Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

IIf you’re visiting the Mpumalanga province, don’t miss the opportunity to go caving at the Sudwala Caves, the oldest known caves in the world.

No special skills are needed for caving at the Sudwala Caves. Take the hour-long guided tour on foot into its biggest cavern and marvel at the amazing rock formations in the oldest caves in the world, or dig into your more adventurous self and get on your hands and knees for the delightfully dirty six-hour Crystal Tour.

Although the caves were formed over a period of some 3000 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. You can even see the display of their early tools at the caves' entrance to really get a feel for how our early ancestors got things done.

Did You Know?
TThe Sudwala Caves' Horseshoe bats travel 200km per night, consuming their own body weight in mosquitoes.

TThere’s certainly no need to worry, 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 there are fossils of collenia, the first oxygen-producing plants on Earth – that on its own is worth the journey.

YYou'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 that keeps the chamber's temperature at a constant 17ºC.

Sudwala Caves, Mpumalanga

Food
When to visit
How to get here

YYour guide will point out fantastic natural sculptures and rock formations that 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 ancient 200-million-year-old Samsons Pillar.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and don't mind getting wet, then you need to opt for the six-hour Crystal Cave Tour. If you are going to tackle this, remember you must be over 16, have average agility and not suffer from claustrophobia or any serious health problems. If you fit the bill, then you’re ready to walk, scramble, wriggle and climb your way around the oldest caves in the world – now that's something to write home about.

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Around the area
Tours to do
Get around
What will it cost
Length of stay
What to pack
Where to stay

Related articles

Zipline in the Sabie River Valley: a fast and furious adventure in Mpumalanga province

Zipline in the Sabie River Valley: a fast and furious adventure in Mpumalanga province

Zipline through breath-taking Mpumalanga scenery with Induna Adventures in the Sabie River Valley on the Panorama Route – one of several exhilarating zip slide experiences on offer in South Africa.

The Sudwala Caves: majestic caverns in the bowels of the earth

The Sudwala Caves: majestic caverns in the bowels of the earth

Mpumalanga province’s Sudwala Caves, the oldest in the world, offer a walking tour for any fitness level through majestic caverns, or a more challenging expedition for experienced cavers.

South Africa to Mozambique: ready for a trans-border adventure?

South Africa to Mozambique: ready for a trans-border adventure?

A trans-border adventure from South Africa to Mozambique will take you from game viewing in the bush to idyllic Indian Ocean playgrounds, via the urban delights of Maputo: ‘the Havana of Africa’.

Rock climbing in South Africa: some of our cliffs are tough; others are a little boulder

Rock climbing in South Africa: some of our cliffs are tough; others are a little boulder

Rock climbers are spoilt for choice in South Africa – Western Cape, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape are all provinces blessed with plentiful mountains and myriad climbing routes.

Walking trails in the Kruger National Park

Walking trails in the Kruger National Park

From rustic routes to 5-star luxury camps, there are a number of ways to experience the guided walking trails in the Greater Kruger National Park.

Mpumalanga highlights

Mpumalanga highlights

There are a number of private game reserves and natural attractions for adventure tourists on offer in Mpumalanga.

Mpumalanga adventures

Mpumalanga adventures

Mpumalanga province is an eco-adventure tourist paradise offering not only incredible hiking, but any number of activities from white river rafting, abseiling, quad biking to ziplining.

Top 5 local 4x4 adventures

Top 5 local 4x4 adventures

A look at the 4x4 spots in South Africa. For scenic beauty and adventure look no further

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2020 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy