Lifestyle

The greater Cape area is beautiful and often left unexplored by tourists as they stay within the city limits. What many do not know is that the Cape is home to many caves which can be explored by those brave enough.

While we never advise anyone enter a cave without a well-versed guide, here are some that have been explored.

The Cango Caves, Oudsthoorn

The Cango Caves is the only show cave in Africa that offers a choice of Heritage (easy) or Adventure Tours. All tours are led by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Cave Guides. All tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language options may be available, and language availability can be checked while making your tour reservation.

Location: Cango Valleie Road, Oudtshoorn, 6625

Klipgat Caves, Gaansbaai

The Gansbaai suburb of De Kelders, which is Dutch for The Cellars, is named after presence of a number of expansive caverns formed in its limestone foundation.

These caverns were formed millions of years ago through erosion caused by underwater aquifers. They were then opened up along the coastal cliffs by rising sea levels and pounding waves, forming huge caves that would later become the home of Middle Stone Age people and eventually Late Stone Age people known as the Khoikhoi. The most famous of these caves is Klipgat Cave (stone hole), named after a remarkable window-like opening that yields spectacular views over the bay.

Location: 16 17th Avenue, Hermanus, 7200

Elephant’s Eye Cave, Constantiaberg

The name for Elephant’s Eye in Cape Town comes from the shape of the mountain side, which resembles the side of an elephant’s head. The eye section is the cave, which is also the main destination of the hike.

The cave itself is said to have belonged to a Hottentot Chieftess, who was very powerful and mighty. Now, however, it is considered one of the most beautiful hiking trails Table Mountain has to offer.

Location: Table Mountain National Park, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town

Waenhuiskrans Cave, Arniston

This cave lies just off the shoreline of Arniston, where adventurers have to wade through shallow waters enter. Many say it reminds them of a place where pirates of old may have hidden their stolen booty.

Visitors are advised to be careful when making their way into the cave as the rocks may be slippery with seaweed.

Location: Arniston, Bredasdorp, 7280, South Africa

Pinnacle Point Caves, Mossel Bay

This cave is the Point of Human Origin and was home to the Middle Stone Age people between 170 000 and 40 000 years ago.

The focus of excavations has been at Cave 13B (PP13B), where the earliest evidence for the systematic exploitation of marine resources (shellfish) and symbolic behaviour has been documented, and at Pinnacle Point Cave 5-6 (PP5–6), where the oldest evidence for the heat treatment of rock to make stone tools has been documented.

Location: Pinnacle Point, Mossel Bay, 6511

Woodstock Cave, Devil’s Peak

The Woodstock Cave hike begins at Rhodes Memorial on the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Devils Peak.

It is a relatively easy hike, but adventurers are advised to be careful in winter as the clay in the area becomes slippery.

Location: Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town.

Stadsaal Caves, Cederberg

These caves leave many stunned by their beauty, and here you can also view ancient rock art paintings by the Cederberg’s previous inhabitants.

The rock configurations are something to behold with their orange colour – caused by iron oxide – and unique formations, including the Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch, causing you to pause and wonder at the sheer beauty of it all.

Location: 32°30′S 19°0′E