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CANGO CAVES
Address: , Cango Valleie Road, Oudtshoorn, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa

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Province (Western Cape)

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CANGO CAVES

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 (please check guide availability when making reservations).

What to expect on the Heritage Tour
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.
You catch your breath as the first view of VAN ZYL'S HALL opens up before you. Ancient stalactites, aptly known as The dried tobacco leaves of Oudtshoorn, festoon the grey-blue of the limestone ceiling. This spacious hall 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 ridgecrest above.
Leaving Van Zyl's Hall through a wide passageway, you enter the spectacular BOTHA'S HALL, with its decorative side-chamber, The Throne Room. Glancing to the left as we enter Botha's Hall, we see a formation resembling the beak of a Giant Eagle, feeding its chick. Botha's Hall is dominated by two completed columns soaring upwards to the ceiling.
Leaving the Throne Room and Botha's Hall, you ascend a staircase, pass a hollowed out stalagmite known as The Pulpit, then proceed through a narrow passageway into the RAINBOW CHAMBER.
Against the back wall, in the eerie glow of lights, we make out the head of Old Nick, the tame Cave Devil, posed in profile. Immediately above the viewing platform, bathed in soft, blue light, is the cavern's Biblical Section. High against the wall we may see an open Family Bible.
Beside it, the Outstretched Lost Wing of an Angel. Below, directly in front of the viewing platform, is another hollowed-out stalagmite known as The Christening Font.
A flight of steps leads into the BRIDAL CHAMBER with its fourteen-post bridal bed. The bride may be spotted in the kitchen to the rear, sitting on a low stool and weeping quietly to herself. A clue to her tears may be found in the Peach Brandy Bottle, prominently displayed on a rock mantlepiece. Active stalactites drip constantly from the low roof above.
Fairyland, the next chamber, provides fantasy for the younger generation. Coloured lights illumine the Fairy Queen's Palace (or Cathedral), The Fairy Castle, an inverted Sunflower, and even the bizarre 'upper plate' of an enormous set of dentures. Here, too, the first helictites may be observed, twisting against the ceiling in frozen motion
The Drum Room, 500 metres from the entrance, provides the first major turn-back point on HERITAGE TOUR. In this chamber there is also a striking example of a translucent formation. Alongside it a stalagmite resembling a Bushman hut lends fantasy to the presentation of "Sunrise and Sunset over darkest Africa".


CANGO CAVES




Heritage Tour

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 (please check guide availability when making reservations).

What to expect on the Heritage Tour
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.
You catch your breath as the first view of VAN ZYL'S HALL opens up before you. Ancient stalactites, aptly known as The dried tobacco leaves of Oudtshoorn, festoon the grey-blue of the limestone ceiling. This spacious hall 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 ridgecrest above.
Leaving Van Zyl's Hall through a wide passageway, you enter the spectacular BOTHA'S HALL, with its decorative side-chamber, The Throne Room. Glancing to the left as we enter Botha's Hall, we see a formation resembling the beak of a Giant Eagle, feeding its chick. Botha's Hall is dominated by two completed columns soaring upwards to the ceiling.
Leaving the Throne Room and Botha's Hall, you ascend a staircase, pass a hollowed out stalagmite known as The Pulpit, then proceed through a narrow passageway into the RAINBOW CHAMBER.
Against the back wall, in the eerie glow of lights, we make out the head of Old Nick, the tame Cave Devil, posed in profile. Immediately above the viewing platform, bathed in soft, blue light, is the cavern's Biblical Section. High against the wall we may see an open Family Bible.
Beside it, the Outstretched Lost Wing of an Angel. Below, directly in front of the viewing platform, is another hollowed-out stalagmite known as The Christening Font.
A flight of steps leads into the BRIDAL CHAMBER with its fourteen-post bridal bed. The bride may be spotted in the kitchen to the rear, sitting on a low stool and weeping quietly to herself. A clue to her tears may be found in the Peach Brandy Bottle, prominently displayed on a rock mantlepiece. Active stalactites drip constantly from the low roof above.
Fairyland, the next chamber, provides fantasy for the younger generation. Coloured lights illumine the Fairy Queen's Palace (or Cathedral), The Fairy Castle, an inverted Sunflower, and even the bizarre 'upper plate' of an enormous set of dentures. Here, too, the first helictites may be observed, twisting against the ceiling in frozen motion
The Drum Room, 500 metres from the entrance, provides the first major turn-back point on HERITAGE TOUR. In this chamber there is also a striking example of a translucent formation. Alongside it a stalagmite resembling a Bushman hut lends fantasy to the presentation of "Sunrise and Sunset over darkest Africa".


Consultant : CANGO CAVES

, Cango Valleie Road, Oudtshoorn, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa

View Consultant Information
All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides. All tours are offered in English (please check availability when making reservations).

OPENING HOURS
From 1 May - 31 August 2015 tours depart at
09:30 / 11:30 / 13:30 / 15:30
Duration: 90 min
WARNING:
ADVENTURE TOUR

If you are pregnant or suffer from claustrophobia, high blood pressure, asthma or any muscular ailments, this tour is NOT suitable for you.
Children under the age of six are not permitted on this tour option.
WAARSKUWING:
AVONTUUR TOER

NIE geskik vir swanger vroue of persone wat aan die volgende lei: engtevrees, hoë bloeddruk, asma of enige spier kwale.
Kinders onder die ouderdom van ses is nie op hierdie toer opsie toegelaat nie.

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.



Towards the end of the Grand Hall you will pass LOT'S CHAMBER, where a group of stalagmites represent the biblical Lot, his two daughters, and his wife, who turned into a pillar of salt. Alongside the viewing platform is another hollowed-out stalagmite known as King Arthur's Throne.



Beyond THE AVENUE you enter LUMBAGO ALLEY. It is 85 metres long. For the most part the roof is low and for 28 metres of the Lumbago Walk the roof height seldom exceeds 1,2 metres.

Emerging from this tunnel you can glimpse delicate roof crystals and get to view some of the lovely smaller grottos.

The roof of the Crystal Palace is decorated with "Hanging crystal gardens", adorned with ice-like crystals and weirdly contorted helictites. A light to the left reveals a translucent crystal wall.

Moving on to the next chamber, you pass an active candle-wax column in delicate golden hues.



Steps lead downwards into the cellar-like chambers of KING SOLOMON'S MINES. The cavern gets its name from a formation high up near the roof, resembling a rotund king with a bearded face, wearing a crystal crown. His throne is mounted on an inverted Protea, South Africa's national flower.

Alongside the throne, much to the children's delight, hangs a gigantic ice-cream cone. The roof of this chamber is decorated with a fantasy of amazing helictites.



An iron ladder ascends from King Solomon's Mines into the unique caving adventure of The Devil's Chimney section. First you have to crawl through THE TUNNEL OF LOVE, a low passageway some 74 centimetres high, narrowing at one point to about 3O centimetres, where stouter cavers are apt to receive a loving squeeze!

This tunnel brings you to THE ICE CHAMBER, with its fascinating shelfstone ledge high around the outer wall. This ledge indicates the level of a cave pool from a bygone age. The pool's level ultimately subsided, leaving only a shallow pool in the cavern today.



Next comes THE COFFIN, a hexagonally-shaped hole in the shelfstone, which is the beginning and end of the final circular route. The cave opens out again as we pass through the ICE-CREAM PARLOUR into the colourful beauty of the DEVIL'S WORKSHOP. The brilliantly-coloured ceiling is decorated with many delicate helictites.

The way ahead leads over a steep hump, which leads you into the DEVIL'S KITCHEN, with its notorious DEVIL'S CHIMNEY. The guide points to a narrow crack in the wall - surely someone's idea of a joke! But no, this is the DEVIL'S CHIMNEY. Peering in you see a steep shaft about 45 centimetres wide which leads upwards for some 3,5 metres. There is a light at the top. Amidst an assortment of grunts, groans and, usually, hysterical laughter you squirm through the chimney into another larger chamber, only to be confronted by an even smaller opening.

Using 'Leopard Crawl' to wriggle forward you approach a low, wide slot - the only exit route. It is only 27 centimetres high.

Some guides recommend a head-first 'posting', which may be likened to a rebirth experience, as one emerges infant-like from the narrow crevice. The alternative of feet-first results in an easy slide (depending on girth or chest-size) down the smooth, sloping wall and being deposited on the flowstone floor below. You have now reached the furthest point of the tour.
A short scramble leads you back to the Coffin, through the Ice Chamber and Tunnel of Love and back down the iron ladder into King Solomon's Mines and back along the previous route, emerging into the welcome light of day at the cave entrance.
CANGO CAVES




Adventure Tour

All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Caves Guides. All tours are offered in English (please check availability when making reservations).

OPENING HOURS
From 1 May - 31 August 2015 tours depart at
09:30 / 11:30 / 13:30 / 15:30
Duration: 90 min
WARNING:
ADVENTURE TOUR

If you are pregnant or suffer from claustrophobia, high blood pressure, asthma or any muscular ailments, this tour is NOT suitable for you.
Children under the age of six are not permitted on this tour option.
WAARSKUWING:
AVONTUUR TOER

NIE geskik vir swanger vroue of persone wat aan die volgende lei: engtevrees, hoë bloeddruk, asma of enige spier kwale.
Kinders onder die ouderdom van ses is nie op hierdie toer opsie toegelaat nie.

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.



Towards the end of the Grand Hall you will pass LOT'S CHAMBER, where a group of stalagmites represent the biblical Lot, his two daughters, and his wife, who turned into a pillar of salt. Alongside the viewing platform is another hollowed-out stalagmite known as King Arthur's Throne.



Beyond THE AVENUE you enter LUMBAGO ALLEY. It is 85 metres long. For the most part the roof is low and for 28 metres of the Lumbago Walk the roof height seldom exceeds 1,2 metres.

Emerging from this tunnel you can glimpse delicate roof crystals and get to view some of the lovely smaller grottos.

The roof of the Crystal Palace is decorated with "Hanging crystal gardens", adorned with ice-like crystals and weirdly contorted helictites. A light to the left reveals a translucent crystal wall.

Moving on to the next chamber, you pass an active candle-wax column in delicate golden hues.



Steps lead downwards into the cellar-like chambers of KING SOLOMON'S MINES. The cavern gets its name from a formation high up near the roof, resembling a rotund king with a bearded face, wearing a crystal crown. His throne is mounted on an inverted Protea, South Africa's national flower.

Alongside the throne, much to the children's delight, hangs a gigantic ice-cream cone. The roof of this chamber is decorated with a fantasy of amazing helictites.



An iron ladder ascends from King Solomon's Mines into the unique caving adventure of The Devil's Chimney section. First you have to crawl through THE TUNNEL OF LOVE, a low passageway some 74 centimetres high, narrowing at one point to about 3O centimetres, where stouter cavers are apt to receive a loving squeeze!

This tunnel brings you to THE ICE CHAMBER, with its fascinating shelfstone ledge high around the outer wall. This ledge indicates the level of a cave pool from a bygone age. The pool's level ultimately subsided, leaving only a shallow pool in the cavern today.



Next comes THE COFFIN, a hexagonally-shaped hole in the shelfstone, which is the beginning and end of the final circular route. The cave opens out again as we pass through the ICE-CREAM PARLOUR into the colourful beauty of the DEVIL'S WORKSHOP. The brilliantly-coloured ceiling is decorated with many delicate helictites.

The way ahead leads over a steep hump, which leads you into the DEVIL'S KITCHEN, with its notorious DEVIL'S CHIMNEY. The guide points to a narrow crack in the wall - surely someone's idea of a joke! But no, this is the DEVIL'S CHIMNEY. Peering in you see a steep shaft about 45 centimetres wide which leads upwards for some 3,5 metres. There is a light at the top. Amidst an assortment of grunts, groans and, usually, hysterical laughter you squirm through the chimney into another larger chamber, only to be confronted by an even smaller opening.

Using 'Leopard Crawl' to wriggle forward you approach a low, wide slot - the only exit route. It is only 27 centimetres high.

Some guides recommend a head-first 'posting', which may be likened to a rebirth experience, as one emerges infant-like from the narrow crevice. The alternative of feet-first results in an easy slide (depending on girth or chest-size) down the smooth, sloping wall and being deposited on the flowstone floor below. You have now reached the furthest point of the tour.
A short scramble leads you back to the Coffin, through the Ice Chamber and Tunnel of Love and back down the iron ladder into King Solomon's Mines and back along the previous route, emerging into the welcome light of day at the cave entrance.
Consultant : CANGO CAVES

, Cango Valleie Road, Oudtshoorn, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa

View Consultant Information

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