Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru is one of the natural wonders of Uganda, a cultural site rich with cultural-history. Located in Fort Portal, Kabarole district Western Uganda, Amabere caves are hidden treasure worth exploring on Uganda safari to Kibale National Park. The caves are typical example of the stalactite and stalagmite formation. The stalactites feature calcium carbonate and they are spotted dripping from the top of the cave as they hang creating stalagmites.
The Batooro have strong cultural belief on Amabere Ga Nyinamwiru caves/rocks. The important belief attached to these natural wonder happens to be the story which teaches the young to respect the elders’ instructions. The caves take their name from the daughter of King Bukuku called Nyina Mwiru who refused to marry the spouse her father had chosen for her.
As a result, the locals were left embarrassed with the daughter’s man of choice whom she wanted to marry and disobeying the King. The King then ordered for her breasts to be cut off such that she would not marry anyone and produce children.
The Amabere caves naturally have breast like features and they are believed to be Nyina Mwiru’s breasts. And there is belief that the breasts have been dripping milk since and this is why local often refer Amabere Ga Nyina Mwiru as breasts of Nyina Mwiru.
Amabere caves are among the special places that attract most tourists on Uganda safaris especially those heading to Kibale National Park. From Amabere, visitors can undertake a hike/trek up to Nyakasura Hill with opportunity to view 3 beautiful Crater Lakes. With the lead of an experienced local guide, you will have the best of Amabere Caves’ history as the guide will describe it using the local legends/geographical creations.
History also has it the leader of the Chwezi dynasty lived at these caves and it gives insight into creation of the “Mabere.” It takes visitors about 2 hours less or more to have a complete Amabere cave exploration.
As you proceed to the caves you are welcome by the sound of falling water. [That is the waterfall.] At the entrance to the caves the path penetrates into a cool green world of moss and fern covered trees and rocks, intertwining, overhanging climbers, broken here and there by lush foliage.
Turn right and follow the descending path to. the waterfall straight ahead of you. On your right you have grayish pillars covered by moss and fern. These pillars, which are composed of pure calcium carbonate, have been formed during the course of several years. The moss covered wall of pillars breaks into a dark cave, the first of several – each slightly different from the others. The first cave is dominated by the waterfall. The question is:
How were these pillars formed?
When water passes through the rock it dissolves some calcium bicarbonate. As the solution falls from the top of the cave, carbon dioxide is set free leaving behind calcium carbonate, which forms stalactites – hanging formations on the upper surface of the cave. Where the same water falls at the bottom of the cave, the calcium carbonate forms stalagmites, pointed formations on the flopr of the cave. The upper and the lower formations continue to grow and eventually join, forming the pillars. These pillars serve as poles or props which support the cave preventing it from falling in. On the inside the pillars are whitish in colour which indicates that the growing process is, continuing. Inside the caves are some young stalactites and stalagmites in formation. These young formations are very delicate and should not be touched or they will crumble. The bigger ones are quite hard and do not crumble, Inside the cave is quite dark. You are able to see only by means of a torch.
After seeing the waterfall and the cave turn back to where you started descending and walk past the entrance. Please walk carefully as it can be slippery, especially during the wet season; for this reason supporters have been placed along the way.
To your left is a range of stalactites, covered with moss and fern, which have stopped growing. These are “inactive” stalactites because there is no water flowing over this part of the rock. This indicates either that this area was at one time flooded or that the river, which was flowing above these rocks, changed its course. These dormant formations become partially active during the rainy season.
The path continues through rich undergrowth to the right hand side of the path, and is bordered by a cave on the left. As the sound of the waterfall fades, bird song can be heard enriching the natural surroundings. The path becomes narrow and bushy. Some visitors complain about the state of the path – some would like to have it cleared. However, it has been left as it is intentionally, to allow visitors to see things in their natural environment. [This is eco-tourism]
As you near the end of the path you come to a large open cave surrounding a small pool. Here there are a few growing stalactites and stalagmites. From here on the path climbs steeply, surrounded by an overhanging moss covered cliff, leading you out of the cave and the valley.
The Amakoomi Campsite is just nearby.