Did you know?
Sudwala Caves' Horseshoe bats travel 200km per night consuming their own body weight in mosquitoes.
If you’re visiting the Mpumalanga province, don’t miss the opportunity to go caving at the Sudwala Caves, the oldest caves in the world.
Although the caves were formed over a period of some 3 000-million years, they’ve only been accessible to the public since the 1960s. Early human ancestors, Homo Habilis, however, lived and worked in part of the caves some 1.8-million years ago. See the display of their early tools at the caves' entrance.
You don't need to be an expert caver, athlete or expert at anything when you go caving at Sudwala. All you need are your legs and a sense of wonder. As you begin the one-hour Cave Tour, your guide will tell you that in these awesome caves are fossils of collenia, the first oxygen-producing plants on Earth.
You'll venture 600m into the caves and travel 150m underground. You won't feel claustrophobic because the central chamber of the cavern complex – 70m in diameter and 37m high – is as big as a 500-seater concert hall! To this day, no-one has discovered the source of the steady stream of fresh air which keeps the chamber's temperature at a constant 17º Celsius.
Your guide will point out fantastic natural sculptures and rock formations which adorn the grand cavern. Look out for the 150-million-year-old stalactite/stalagmite column The Lowveld Rocket or the 160-million-year-old Screaming Monster – mere youngsters compared to the venerable 200-million-year-old Samsons Pillar.
Adventurous and don't mind getting wet? Then opt for the 6-hour Crystal Cave Tour. You must be over 16, have average agility and not suffer from claustrophobia or any serious health problems. Then walk, scramble, wriggle and climb around the oldest caves in the world – now that's something to write home about.