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44500 million years ago, a cave in the Klein Karoo was coming into being. Made of evocative dripstones, it’s been a major attraction for over 200 years.
Discovered—or “discovered”, depending on how you view history— by a farmer in the late 1700s, the Cango Caves are a geological masterpiece. Open throughout the year, take the tour into the cave to view the various formations of dripstones and learn more about the people who lived here over the millennia.
TThere are two tours to choose from: the Heritage Tour and the Adventure Tour. Tours are led by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides.
Many of the formations have evocative names that describe exactly what they look like. Once inside, in Van Zyl’s Hall look up to see the Dried Tobacco Leaves of Oudtshoorn, a cluster of leaf-like stalactites. In the same hall, you will also see an incredible 150 000-year-old, 9m dripstone stalactite called Cleopatra's Needle. In Botha's Hall you’ll see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
TThe Cango Caves even has its own pieta, created long before Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child. There is also the Pulpit of the Cathedral, a formation that looks like the foot of a staircase. Yet another Christian reference is named Lot's Chamber, which looks like the biblical Lot and his family carved in stalagmites.
If you’re up for more adventure, the Adventure Tour starts at the end of these caves. On this tour, you’ll climb Jacob’s Ladder, crawl through a very long tunnel and climb through a hole. Beware, this is not for kids under six, people who have high blood pressure, or for the claustrophobic.
For your outing, dress practically in comfortable shoes and for hot and humid conditions. Tread lightly—it is an absolute privilege to be in such an environment. Tours are in English, but Afrikaans, German, French and other language guides may be available. Call in advance for information.