The adventure tour has the same starting point as the
but continues to lead deeper into the cave. At the end of the Heritage tour you will
descend to where the 30 minutes of adventure starts....
ADVENTURE TOUR STARTS HERE
From this point the tour becomes progressively more difficult.
JACOB'S LADDER, with its over 2OO steps, leads through THE GRAND HALL
into THE AVENUE, and then the low confines of
Towards the end of the Grand Hall you will pass LOT'S CHAMBER,
where a group of stalagmites represent the biblical
Lot, his two daughters, and his wife, who turned into a
pillar of salt.
Alongside the viewing platform is another
hollowed-out stalagmite known as King Arthur's Throne.
Beyond THE AVENUE you enter LUMBAGO ALLEY. It is 85 metres
long. For the most part the roof is low and for 28 metres
of the Lumbago Walk the roof height seldom exceeds 1,2 metres.
Emerging from this tunnel you can glimpse delicate roof
crystals and get to view some of the lovely smaller
The roof of the Crystal Palace is decorated with "Hanging
crystal gardens", adorned with ice-like crystals and weirdly
contorted helictites. A light to the left reveals a
translucent crystal wall.
Moving on to the next chamber, you pass an active candle-wax
column in delicate golden hues.
Steps lead downwards into the cellar-like chambers of
KING SOLOMON'S MINES. The cavern gets its name from a formation
high up near the roof, resembling a rotund king with a
bearded face, wearing a crystal crown. His throne is mounted
on an inverted Protea, South Africa's national flower.
Alongside the throne, much to the children's delight, hangs
a gigantic ice-cream cone. The roof of this chamber is
decorated with a fantasy of amazing helictites.
An iron ladder ascends from King Solomon's Mines into the
unique caving adventure of The Devil's Chimney section.
First you have to crawl through THE TUNNEL OF LOVE, a low
passageway some 74 centimetres high, narrowing at one point
to about 3O centimetres, where stouter cavers are apt to
receive a loving squeeze!
This tunnel brings you to THE ICE CHAMBER, with its
fascinating shelfstone ledge high around the outer wall.
This ledge indicates the level of a cave pool from a bygone
age. The pool's level ultimately subsided, leaving only a
shallow pool in the cavern today.
Next comes THE COFFIN, a hexagonally-shaped hole in the
shelfstone, which is the beginning and end of the final
circular route. The cave opens out again as we pass through
the ICE-CREAM PARLOUR into the colourful beauty of the
DEVIL'S WORKSHOP. The brilliantly-coloured ceiling is
decorated with many delicate helictites.
The way ahead leads over a steep hump, which leads you into the DEVIL'S KITCHEN,
with its notorious DEVIL'S CHIMNEY.
The guide points to a narrow crack in the wall - surely someone's
idea of a joke! But no, this is the DEVIL'S CHIMNEY. Peering in you see
a steep shaft about 45 centimetres wide which leads upwards for
some 3,5 metres. There is a light at the top. Amidst an
assortment of grunts, groans and, usually, hysterical laughter
you squirm through the chimney into another larger chamber,
only to be confronted by an even smaller opening.
Using 'Leopard Crawl' to wriggle
forward you approach a low, wide slot - the only exit route.
It is only 27 centimetres high.
Some guides recommend a head-first 'posting', which may be
likened to a rebirth experience, as one emerges infant-like
from the narrow crevice. The alternative of feet-first results
in an easy slide (depending on girth or chest-size) down the
smooth, sloping wall and being deposited on the flowstone floor
below. You have now reached the furthest point of the tour.
A short scramble leads you back to the Coffin, through the
Ice Chamber and Tunnel of Love and back down the iron ladder
into King Solomon's Mines and back along the previous route,
emerging into the welcome light of day at the cave entrance.