The Echo Caves, located just outside of Ohrigstad, is a geological wonder that is part Mpumalanga's famous Panorama Route. The caves are a famous tourist destination for their beautiful rock formations and dark mystery lurking underneath the earth.
|Explore the depths at Echo Caves
The Echo Caves were discovered in 1923 on the farm of Klipfonteinhoek (Rock Fountain Corner) when the farmer investigated where his cattle were disappearing to. The name of the caves comes from an interesting stalactite formation inside the cave that, when tapped, echoes throughout the cave and the surrounding area. In fact, this echoing formation was used by the native people of the area as a warning drum when the Swazis were attacking. The tunnels of the caves run for nearly 40 kilometres in the surrounding area allowing it to be heard over a large area. Even today the echoes can be heard outside for the cave.
Visitors to Echo Caves today are catered to making he caves accessible to people of all ages. Lights, stairs, walkways and railings make exploring the cave on your own very safe. There are group tours available on daily basis that guide visitors through the caves and explain some of the more amazing and interesting sights. Two of the popular sights are the Madonna and the Crystal Palace chambers. The Crystal Palace requires a much longer trek through the caves, but is well worth it.
The full extent of the Echo Caves system has yet to be discovered though it is suggested that they extend all the way to the Strijdom Tunnel. Special tours can be arranged to head into the deepest parts of the Echo Caves. These tours are suggested for the adventurous and should not be attempted by the faint of heart or the claustrophobic. Reservations are a must for these tours, but they are worth getting the effort to see some of the most intriguing chambers that the Echo Caves have to offer.
The Echo Caves area is close to the other attractions of the Panorama Route. There is also the Museum of Man, an exhibition of fossils and other archaeological discoveries of the area of the past years. While the Echo Caves are usually a day visit, there is comfortable accommodation available.
While not as well known as the other cave systems of South Africa, the Echo Caves are a sight that should not be missed. The ancient cave system will be sure to take your breath away.
<< Back to Mpumlanga