Upon entering the entrance chamber one is immediately
conscious of the increased humidity and pleasantly warm
temperature. A faint musty odour may point to the presence
of a small colony of bats which still make the cave their
You catch your breath as the first view of VAN ZYL'S HALL
opens up before you. Ancient stalactites, aptly known as
The dried tobacco leaves of Oudtshoorn, festoon the grey-blue
of the limestone ceiling. This spacious hall is over 90
metres long, 50 metres wide at its widest point, and between
14 and 18 metres high. Nearly 100 metres of solid limestone
roof separates the cavern from the ridgecrest above.
Leaving Van Zyl's Hall through a wide passageway, you enter
the spectacular BOTHA'S HALL, with its decorative side-chamber,
The Throne Room. Glancing to the left as we enter Botha's Hall,
we see a formation resembling the beak of a Giant Eagle, feeding
Botha's Hall is dominated by two completed columns soaring
upwards to the ceiling.
Leaving the Throne Room and Botha's Hall, you ascend a staircase,
pass a hollowed out stalagmite known as The Pulpit, then
proceed through a narrow passageway into the RAINBOW CHAMBER.
Against the back wall, in the eerie glow of lights, we make
out the head of Old Nick, the tame Cave Devil, posed in
profile. Immediately above the viewing platform, bathed in
soft, blue light, is the cavern's Biblical Section. High
against the wall we may see an open Family Bible.
the Outstretched Lost Wing of an Angel. Below, directly in
front of the viewing platform, is another hollowed-out
stalagmite known as The Christening Font.
A flight of steps leads into the BRIDAL CHAMBER with its
fourteen-post bridal bed. The bride may be spotted in the
kitchen to the rear, sitting on a low stool and weeping
quietly to herself. A clue to her tears may be found in the
Peach Brandy Bottle, prominently displayed on a rock
mantlepiece. Active stalactites drip constantly from the
low roof above.
Fairyland, the next chamber, provides fantasy for the younger
generation. Coloured lights illumine the Fairy Queen's Palace
(or Cathedral), The Fairy Castle, an inverted Sunflower, and
even the bizarre 'upper plate' of an enormous set of dentures.
Here, too, the first helictites may be observed, twisting
against the ceiling in frozen motion.
The Drum Room, 500 metres from the entrance, provides the
first major turn-back point on HERITAGE TOUR. In this chamber there
is also a striking example of a translucent formation.
Alongside it a stalagmite resembling a Bushman hut lends
fantasy to the presentation of "Sunrise and Sunset over