Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Caves and Crocs

Today is the last day of our tour and we will make visits to the other two big tourist attractions in Oudtshoorn.

Our first stop is the world famous Cango Caves. Situated about 20kilometres outside of town in the Swartberg (Black Mountains), the caves are the best known caves in South Africa and one of the most visited show caves in the world. The word Cango is a Khoisan word that means "water between hills". The Khoisan used to live in the entrance of the caves, but would never have gone into the caves itself because of their believe that their ancestors lived inside the caves. The caves offer two tipes of tours. Most people go on the Standars Tour that lasts an hour and takes you about 1 kilometer into the caves. The Adventure Tour will take you into some of the smaller passages that can be as low as 30 centimetres high.

The first two caverns are huge and on the tour visitors will see all kinds of rock formations. Only the first section of the caves are open to the public. Cango 2, 3 and 4 are only open to researchers as that part of the caves is still an untouched living cave. Although the formation in the public section of the caves is awesome, due to human interference it is very dead compared to the other sections.

The Cango Wildlife Ranch on the outskirts of town started out as a crocodile farm many years ago. In the last 10 years it has been turned into a centre where several endangered animal species are bred with while their tour and exhibits are designed to educate people about endangered species. The first section of the Ranch is called the Valley of the Anchients. It takes the form of a lost city with various animal displays, but don't think of it as a zoo. Part of this area is still dedicated to crocodiles. It is here that they offer something truely unique. Crocodile cage diving. For a fee you can don a wetsuit and hop in a cage, get lowered into the pool inbetween foer or five humangus crocs. It looks awesome and I still want to do it one day.

The also have a display where they show how one of the guides get a crocodile to jump out of the water and take a piece of meat from his hand. I wondered why some many of the guides there only have one arm. Just joking. The rest of the Ranch is dedicated to birds, wild dogs, pigmy hippos and of cause their Cat Sancuary where they breed with cheetah.
Anyway, this is it for our Garden Route tour. I hope you enjoyed the trip.


  1. Oh I'm quite sad we've come to the end of the garden route, I have so enjoyed the tour, the caves are so spectacular, just amazing. No way would I EVER get in that cage...thats way too scary !!!!

  2. Aah, I also don't want the tour to end! Though I've been to all the places myself, it was very entertaining to read about them from your perspective as well as see all your fantastic photos. We did the adventure tour in the Cango caves many years ago and I had such fun! Can't wait to take my kids once they're a little older.

  3. Ah, that was great! Been to the caves and the crocodile farm and thoroughly enjoyed both. Pity they're so far from Jozi!

  4. What a great travel log!! Where to next? We always whizz passed these places getting to our destination - maybe we will slow down once 'we' retire and make the most of this wonderful country.