Echo Caves, Mpumalanga
Situated just outside Ohrigstad are the spectacular Echo Caves. These mysterious caves were discovered in the 1920's by the owner of the farm. After his cattle mysteriously disappeared on the farm he started looking for answers. That is when he discovered the Echo Caves. After exploring the cave, the discoverer realized that this is a gift from nature laid among the gentle undulating hills of the Mpumalanga escarpment.
The Echo Caves are some of the oldest caves in the world and were declared a Historical Monument. The caves are so called because the local people used one of the stalactites as a drum to warn of any approaching Swazi. As these caves extend for some 40 km, the sound travelled for surprisingly long distances and the people could take refuge in the caves. From an archaeological point of view, the caves are truly fascinating as finds here confirm the legend that strangers may years ago in long white robes came to look for gold and to barter with the inhabitants. Some of the finds are exhibited at the Museum of Man. One of the rooms of the cave has a height of 60m! There are guided tours through 2km of tunnels viewing impressive stalagmites and stalactites. New discoveries include the Madonna and the Crystal Palace. The Echo Caves are the least well known of the limestone caves. Therefore, the advantage is that fewer people visit them and you may be lucky enough to enjoy this amazing underworld with just your guide.
For the more adventurous, a special tour can be organized to go deeper into the cave. The end of the cave has not yet been found and it is said that the end of the Echo Caves is somewhere close to the Strijdom tunnel. The caving tour, however, is definitely not recommended for people with claustrophobic problems. For just R30 one can explore some truly mysterious and fascinating wonders in these caves. Be adventurous and come exploring. Who knows, if you brave enough, you may even find the end of these caves and where they truly lead to….
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