If you plan on visiting this place don’t be stupid like erm.., some people I know. Don’t ask for directions from someone who probably did not drive down there. Use Google Maps, it works. It should take you to the town. You can then ask for directions to the Catholic Monastery (actually it’s Our Lady of Mount Calvary Cistercian Abbey as seen on the sign board below). Also note that when you search for Awhum on Google Maps you will get directions to Ohum instead. Ohum is how you should pronounce it, not how you should spell it.
Also in the spirit of not being stupid, take bottles of water (or sachets of pure water if that’s how you roll). The hike to the waterfall will take an hour, and that’s the easy part. Climbing back up the hill after going down will definitely take longer than an hour and you are going to need water.
The waterfall and cave is actually under the control of the Abbey. It has been closed to the general public for a few years now. The proper procedure for gaining access to the site requires you to write a letter to the abbey asking for permission to visit. They then let you know if and when you can visit. Their P.O.Box is 698, Enugu. That in a nutshell is the “proper” way.
The security personnel at the gate can act as tour guides for a fee. We were told that they usually get paid N5,000 to take tour groups down to the waterfall and back. Well we were not a tour group so we didn’t pay that much.
A significant part of the journey will require you to wade through the stream (knee deep at certain points) so it will be best to have footwear you won’t mind dipping in water.
A guide also said he didn’t like taking women down to the waterfall because of how exhausting the journey can be. I’m still trying to decide if he was being sexist or not, so please don’t shoot me just yet.
There is a “mountain” where prayers are usually offered on. We were told that it takes more than an hour to get there and it also involves letting yourself down with a rope. Yeah, we skipped this for maybe never.