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Saturday, 4 July 2009

The Cango Caves

In South Africa there are many interesting caves, but the ones that I admire the most are the Cango Caves which can be found a few kilometers north of Oudshoorn in the Klein Karro. These beautiful caves are among the great natural wonders of the world.
The first people to discover the Cango Caves were tribes from prehistoric times. They used the entrances of the caves as a home and painted the walls with pictures of themselves hunting wild animals, however, throughout time these have been damaged. They were unable to explore far into the caves possibly because they had no access to portable light.

The secrets that were hidden within these caves were discovered many centuries later, in 1780, by a local farmer called Van Zyl, who led the first mission deep into the caves. After wondering around for a while Van Zyl discovered the first large chamber and named it after himself - “Van Zyl´s Hall”. The dimensions of this chamber are about 98m long, 49m wide and 15m high. This breathtaking entrance is decorated with a variety of amazing formations.
The Cango Caves have become one of the country’s most popular caves; they have attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world every year. The total distance of the chambers and tunnels are more than four kilometers. The areas of the Cango Caves open to the public are as shown on the below map, however, Cango Two and Cango Three, beyond the Devil´s Workshop, are closed to the visitors in order to preserves the crystalline beauty formations that are found within these outstanding chambers. 
There are two types of tours that can be done to the caves, the "Standard Tours" and the "Adventure Tours". There are areas while doing the "Adventure Tour" where you have to crawl around on your stomach and climb up steep rock formations! Can you imagine how thrilling that must be?

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