When staying in Mbombela, guests have the option of exploring all that our town has to offer, including its wonderful and ancient natural attractions. From hiking trails through forests, to spending lazy sun-filled days at the dam, guests can look forward to many outdoor activities.
Spending the day exploring the Panorama Route, will eventually take you to the Echo Caves. These caves have been recognised as a National Monument and they are found in the Molopong Valley, close to Ohrigstad.
The Echo Caves were rediscovered in the 1920s by a farmer on whose land they are located. When the owner of the Klipfontein farm was searching for water in the area, he stumbled across the cave formation. His cattle had beaten him to it, having already found this rich water source. The Echo Caves are some of the oldest in the world, they are a historical attraction and a must visit for tourists.
There are numerous day trips on offer, taking guests on a walk through part of the Echo Caves. Guided tours are the best and the safest way to see the caves. Made of limestone, the Echo Caves aren’t exactly the best known in South Africa, so when visiting your tour could consist of just you and your guide.
Early History and Cave Features
Since the Middle Stone Age, the caves have served the very important purpose of being a shelter for humans. Guests can see San rock engravings and art, which can be viewed alongside the stunningly beautiful ancient rock formations.
The caves have been given their name by the locals who once used the stalactites as a drum. This early warning system came in useful to alert tribes to approaching Swazis. The caves are about 40 km deep, and the sound of the drumming could be heard deep within the caves and the surrounding area. Your guide will treat you to a drumming session so that you can experience that same eerie feeling, the early tribes once had.
The cave features can be comfortably viewed from the walkways within the cave and there are staircases as well as safety rails to assist you when exploring. There are also electric lights throughout the guided tour area.
In one of the rooms, the cave ceiling is about 60 meters high and the cave also has a chamber which is an astounding 100 meters long. Guided tours go about 2 km into the caves and along the way guests can see the flowstones, stalactites and stalagmites along with other interesting cave features.
We can only guess how far the cave goes. Some think it ends near to Strijdom Tunnel, but that is just a guess as the caves have never been fully explored. There are special tours which take guests deeper into the caves, however, these tours are only for those who don’t mind the confined spaces.
Mbombela Lodge offers guests the best accommodation in Mbombela and any one of our many rooms make for a comfortable stay. Our location makes us the perfect place from which to explore all of the local natural attractions. Book your stay with us!