Type: Caves, History, Nature
Time needed: 1 Hour(s) to 2 Hour(s)
Opening Times8.30am until 4.30pm Daily. Tours depart regularly and guests will not be kept waiting for more than 15 minutes for a tour.
When visiting Mpumalanga one should not miss the opportunity of exploring the Sudwala Caves, the oldest known caves in the world. Found in the pre-cumbarian dolomite rock of the Mankelexele Mountains, one will find a series of massive chambers and complex tunnels which extend deep into the mountain. Formed over 3000 million years ago, the caves display fossils of the first oxygen producing plant, the Collenia; as well as some magnificent calcium stalagmites and stalactites. A hour long tour takes visitors through the tunnels into the centrepiece of the caves, the PR Owen Amphitheatre which is about 70 metres in diameter and 37 metres high. This amphitheatre is said to have acoustics that are better than some of Europe's most renowned concert halls. The amphitheatre is named after Mr Philippus Rudolf Owen, an excavation contractor who owned the farm where the caves are found. The Caves were first opened to the public in 1966. This cave is famous for the large number of bats which permanently hang from its dark ceilings as well as for a mysterious airflow that keeps the amphitheatre at a constant 17 degrees. Once a month a 6-hour adventure tour is also available and takes visitors 2000 metres into the caves to view the aragonite crystals that are found there.