Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sudwala Caves Dec 2015

Back in South Africa after the game parks of Kruger and Chobe, we headed for some caves we'd been told about.  The Sudwala Caves are the second largest caves in South Africa, yet several folks we talked to had never heard of them.  We are constantly surprised by how little the locals know about their own country and its highlights. This cave man is the symbol for Sudwala Caves.  Cute, he reminds me of Fred Flinstone.
Some of the scenery leading up to the caves.  Big bluffs.
The red cliffs that poke out of the trees look inviting for exploring.  There must be lots of hidden caves and coves in here.

The rocky valley as we neared the caves.

Pretty land around here.  The Drakensberg Range wanders all over this country and it creates some pretty spectacular scenery.

Soft green over hard, red rocks.  And so few trees.

The entrance to Sudwala Caves.
A green leafhopper grasshopper jumped onto the counter as we were paying our entrance fees.
Lots of huge columns of stone where the stalactites and stalagmites met eons ago.  They call this one the Rocket as it looks like a rocket taking off.
Some funky patterns on the ceiling of the cave.  The guide pointed out that the ceiling showed a map of Africa in its patterns.  He found this in two places in the cave.
This is The Monster formation.  Looks like a monster ready to chop a scythe down on someone.
Old Swazi tribes used to use these caves for hiding from attackers.  These grindstones were found inside the cave.  Another area had sooty ceilings from cooking fires from long ago.
More intricate cave formations.  They call this one a married couple. They never speak and he never turns around to see her.  Like Lot and his wife, they are captured forever in stone.
Flowstone formations.
Looking up into a ceiling recessed area.  Disorienting.
Little tunnels led off into different directions, but we couldn't go there.
Solidified drip patterns make this ceiling look lumpy.
The guide pointed out lots of formations that have names and stories attached to them.
This one is sideways but shows the flow like a curtain of stone.
They call this area of the cave Fairyland. The still water perfectly reflects the formations.
Top and bottom just starting to meet.
More flow formations.  It looks like frosting dragged over a cliff.
The heaps from a coal mine nearby.

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