Cango Caves
Situated in the stark, arid beauty of the Klein Karoo, just 29km from the historical town of Oudtshoorn, are the spectacular, underground Cango Caves.

Though the caves themselves were formed over many millions of years, and though the entrance to the caves was used as a shelter by indigenous tribes crossing the plains of the Klein Karoo, it was not until 1780 that an adventurous local farmer decided to explore further than the cavesí entrance.
What he encountered would have been an all-consuming darkness as he literally lowered himself 10 metres into the inky blackness that is the first and largest hall that makes up the chain of inter-leading caves. This first cave is known as Van Zylís Hall, after the intrepid farmer who discovered it.

One can only imagine his surprise as, by candlelight, he began to explore the magnificent proportions of the chamber in which he found himself, for this first cave is over 90 metres long, 50 metres wide at its widest point, and between 14 and 18 metres high. Nearly 100 metres of solid limestone roof separates the cavern from the ground above.

In fact, the extensive system of tunnels and chambers that make up the entire Cango Caves system go on for over four kilometres. However, only about a quarter of this is open to visitors, who may proceed into the caves only in groups supervised by a guide. Fortunately, these days one no longer enters the caves by rope, as there are stairs, and the caves have been illuminated by electric light since 1926; previously lit by candles, flaming torches and magnesium ribbons.

But what is it that makes these caves so spectacular? They are beautifully adorned by innumerable dripstone formations known as stalagmites and stalactites. These natural pillars and columns occur in limestone caves and grow in pairs. They are formed when slightly acidic water drips down from the roof of the caves and dissolves some of the limestone, carrying it downward. When the water evaporates, the limestone appears to have flowed downward. Some of the water does not evaporate until it has fallen through the air, and landed on the floor. The remaining limestone then builds the stalagmite. Often, the stalactite and stalagmite will connect, and become a column.

When one enters the caves one is aware of the increased humidity and pleasantly warm temperature. Though the average temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius, due to the humidity of the caves it feels much warmer.  A faint musty odour may point to the presence of a small colony of bats which make the cave their home. Sensible footwear and light clothing is highly recommended, as is your camera as many memorable photos can be taken in and around this truly awe-inspiring natural wonder, hidden and protected for so many millions of years.
Accommodation nearby
For Accommodation nearby, see these towns which are in close proximity
16 Luxury rooms, 4 cabins in Oudtshoorn
R 328
Garden Route
Guest Farm with accommodation and activities..
From / night
500 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
Guest House in Oudtshoorn
Die Fonteine
Die Fonteine is a luxury Guest House , situated in the heart of the Cango Valley near Oudtshoorn...
From / night
250 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
Game Lodge in Oudtshoorn
en route to Cango Caves
Klein Karoo
25 luxury tents, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, air-con, mini-bar, tea/coffee, own deck, pool..
From / night
870 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
Guesthouse & camp; Selfcatering in Oudtshoorn
161 Jan van Riebeeckroad
Guesthouse & camp; selfcatering where children are REALLY welcome !!..
From / night
275 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
Game Lodge in Oudtshoorn
N12 George Road
Klein Karoo
Luxury Ensuite Tented Chalets placed on private wooden decks close to natural water hole..
From / night
495 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
B&B or Self-Catering in Oudtshoorn
Cango Caves Road
3 Rooms with double bed and sleeper and two family rooms with four single beds each..
From / night
200 ZAR
Enquire about this accommodation
More Things To Do
Western Cape Attractions
Welcome Sign in or Register