Cinnamon Pairs with… Caves? YES!

cango caves

Cinnamon Pairs with… Caves? YES!

You might be looking at this headline as being rather dubious, but we assure you that these two things actually do work together in a way that is sure to thrill and comfort.

Cinnamon Boutique Guest House has been reviewed as quite the amazing place to stay, decadent in comforts to your heart’s delight and many most likely have a hard time leaving even to explore the town that it sits in. Since you must eventually give up that lap of luxury to explore however, there’s not too many places more rich in terms of offerings than Wilderness and surrounds.

Only 100km away from Cinnamon House are the legendary and incredibly fascinating Cango Caves. They sit at the head of the Cango Valley, an underground naturally occurring wonder within the Klein Karoo just waiting for people to come and explore. They sit within a limestone ridge that runs parallel to the Swartberg Mountains and are hailed as the most pristine example of drip-stone caverns with massive halls, and towering formations.  (Take a peek) They’re open year round and have only one exception; Christmas Day.  they stay a nice 18*C or 67*F.  Be sure you stop to use the restrooms, and bring along a water bottle to sip modestly while exploring so you don’t get dehydrated.  There is no ATM there, no petrol station and the nearest town of Oudtshoorn is 29km away.

See what others have to say about the Cango Caves according to TripAdvisor:

5 of 5 stars

Reviewed 3 days ago
“It is impossible to adequately describe these caves. The stalagmite and stalactite formations need to be seen to be believed. I have been visiting South Africa for 15 years and this is my first visit to the caves. I wish I had seen them before and I am quite sure I will visit them again.”
Margaret V
Visited February 2016

A wonderful visit
4 of 5 stars

Reviewed 4 days ago

“I visited the caves for the first time in 1978 and so I was very keen to visit again with my son. We were able to take part in the “normal” tour which was quite a lot of stairs some of which can be wet but not at all hard to do.

The experience is fantastic. The tour is not too long and you get to visit a fair amount of the cave to see the different wonders that are hidden inside. Take a water bottle as an hour gets quite long in the heat.

The visitor Centre has a nice souvenir shop and a place to have a drink. It was super hot though the day we visited.

Make time to see the free interactive media show (we did not and so I will need to visit again).”
Visited February 2016

Breathtaking rock formations
4 of 5 stars
Reviewed 4 days ago

“There’s something about the magical castles and towers that stalagmites and stalactites resembles that always makes them enchanting. Plus the feeling that any moment you could be plunged into blackness in the bowels of the earth. The 1-hour tour of spectuacular caves is really worth the detour and back (it’s at the end of a road unless you take the Swartburg Pass). Not sure I would have ever had the guts or flexibility to to the adventure tour (involves) squeezing through 29cm high tunnel.”
Visited February 2016

The history of the Cango Caves goes back extremely far. They were not re-discovered until 1780 when there were stone tools, artifacts and other cultural material that suggested people had lived in the entrances during the Middle and Late Stone Ages, making these people some of the first recorded to use tools, and the site they did so is open now to explore! Due to the desire to preserve the caves, only about 1/4 of them are able to be explored by visitors, though more has been mapped out over many years ending in 1978. One of the guides to the Caves who worked doing so for 43 years, Johnny van Wassenaar in 1898, walked 29 hours to find the end of the Caves.  He claims to have been 25km from the entrance, and 275m underground, and he followed an underground river to get there.

1956 saw the request for a map from the South African Speleological Association that would be accurate and to look for alternate entrances.  Cango I is 775m long in a single line, and at the top is Devil’s Kitchen rising a staggering 52.6m from the floor of the Caves. In 1972, 3 men entered the Caves to widen an obstructed passage – thus Cango II was discovered. 270m farther yet, beyond the end of Devil’s Kitchen, a shaft ends with a 20m descent to a water filled chamber flowing toward Cango I.  In August 1975, an exploration team was tasked with draining the chamber of most of the water to get through a previously underwater passage. This is where Cango III is, and are altogether 1000m long, where the largest chamber is a massive 300m. The most recent discoveries were crawl-ways rather than entrances to be exact, one which was found in 1977 that is 290m long, and one in June of 1978 which is 90m long and the last extension noted.

The Cango Caves were the very first to be given protection thanks to legislation, and they were also the first to be given a full-time guide. The 19th century boomed with visitors eager to see this new discovery, and they were charged 5 rix dollars, equivalent to R500.00 to help avoid theft of the delicate structures of the caves, or keep them from engraving their names into the walls. This made the caves extraordinarily popular among the wealthy who saw this as somewhere only the elite and few could go. The first Caves Regulation in 1820 banned visitors from collecting souvenirs, and imposed fines to those who damaged the Cave formations.

The Caves are also steeped in mystery as much as history. The skeletons of 3 genets, which are small cats, were found in Cango II making people wonder how they got in there. There are also bats that were found encased in calcite, which suggest it happened instantly as they slept, and a piece of cave art in a place that was totally devoid of light, and not just any drawing at all – but a superimposed image where you see an elephant from one angle, and an eland from the other.  Only one or the other depending how you look at the drawing, and all of it done with zero light source. Impossible?  Come see.

TripAdvisor – Cinnamon Boutique Guest House Reviews

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