29 km from Oudtshoorn, in the Swartberg Mountains, you will find the underground wonder of the Klein Karoo, the Cango Caves. These caves are found near the town of Oudtshoorn. Known as the Ostrich Capital of the world. However Oudtshoorn is not only famous for the ostriches and the Cango Caves. You can experience great wine, award winning Port nearby, craft beer (good thing as it can become very hot), a conservation park, walk with elephants, see how meerkats perform their daily rituals, ride a camel, say whoop whoop down a zip line, visit a museum, art galleries or just shop for friends, family or your self. Oudtshoorn certainly offers a lot! The choice of great restaurants and small town hospitality is astonishing!
Now back to the Cango Caves: you have the choice of either doing the heritage one hour tour or the 1.5 hour adventure tour. However be sure before you decide which one to do, that you can fit through the very small TUNNEL OF LOVE, a low passageway some 74 centimetres high, narrowing at one point to about 3O centimeters. Do not make the mistake as one lady did over New Year and was stuck there for a few hours.
Both tours start from the same point and you will enjoy the information provided by the local experienced guides. On entering the cave you will see a display of bushman who were found in the area. As they believed that this was the passage into the underworld, they never explored any further. It was a local farmer, Mr van Zyl who descended into the dark depths and made the discovery. On entry one is immediately conscious of the increased humidity and pleasantly warm temperature. A faint musty odour which indicates the presence of a small colony of bats is also experienced.
With the use of lights the incredible stalactites and stalagmites that are found here, get highlighted. You cover 500 meters through van Zyl Hall, Botha's Hall, Throne Room, the Pulpit, Rainbow Chamber, see Old Nick himself, an Angels wing, Bridal Chamber, Fairyland and then the Drum Room.
After the turn around chamber of the heritage tour, the adventure tour becomes progressively more difficult. JACOB'S LADDER, with its over 2OO steps, leads through THE GRAND HALL into THE AVENUE, and then the low confines of LUMBAGO ALLEY.
So which ever tour you decide to do, you will be very pleased that you did! A real bucket list item that you can tick off as done!
We always incorporate a visit to the Cango Caves whenever we visit Oudtshoorn whether it be part of a cycle tour or hiking tour.