The Cango Caves is a cultural and natural landmark in South Africa. It is usually described as one of the great Natural Wonders of The World and has been inhabited since the Early Stone Age.
The 20 million year-old Caves system consists of a series of hidden chambers cut deep into a thick limestone rock layer. The formations of these caves are so unique that they would not have normally formed in this area and are a result of faulting.
It is situated in the Swartberg Mountains which is 30 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn, in South Africa’s Western Cape Province.
The Cango Caves became a noticeable and popular attraction during the 1800s. Many visitors broke off stalagmites and stalactites and engrossed their names on the walls. In response, the then governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, published the first Caves Regulation in 1820. Many of the significant discoveries of the caves were made by the first full-time guide, Johnnie van Wassenaar, who opened many of the side chambers and introduced thousands of people to Cango 1, which now remains the only part of the caves open to the public
Some of the tours conducted by guides are the ‘Standard Tour,’ which can take approximately an hour; while an ‘Adventure Tour’ can take an hour and half as you crawl through narrow passages and climb over steep rocks guided only by small flickering lights.