Take the plunge and sign up for the Cango Caves Adventure Tour. You’ll enter a mysterious and strangely beautiful underground world of fascinating rock formations, cellar-like chambers and low passageways. Be prepared to crawl, duck and squeeze your way through a fascinating subterranean world.

Did you know?

The 9m tall Cleopatra's Needle rock formation is more than 150 000 years old.

The Cango Caves Adventure Tour is not for the faint-hearted, but if you're reasonably fit and healthy, steady your nerves, hold your breath, tuck that tummy in and go deep into Africa’s largest cave.

An accredited, experienced and knowledgeable caving guide will take you deep inside the cave, which, when it was first discovered, would have taken about nine hours to explore. Today, it’s a mere two hours, but two hours that you’ll never forget! Explore underground wonders such as bizarre rock formations, stunningly beautiful helictites and crystals, cave pools and peaceful grottos.

The Cango Caves lie in a Precambrian limestone ridge adjacent to the Swartberg mountains in the Cango valley, just 29km from the small town of Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo.

Thousands of visitors a year take the standard tour into Cango 1, which comprises just 1,2km of the entire 5,3km-long cave. On the standard tour you will see the star attractions – Cleopatra’s Needle, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Madonna and Child – but when the standard tour is over, the adventure tour begins.

First tackle the 200 steps of Jacob’s Ladder to the Grand Hall before passing through Lot’s Chamber, where natural rock formations mimic the biblical Lot and his wife, who were turned into pillars of salt.

The names of attractions along the route give a clue as to what lies in store. There’s Lumbago Alley, the Crystal Palace, King Solomon’s Mines and the Devil’s Chimney. Then into and through the Coffin, the Ice-Cream Parlour, the Devil’s Workshop, and then – hold that breath even tighter – it’s time to wriggle through the 27cm-high Leopard Crawl, the only exit route.

Phew! Then it’s daylight and back to the real world.

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