Did you know?
The Echo Caves were "discovered" by a farmer in search of water, who realised that his cattle had already found their way into the caves to quench their thirsts.
The Echo Caves, Limpopo, lie 26km from Ohrigstad, a small town tucked away on the Tzaneen/Lydenburg Road in Limpopo.
Only by visiting will you be able to appreciate why these caves, some of the oldest limestone caves in the world, are today a national monument and a tourist attraction.
The caves were first discovered on the farm Klipfonteinhoek back in 1923 by the local farmer who stumbled upon them while searching for his cattle. Although the caves may stretch for over 40km, nobody knows their full extent.
There are two tours of 45 minutes and 75 minutes respectively which will give you a glimpse of this underground wonderland.
On the longer tour you will explore the some 2km cave network open to the public from well-lit walkways showcasing the beautiful dripstone formations. You will also visit the beautiful Crystal Palace and Madonna Room and find out how the caves came by their name as there is a large stalactite that, when struck, makes a sound that resonates even beyond the cave walls.
The caves have further historical significance in that prehistoric items and artefacts dating back to the Stone Age that have been found here. These are now housed inside the nearby Museum of Man which is also worth a visit.
If you stay in one of the rustic rondavels on the farm you can also hike in the surrounding mountains which are part of the northern Drakensberg range and home to rare birds like the elusive blue swallow.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)13 238 0015/72
Ohrigstad Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)13 238 8100
How to get here
The Echo Caves are 26km north of Ohrigstad, which is off the R36 on route to Hoedspruit. The caves are also close to the turnoff to the scenic R532 also known as the Panorama Route.
Best time to visit
The caves are open from 8.30am to 4.30pm every day of the week (on Sundays they close at 4pm)
Around the area
Ohrigstad Dam Nature Reserve, Blyde River Canyon, Drakensberg Mountains, Panorama Route, Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve.
There are numerous hiking trails in the area as this is part of the northern Drakensberg.
What will it cost
A guided tour will cost you R60 per adult and R25 per child under 12. The price is the same regardless of which length of tour you choose to follow.
Where to stay
Accommodation for up to 140 people is available at the caves, including dormitory-style rooms and 11 chalets. (R500 for two, self-catering).
What to eat
There are restaurants at nearby Ohrigstad or else bring a picnic basket. The accommodation is self-catering.
Local arts and crafts at Ohrigstad town