Top facts about the Cango Caves
The Cango Caves is one of South Africa's most famous and well-loved tourist attractions. Located near the town of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape, it is home to some of the oldest stalagmite accumulations on the planet. Here are some incredible facts you may not have known about these marvellous caves.
1. Some of the limestone formations in the caves can be dated back to 4500 million years ago.
2. The remarkable cave system is over 4 km long but only about a quarter of this is open to visitors, who need to take a guided group tour to explore the underground tunnels and chambers.
3. The larger chambers within the Cango Caves are accessible by the public - there are two options for visitors, the 'Heritage Tour' (easy), which takes 60 minutes and the 'Adventure Tour', which takes 90 minutes.
4. The tiniest passage that tourists will need to squeeze theough on the 'Adventure Tour' is just under 15cm. Breath in!
5. The first official guide of the Cango Caves was Johnny Van Wassenaar, who apparently walked for 29 hours to find the end to the cave system back in 1898.
6. The indigenous people of South Africa, The Khoi San, once used the Cango Caves as shelter thousands of years ago.
7. The Cango Caves were declared a national monument in 1938.
8. One of the chamber inside of the Cango Caves is called Cleopatra’s needle and is over 150 000 years old.
9. The Cango caves is surrounded by natural beauty and is at the foot of the Swartberg mountain range (pictured above), which is included in the Cape Floral World Heritage Site.
10. There are three main caves here, which create a sequence of caverns and tunnels. The third part, 'Cango 3', was only discovered in 1975.
There are many attractions for tourists in and around Oudtshoorn, from the Cango Caves to ostrich farms, crocodile cage diving and a cheetah sanctuary.