Best time to visit South Africa

Cango Caves in South Africa

Discover the fascinating maze of stalagmite and stalactite chambers that appeared on earth millions of years ago

Best time: all year round (except December 25)

Cango Caves
Cango Caves
Cango Caves
Cango Caves
Cango Caves

The Cango caves are considered to be the oldest tourist attraction in South Africa. They are a true natural wonder with a huge system of stalagmite and stalactite chambers and tunnels found in the Swartberg Mountains, nearly 30 kilometres north of Oudtshoorn in the Western Cape Province.

Scientists claim they are around 20 million years old and that this area has been inhabited since the Early Stone Age. Despite such antiquity, the caves have been frequented by tourists only since the 1800s.

Only Cango 1 is open to the public. It can be explored during a one-hour Standart Tour that will take you across Van Zyl and Botha Halls. Another option is the 90-minute Adventure Tour that covers the entire Cango 1. The first route is simple, the second one is moderate. Still, common rules apply to both: visitors must be over the age of 6 and can't suffer from claustrophobia or any back ailments.

The tours operate all year long, except December 25. As there has been an increase in visitors, it is a good idea to book your tour in advance.

Practical info

What are the Cango Caves?

The Cango Caves are a natural wonder located in South Africa's Western Cape Province. They are composed of limestone, containing chambers made of stalactites and stalagmites that have grown over millions of years. The caves offer a unique and breathtaking experience that has attracted tourists since the 1800s. Show more

How old are the Cango Caves, and who inhabited the area?

More than 20 million years old, the Cango Caves are an ancient wonder of the world. Archaeologists suggest that these caves were formed over the Early Stone Age. Initially, the Khoisan people lived near the caves and used them for shelter and some religious practices. Later, the San people and European settlers used the caves for different purposes, including mining guano. Show more

What are the different tour options available at the Cango Caves?

Two Cango Caves tours are available, the Standard Tour and the Adventure Tour. The easy hour-long Standard Tour takes visitors through Van Zyl and Botha Halls. The moderate and longer hour-and-a-half Adventure Tour covers the entire Cango 1. Visitors must be at least six years old and have no back ailments or claustrophobia for both tours. Show more

What are the age and health restrictions for the tours?

To join any Cango Caves tour, visitors must be six years old or older, have no traces of back ailments or claustrophobia. The Standard Tour is easy, so it is recommended for those with minimum physical fitness. On the other hand, the more challenging and minute-and-a-half Adventure Tour is suggested for those with a good level of fitness. Proper attire and comfortable shoes must be worn. As the site usually attracts heavy crowds, bookings must be made in advance. Show more

When is the best time to visit the Cango Caves, and is it necessary to book in advance?

The Cango Caves are open all year round, except on December 25, and can be visited at any time. However, the months of November through February offer the best weather conditions, comprising of warm and dry weather to go cave exploring. It's vital to pre-book the Cango Caves tour, especially during the peak season. Arriving early is better to avoid long queues. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin