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Welcome to the Cango Caves
Cango Caves is the only show cave in Africa which offers a choice of Heritage (easy) or Adventure Tours. All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides. All tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language options may be available.
29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley, lie the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well known Swartberg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.
The purpose of the Association is to guarantee, on the one hand, the respect and the safeguard of the subterranean environment and its natural wonder while on the other hand it aims at promoting the economic development of the caves by supplying to all its members (i.e. the show caves).
The experiences and solutions gained on the subject of research and management activities carried out by the most advanced caves which can afford a larger expenses.
Heritage Tour Information:
All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides. All tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language guide may be available.
Upon entering the entrance chamber one is immediately conscious of the increased humidity and pleasantly warm temperature. A faint musty odour may point to the presence of a small colony of bats which still make the cave their home.
We have different halls or chambers and each of them has an unique name:
- Van Zyl’s Hall
- Botha’s Hall
- Rainbow Chamber
- Bridal Chamber
- Fairyland Chamber
- Drum Room
Adventure Tour Information:
All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides. All tours are offered in English
What you need to know about the Adventure tour
The adventure tour has the same starting point as the
Heritage tour, but continues to lead deeper into the cave. At the end of the Heritage tour you will descend to where the 30 minutes of adventure starts….
ADVENTURE TOUR STARTS HERE
From this point the tour becomes progressively more difficult. JACOB’S LADDER, with its over 2OO steps, leads through THE GRAND HALL into THE AVENUE, and then the low confines of LUMBAGO ALLEY.
The adventure also have different chambers with unique names:
- The Grand Hall
- Lumbago Alley
- King Solomon’s Hall
- The Devil’s Chimney
- The Coffin
- Devil’s Kitchen
- Devil’s Post Box
Common myth has it that the Caves were first explored by a local farmer named Jacobus van Zyl (after who the first chamber, van Zyl’s Hall, was named), although research fails to reveal anybody by that name in the Cango area in the 1770’s. And besides, we now know that the Caves have been known to man since the Early Stone Age.
Still, even if there never was a Jacobus van Zyl, the Cango Caves have been at the forefront of tourism in South Africa since the end of the 18th century: the first to be protected by environmental legislation and the first to employ a full-time tourist guide, they remain South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction
- 1756: The government awarded the first land grant in the area to Phillip du Pre, whose farm was called Cango-Matjiesrivier.
- 1760: Hermanus Steyn of Swellendam named another farm grant Combuys aan de Cango (kitchen of the Cango). The entrance to the caves is located on this farm.
- 1780: Cango Caves is discovered.
- 1806: The first visit to Cango Caves was recorded.
Early explorations & surveys:
- 1816: P.H. Poleman
- 1816: A plan elevation was made by Rev. George Thom showing the extent of the cave to be 350meters, from the entrance to the African Drum Room.
- 1822: George Thompson
- 1880’s: Johnny van Wassenaar (established route to Devil’s Workshop)
Get in Touch
09:00 – 16:00