Approximately 20km’s outside the town of Oudtshoorn you will find the Cango cave. A hugh system rich in formations, the Cango cave is certainly one of South Africa’s best known and visited tourist caves.
The first chamber was named after the person believed to have been the first explorer of the cave – Jacobus van Zyl after which the main chamber the Van Zyl hall is named.
The Cango Caves have been a frequently visited tourist attraction in South Africa since the 18th century: the first to be protected by environmental legislation in 1820 and the first to employ a full-time tourist guide, they remain South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction.
Until the first law protecting the cave formations was put in place visitors were often seen carting away formations, damaging the cave and engraving their names on the walls of the cave.
Many important discoveries in the caves were made by the first full-time guide, a man by the name of Johnie van Wassenaar who worked at the cave for a period of 43 years. Wassenaar opened many side passages and welcomed thousands of tourists into Cango 1, the only part of the Cango cave open to the public.
The Cango cave currently offers three different tours suited for young and old. The first tour only visits the main chamber or the Van Zyls Hall whihc is large, impressive and filled with formations. The second tour departs deeper into the cave b
The second tour departs deeper into the cave but for those keen on seeing the entire cave a third tour takes you to the very back of Cango 1 via a very narrow squeeze (the letterbox).