The Cango Caves, situated in the enchanting Klein Karoo in the Western Cape, are a true showcase of evocative dripstones. You will meet, among others, the Madonna and Child formation, which portrays Mary carrying her son, Jesus, in her arms. This and other formations will fascinate you.

Did you know?

The Cango Caves were discovered by a farmer in 1780.

The Cango Caves, 30km outside of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, are open for caving tours almost every day of year. You will be amazed by the range of dripstone formations they contain, some resembling real-life objects and even historical figures. Little wonder the caves have been a major attraction for more than 200 years.

As you enter the caves, you will be greeted by an instant rush of warm temperature and humidity. The chambers are illuminated, so you won't miss any of the natural décor showcased by one chamber after another. The ceiling of the main Van Zyl's Hall consists of a cluster of leaf-like stalactites that have been nicknamed the Dried Tobacco Leaves of Oudtshoorn.

Bathed in vermillion and gold, these clusters of dripstones are a real visual feast. The main feature within the Van Zyl's Hall is certainly Cleopatra's Needle, said to be over 150 000 years old. This dripstone needle measures a staggering 9m.

There is also what's known as the Pulpit of the Cathedral, which is located close to the foot of the staircase. Inside Botha's Hall, you will be met by a rock formation that has been nicknamed the Leaning tower of Pisa, for it looks very much like its Italian namesake. Inside Lot's Chamber, you will encounter biblical Lot and his family, carved in stalagmites.

For a bit of adventure, join the assault course at the end of the tunnel. You will have to climb a steep ladder as well as crawl through a narrow hole.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Cango Caves
Tel: +27 (0)44 272 7410

How to get here

The caves are approximately 29km north of Oudtshoorn on the R328. The nearest airport is George Airport, approximately 50km away.

Best time to visit

The Cango Caves are open throughout the year, except on Christmas Day.

Around the area

Visit the Safari Show farm and the Highgate Ostrich Show Farm in Outdshoorn.

What will it cost

Standard tours cost R80 per adult and R45 per child. Adventure tours cost R100 per adult and R60 per child. Prices are subject to change and must be confirmed beforehand.

Length of stay

There's plenty to do in the area, so set aside at least two or more days.

What to pack

The temperature inside the caves is warm and humid, so light clothing and comfortable footwear are recommended.

Where to stay

Accommodation is available in the nearby town of Oudtshoorn.

What to eat

Visitors should sample some of the local delicacies, such as sun-dried figs, olives, olive oil, cheese and wine.

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