to call the official tour guides.
We found out everyone was looking for an opportunity to exploit our ignorance.
We paid a total sum of 2500 to the official guides.
To avoid this incident from recurring, I would include the numbers of the official tour guides below and imploy Enugu state government to put proper structure and management so as to avoid such hassles.
Here are the numbers:
• Mr chimaze – 07037398162
• Mr Ifeanyi – 09068303591
When visiting the site for the first time, the locals might want to exploit you particularly if you don’t understand their language. Stay alert and be security conscious.
• Go ready for a picnic with a lot of energy giving foods and drinks:
When we were going to the waterfall, it was so much fun, it felt so easy. We never realized we were going down a hill. The real horror started on our way back from the waterfall to the pine forest. We had to hike uphill. It was so exhausting and energy draining. With rapidly pulsating heartbeats, we stopped at different points to catch our breaths. After much ado, we finally got back to the pine forest completely exhausted and so thirsty we all had to share from a single bottled water. There was no place to purchase water or drinks around the forest. We couldn’t even complete the journey round the pine forest again as preplanned because of the extent of exhaustion we experienced.
The best way to deal with the exhaustion is to set up a picnic after the hike. The pine forest has a generous expanse of clear spaces where one can relax, enjoy the view and of course, the fresh air.
Ngwo pine forest and waterfall was an awesome and worthwile experience… Another significant example of the aesthetic flamboyance Nigeria is blessed with.