26 January 2012, 10:01 am
The Cango Caves are the oldest and one of the most popular attractions in the region.
The Cango Caves, about 29 km north of Oudts-hoorn in the Swartberg Mountains, are filled with a wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites and helictites (dripstone formations that grow in unusual directions), which have been formed over millions of years. The countless dripstone formations in many instances imitate everyday objects and have been given names such as Cleopatra's Needle, The Organ Pipes, the Bridal Couple, Cango Candle and the Hanging Shawl.
Because of the extreme fragility of the formations, only Cango One is open to the public.
The pure, crystalline beauty of the dripstone formations of the other caverns discovered - Cango Two, Three, Four and Five - is conserved for study and research purposes.
Visitors to the Cango Caves have an option between two tours of the caves:
Top-rated guides lead all tours.
Common myth has it that the Caves were first explored by a local farmer named Jacobus van Zyl in 1780, although research fails to reveal anybody by that name in the Cango area at that time.
In fact, man has known the Caves since the Early Stone Age.
The interior of the Cango Caves will take your breath away - from the imposing Van Zyl's Hall which is over 90 metres long, 50 metres wide at its widest to the narrow Devil's Chimney on the Adventure Route, which narrows to an opening of only 27 cm!
Due to a recent increase in visitors, it is essential to book either tour in advance as every tour carries a (scientific) restriction in terms of number of visitors.
By booking, you are not only making it comfortable for yourself, but also assisting directly with the conservation of this non-renewable resource.
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