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Cango Caves In South Africa

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The Cango Caves spellbind the visitors with their extensive chambers and tunnels. These dripstone caverns with giant halls and majestic formations evoke a sense of wonderment. These caves are known for hidden treasures and vast underground network of limestones. They are not just another mind-boggling rock patterns, but an enduring symbol of millenia-long chemical transformation.

Cango Caves History

The origin of the caves remains a mystery. However, locals believe that these caves were first discovered by a local farmer named Jacobus van Zyl, after whom the first chamber is named. In 1938, the Cango Caves were declared a national monument.

Things to Do in Cango Caves

There are two kinds of tours to choose from:

Cango Caves Adventure Tour

This 90-minute tour is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. The added 30-minute adventure takes you to the Jacob’s Ladder (with over 200 steps) via the Grand Hall further into the Avenue and concluding to the low-level Lumbago Alley. This tour gets more challenging as the staircase and walking path get narrower and deeper. The level of excitement rises as you move from the King Solomon’s Mines to the Devil’s Chimney, Devil’s Kitchen, and Devil’s Post Box. This tour is conducted from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Cango Caves Tour (Standard)

As the name suggests, this tour is suitable for all visitors and lasts for 60 minutes. There is an obvious hint of increased humidity and warmth as you enter the caves. Various sections that are covered in this tour include:

1.Van Zyl’s Hall – This chamber reveals the imposing stalactites – also called “The dried tobacco leaves of Oudtshoorn” – that are suspended from the ceiling. The highlights of this 90-meter-long hall are Cleopatra’s Needle, Organ Pipes, and the Pulpit of a Great Cathedral.

2. Botha’s Hall – The Botha’s Hall houses largest formations dating back to 500,000 years. It resembles the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The other highlights of this hall include The Madonna and Child formation, The Temple Presentation, The Heavy Stage Curtains, The Petrified Weeping Willow Tree, and the Throne Room. Furthermore, there are some smaller formations in the Stone Room: The Bust of an ancient Cave Man, a Hairy Mammoth Elephant, and a fossilized fish swimming against the ceiling.

3.Rainbow Chamber – After moving ahead from Botha’s Hall, ascend the staircase to reach the Rainbow Chamber. Here, the glow of the lights is spooky. The areas to be noticed here are the Biblical Section, an open Family Bible, elongated Lost Wing of an Angel, and the Christening Font.

4.Bridal Chamber – This Chamber has a fourteen-post bridal bed with active stalactites dripping continuously from the low roof.

This tour also covers the Fairyland Chamber, enlivened with colorful illuminations, and the Drum Room — the chamber with translucent stalagmite. The tour is conducted from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Note:-Although the tours are offered in English, you may request for other languages such as Afrikaans,  French and German while making reservations

Cango Caves Entrance Fee

For Heritage Tour, tickets for adults and children are priced at R 85 and R 50 respectively. In case of Adventure Tour, adults are charged R 105. For children, a ticket costs R 65. These rates are valid till 30 June 2016. Tickets can be booked through the official website of this tourist destination.

Cango Caves Tour Times

While the Heritage Tour is conducted for an hour any time between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, the Adventure Tour is conducted for 90 minutes from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Where is Cango Caves?

The caves are located about 29 km north of Oudtshoorn town in South Africa.

Cango Caves Map

How to Reach?

By Air The George Airport is 90 km away from the caves (via N12 and R328).

By Road Regional route of R328 connects the Caves. You can rent a car from Oudtshoorn and make a day trip here.

Cango Caves Accommodation

Wilgewandel Holiday Farm, De Oude Meul Country Lodge, De Poort Country Lodge, and Cango Mountain Resort are the options in the middle of this sparsely populated area. For much comfortable stays in Oudtshoorn town, you can select from Kleinpass Resort, Langenhoven B&B, Oakdene Guest House, and Hlangana Lodge.

Hotels Name Website Type Address
Wilgewandel Holiday Farm Lodging Oudtshoorn, 6620, Scenic Cape Route 62, South Africa, South Africa
De Poort Country Lodge Guest House R328, 17km North of Oudtshoorn, Schoemanspoort, Oudtshoorn, 6625, South Africa
Cango Mountain Resort Resort Oudtshoorn, Shoemanshoek Valley, Oudtshoorn, 6620, South Africa
De Oude Meul Country Lodge 4 star R328, Oudtshoorn, 6620, South Africa
Langenhoven B&B 3 star 124 Langenhoven Rd, Oudtshoorn, 6625, South Africa
Oakdene Guest House 4 star 99 Baron Van Reede St, Oudtshoorn, 6620, South Africa
Hlangana Lodge 4 star 51 North St, Oudtshoorn, 6620, South Africa


Su Casa Restaurant, De Oude Meul Restaurant, Old Mill Restaurant, and Jemina’s Restaurant cater to diners of varying preferences. Bello Cibo is an Italian restaurant that serves pastas, salads, and pizzas.

Best Time to Visit

Cango caves can be visited any time of the year as the weather inside the caves remains mild.

Cango Caves Facts

  • These caves are believed to be discovered in prehistoric times, and are arguably the oldest tourist attraction in South Africa.
  • Cango Caves have three sections: Cango One, Cango Two, and Cango Three. Only Cango One is open for public tours.
  • The entrance gate was erected in 1890.
  • The archeological studies have revealed that the Caves sheltered humans for a period longer than 80,000 years.
  • Tall formations of Cleopatra’s Needle rock are around 150,000 years old.
  • Temperature inside the caves remains around 18°C.
  • Oudtshoorn is known as the “Ostrich Capital of the World.”

Things to Remember

  • The caves are open throughout the year except on December 25.
  • People with any physical disabilities should not visit the caves.
  • It is best not to enter deep into the caves if you suffer from claustrophobia, asthma, or high blood pressure.
  • There are no nearby gas stations or ATMs available.
  • Eating, drinking, and smoking are strictly prohibited inside.
  • Wear comfortable footwear as rain makes the floor slippery.
  • Please make reservations in advance for cave tours during peak season.

Nearby Attractions

Groot Swartberg Nature Reserve, Swartberg Pass, Cango Wildlife Ranch, Highgate Ostrich Show Farm, Anysberg Nature Reserve, and Rust-en-Vrede Waterfall.

Image CreditLeo za1Crystian Cruz


Published On: Thursday, June 26th, 2014