Umuahia had been on my bucket list since I was in secondary school, which is strange given that I lived only an hour away. I had seen pictures of my mother’s school trip to the National War Museum in Umuahia and wanted to see it for myself, so I added the town to my bucket list.
On the day I was finally scheduled to visit, my friend and I had four places on our itinerary and needed to make it work seeing that we didn’t have much time. Before leaving Aba, we checked off the first place on our list which was the Aba Nigeria Temple, and I have written about our experience in this article.
Around 11 a.m., we were waiting to board a bus to Umuahia. Aba and Umuahia are in the same state, and from where we stood on Aba-Owerri Road, finding a bus was almost as simple as finding transportation to anywhere else in Aba. And it was N500 at the time, which has since changed.
The Amakama Wooden Cave, located somewhere in Umuahia South, came in second on our list. This location was recommended by a friend, and I didn’t stop thinking about it. What a wonder it was.
How to Get to Amakama Wooden Cave
Our journey went as smoothly as we expected, and we arrived in Umuahia in less than 90 minutes. We didn’t make it to the final bus stop; instead, we stopped along the way at Isi Gate junction.
Finding a ride to Amakama was a bit difficult because, for some reason that I still find surprising, none of the drivers knew where we were talking about. It appeared that the location was not very popular.
Fortunately for us, a Keke driver approached us and asked where we wanted to go. We merely told him, as we were about to give up, but he claimed he knew the place. He even suggested a better description that other drivers would understand.
It was such a relief to have finally gotten a driver to take us there that we didn’t care so much about negotiating the N200 he had charged each of us, especially since he was going completely off his route to get us there.
Two more people joined the Keke, and we were off. It was a straight road until we came to a fork in the road and turned left. That road, too, led straight to a path to the left leading to Amakama Wooden Cave.
The road network had been flawless up until this point; this path was impassable for vehicles. Our driver took a different route and paved his own way through a pedestrian path, screeching to a stop in a square of some sort with large trees.
Exploring Amakama Wooden Cave
From where we stood, there was nothing to show that there was a cave anywhere. We low-key felt lost. The driver that brought us couldn’t have made a mistake. We noticed a young man sitting on a sidewalk up ahead and walked up to him to ask questions.
He told us we were at the right place but needed to pay him first before he could show us around. He charged us N3000 each, which was a ridiculous amount for just a tour. Abi it came with feeding and accommodation? We refused to pay such and started to walk away, but we remembered that we had traveled a long way and couldn’t just turn around and leave. I went back and asked him to accept N1000 for the two of us, and he immediately said OK, which seemed fishy. From 3k each to 1k for two? Hmmm.
He took the money, and we were just about to follow his lead when a certain man who had just arrived on a bike hollered at my friend and I. Our guide asked us to ignore him. This man kept calling at us, and he looked pretty serious. This was an elderly person, old enough to be our supposed guide’s father. We played the respect card and decided to go and answer him.
He introduced himself as Mr. Obilor, the sole authorized guide for the site. He lived in a bungalow right there on the site and had been placed in charge of the Amakama wooden cave. We didn’t know whom to believe at this point because he told us the guy whom we had just paid was a nobody.
Mr. Obilor called him and demanded that he leave the area immediately. He did so, blithely taking our money with him.
Visiting Amakama Wooden Cave – Tour Fees
We were later informed by Mr. Obilor that there were no tour fees for exploring the wooden cave. But visitors, however, should not seek to explore on their own without authorization.
This hit us like a punch in the gut since we had just poured out our hearts to someone who was only out to exploit us.
About Amakama Wooden Cave
Before visiting, I had already done some research and knew a little bit of what to expect. However, I didn’t expect that the cave would be in such an open and easily accessible space.
The Amakama Wooden Cave is a tree, a very large hollow tree that still produced leaves. From the outside, the tree appeared to be very much alive, but the inside was as good as dead. What in the world of wonder was that?
We explored the inside of the tree, which had other tiny sections our guide described as rooms. These rooms served as a small hiding place for old men and women during the civil war.
Mr. Obilor shared the history of the people of Isienyi village, and how the tree came to be, all of which I will cover in more detail in a later post. You can follow the blog below to get notified of my new posts.
When our tour was over, it was time to say goodbye to Mr. Obilor and the wonder tree. He was happy that we came and urged us to spread the word so the site would get the recognition it deserved.
Here is Mr. Obilor’s number, 08073888112. You can call him before your visit to confirm that he is available to show you around.
We headed out through the path that we came from until we reached the main road. It took two drops to get us back to Isi Gate. And the costs per person were N100.
The next places on our itinerary were the Ojukwu’s Bunker and the National War Museum, and they were not very close to each other. With time no longer on our side, we chose to visit Ojukwu’s Bunker since it would be easier to explore in a little time.
We didn’t know how to locate the bunker, so we booked a Keke ride to take us directly at about N400.
By the time we arrived, it was almost 5 p.m., leaving us less than an hour to explore.
I will write about our Ojukwu’s Bunker experience in a later post. You can keep an eye out for that.
Do you want to know about other places you can visit in Abia State? Check out this article.
Visiting Amakama Wooden Cave – FAQs
What is Amakama Wooden Cave?
Amakama Wooden Cave is a large tree whose inside is open and can contain as many as 20 people at once. It is also called the Wonder Tree.
Where is Amakama Wooden Cave Located?
Amakama Wooden Cave is located in Isienyi Umuigwe village in Amakama, Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State.
Do I have to pay to visit Amakama Wooden Cave?
At the time of my visit, the Amakama Wooden Cave has free entry.
Can I Visit the Amakama Wooden Cave Alone?
Yes, you certainly can. But exploring the site alone is prohibited. You must make sure you have a local guide to show you around.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know in the comment if you have been to Amakama Wooden Cave or would like to visit in the future.
I want to go here, looks like a good hiding spot.
Who do you want to hide from? And for how long? Might I remind you that there is no food inside??