The 20 million year-old Cango Caves system consists of a series of hidden chambers cut deep into a thick limestone rock layer.
It is situated in the Swartberg Mountains, 30 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn, in South Africa's Western Cape Province.
The Cango Caves became a popular attraction during the 1800s. Many visitors broke off stalagmites and stalactites and wrote their names on the walls. In response, the then governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset, published the first Caves Regulation in 1820. It was designed to protect an environmental resource and banned the collection of souvenirs. Entrance to the caves cost the equivalent of six dollars, the modern equivalent of about R500. 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 remains the only part of the caves open to the public.
Available cave tours:
Duration: 60 minutes
Departure: every hour from 09:00 to 16:00
Route: Van Zyl & Botha Halls
Fitness Level: Easy
Duration: 90 minutes
Departure: every hour on the half-hour from 09:30 to 15:30
Route: Entire Cango 1
Fitness Level: Moderate
Restrictions: Not suitable for those suffering from claustrophobia or back ailments.
All tours are lead by experienced, knowledgeable and accredited Cave Guides.
Tours are offered in English but Afrikaans, German, French and other language guides may be available (please check guide availability when making reservations).
Cango Caves facilities include:
S 33° 23' 33.8" E 22° 12' 53.7"