Ermak Travel Guide


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Location: Oudtshoorn, Western Cape Province  Map

Length: 3.3 mi (5.3 km)

Cango Caves

Cango Caves






Description of Cango Caves

Cango Caves are located near a town of Oudtshoorn, Western Cape Province in South Africa. Cango Caves are underground tunnels with a total length of 3.3 mi (5.3 km), although only one forth are actually open to the public. Descent into this natural caverns are accomplished by the tour guides that take you through safe paths. Independent exploration should be done in groups and after agreement with the local officials. Some people still try to find the extension of Cango Caves that is said to be found in 1898 by cave's original guide Mr. Johnny van Wassenaer. He claimed to have walked for over 29 hours and estimated this tunnel to be at least 274 meters below ground and 25 km long. No one was able to support this claim, but there is no shortage of volunteers. Cango Caves were formed through erosion of the Precambrian limestone and its formation still goes on. So be careful and watch where you step and where you put your hand. It might not be as solid as you would hope it would be.






The finds made in the entrance area of ​​the cave prove a long human use of the cave for about 10,000 years.

1780 was the (re) discovery of the cave by a shepherd. In the same year, the farmer van Zyl explored the beginning of the first chamber of the cave system directly behind the entrance.

In 1792 the cave was further explored and a second chamber discovered.

In 1972, the 270-meter-long cave "Cango 2" was discovered, the continuation of the - first known as "Cango 1" - first discovered cave.

In 1975, the 1600 meter long cave "Cango 3" was discovered.


Cango 1 is accessible to visitors - about 600 meters are available for a normal visit, and about 1200 meters for an extended visit. The previously barely accessible path over stones and columns was leveled with the mud that had originally blocked the cave entrance.