You discover an opening in the rocks, you look a little closer. It’s big enough. You step into the Cango Caves.
Complete darkness fills the looming empty space. You stand in a massive cavernous chamber.
All you hear is the bated breath of the travellers next to you.
You are guided by a tiny candle as you imagine what it must have been like for someone to enter into these caves for the very first time. They probably didn’t even have a candle…
Let’s explore a cave system that has been forming since the beginning of time.
Van Zyl’s Hall In The Cango Caves
A dimly-lit hall welcomes you as you begin your tour. Various features are highlighted and you are slightly impressed; few caves are this big.
*FLICK* – Light engulfs the cavern and you shrink realising the true vastness of Van Zyl’s hall.
Time almost seems to stand still as the guide begins to explain.
Magnificent stalactites and stalagmites protrude like giant icicles. Intricate limestone tapestries cling to the walls. An artwork millions of years in the making.
What a sight to behold!
And it’s only the first chamber.
This little piece of theatrics really enhances your exploration and admiration of the Cango Caves. These aren’t just regular worn out rocks, these caves are the real deal.
A Little Bit of History
The Cango Caves are said to have been used since the Stone Age. Evidence is revealed in the precious cave paintings that still line the walls today.
What’s also interesting about the use of the caves is that even though they stretch nearly 4km in length (only 1km is accessible to regular folk), the people that inhabited and used these caves merely lived in the entranceway.
Van Zyl’s Hall is just down the stairs as you walk in. See the problem? Stairs.
Not only were there no stairs (or a way down that wasn’t falling), but they would never have been able to see just have massive the caves really are.
They were probably very happy though. Definitely the coolest crib in the region.
Vital Visitor’s Information
The Cango Caves are a popular tourist destination in Oudtshoorn, Western Cape (South Africa).
These caves are spectacular and a must-do if you are ever in the area. Scratch that. They are a must-do, so get yourself in the area!
For us, the Cango Caves were a stop on our way from Johannesburg to Cape Town during our 2017 road trip.
When Are They Open?
The Cango Caves are open to the public 364 days a year, 9am to 4pm.
I mean, really they’re always open, because they’re caves. Haha… Get it? Caves. Anyway.
They’re closed on Christmas.
Two Tour Options
They offer a Heritage Tour as well as an Adventure Tour.
I mean if the names the Devil’s Post Box or the Devil’s Chimney don’t scare you, I don’t know what will. And in that case, the Adventure Tour is for you; heading into the deepest sections of Cango 1.
Byron and I opted for the Heritage Tour but I’m positive he would have done the Adventure Tour if the opportunity had presented itself.
The tours are led by very knowledgable guides and you are able to take the tour in English or Afrikaans. There is the option for other languages like French or German, but be sure to make the request beforehand.
The Heritage Tours run every hour on the hour (starting 9am), while the Adventure Tours (starting 9:30am) run every hour on the half-hour.
Some Other Services
After exploring the caves you can reward yourself by going to have some scrumptious lunch at the Spekboom Restaurant while overlooking the Cango Valley.
After that, why not stroll around the Interpretive Centre for a look at how the caves have developed over time or to watch a short video screening.
There is, of course, also a Curio Shop and even a Bureau de Change.
What Does It Cost?
P.S. If you are a student, then bring along your student card to get a discount!
*As of mid-2020.
X Marks The Spot
A Video Of The Cango Caves
You’ll see a snippet about the Cango Caves near the end of our video as it was near the end of our journey to Cape Town – where we spent the entire month!
If you’re curious about The Wagon Wheel Country Lodge (where we spent the night) or The Big Hole that we explored yesterday, why not take a look!
We have also journeyed through South Africa quite a bit more since 2017, including the majestic Drakensberg and idyllic Midlands Meander if that’s more your speed.
Have you visited the Cango Caves? Did you opt for the Heritage Tour or did you brave the Adventure Tour? Let us know if it was worth the risk! (Trying to deter Byron here, help me out!)
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