Cango Caves Adventure Tour


Not for the faint-hearted! This is an epic subterranean adventure into Africa’s largest cave system. Be prepared to crawl, slide, squeeze and climb your way through dark tunnels, narrow passageways and exquisite limestone chambers. The 20 million year-old Cango Caves system consists of a series of hidden chambers cut deep into a thick limestone rock layer.

Thousands of visitors from across the globe trek to the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains every year, to explore the Cango Caves in the Western Cape province. The Caves are located in Cango Valley, just 29km from the small town of Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo.

The alluring combination of grottos, serene cave pools, stunning rock formations, helictites and crystals are a big draw card for aspiring cave visitors. Inhabited since the early Stone Age, this is South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction.

Although the extensive system of tunnels and chambers go on for over four kilometres, only about a quarter of this is open to visitors, who may proceed into the cave only in groups supervised by a guide.

Experienced and accredited cave guides are on hand to guide the throngs of visitors through the Caves, which lie in Precambrian limestone ridge.

The most popular tour is into Cango 1, which is made up of just 1,2km of the entire 5,3km-long cave. On this tour tour you will see mysterious and beautiful rock formations – Cleopatra’s Needle, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Madonna and Child – but only when the standard tour is over, does the adventure tour begin.

200 steps of the steep Jacob’s Ladder need to be tackled before the Grand Hall can be reached. And then, you’ve got to catch your breath before you venture into Lot’s Chamber- this is where natural rock formations take on the form of the Biblical Lot and his wife, who were said to have turned into pillars of salt.

Slinking through the 27 cm-high tunnel called the Leopard Crawl is the only exit route from this adventure, but this only happens after daring your way through King Solomon’s Mines, The Coffin, up The Devil’s Chimney and the Ice-Cream Parlour.



Due to a recent increase in visitors, it is essential to book either tour in advance
Please note that every tour carries a (scientific) restriction in terms of visitors and by booking, visitors are aiding directly with the conservation effort
Who to contact

Cango Caves
Tel: +27 (0)44 272 7410

How to get here

The caves are 29km north of Oudtshoorn on the R328. George, 50km away, has the closest airport.

Best time to visit

The Cango Caves are open every day, 9.30am to 5pm, except Christmas Day (25 December).

Cave Tours:

All tours must be booked in advance.

Standard Tour

Duration: 60 minutes
Departure: every hour from 09:00 to 16:00
Route: Van Zyl & Botha Halls
Fitness Level: Easy
Restrictions: None


Adventure Tour

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).

Who can do the tour?


  1. If you are pregnant or suffer from claustrophobia, high blood pressure, asthma or any muscular ailments, this tour is NOT suitable for you.
  2. Children under the age of six are not permitted on this tour option.



Around the area

Oudsthoorn is located along the picturesque Garden Route. Knysna, The Tsitsikamma Forest, Wilderness, Plettenberg Bay and Mossel Bay are all within close driving distance.

Length of stay

The tour takes about two hours.

What to pack

Comfortable walking shoes and clothing. A change of clothes

Where to stay

There is accommodation in Oudtshoorn to suit all pockets: hotels, guest houses, lodges, self-catering guest farms, camping sites and backpacker hostels.