Wonder Cave in Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng
Wonder Cave can be found fairly close to the Maropeng Visitor’s Centre and the Sterkfontein Caves in Kromdraai, inside the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. It forms part of the Cradle of Humankind, World Heritage site. It was discovered in the 19th century after mine workers used explosives to extract limestone for the making of cement.
The cave consists of one chamber of natural limestone and has delivered numerous fossils of small animals, birds and lizards. It it the third largest cave chamber in South Africa and is 125m long and 154m wide. Many of the formations are still growing and have been kept fairly well preserved and intact. Some of the formations look like chandeliers and others look like curtains frozen in time.
Visitors are only permitted to visit this cave accompanied by a tour guide and night tours can be arranged. The pathways are well lit and easy to walk with no narrow passages or low ceilings. There are 87 steps, or an elevator, whereby to descend to the chamber that is 60m deep.
Wonder Cave has been open to the public for 23 years and is one of the most beautifully decorated caves in South Africa, attracting many tourists. It is sometimes referred to as the Limestone Cathedral because of its delicate beauty and the formations that resemble a Madonna.
- “Madonna”- formations in the shape of a praying Madonna.
- Cave pearls
- A colony of bats
- Mushroom cave formations
- A natural pool resembling a fountain that one would find at a shrine
- Popcorn formations
- Stalactites and stalagmites 15m tall
- Straw cave formations
- 18m Abseiling (by prior arrangement)
- Facilities at Wonder Cave include a curio shop selling arts and crafts and a small braai area, a kiosk, and a restaurant.
- Monday to Friday, 08h00 - 17h00 (last tour at 16h00)
- Saturday and Sunday, 08h00 - 18h00 (last tour at 17h00)
- Public Holidays, 08h00 - 18h00 (last tour at 17h00)
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