Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
The Wonder Cave in Kromdraai, west of Pretoria and Johannesburg, lies within the Cradle of Humankind UNESCO World Heritage Site and was opened to the public in 1991. The cave is entered via 88 stairs and an elevator to reach the monstrous cavern below which was first discovered by miners in the late 1800s. The miners dynamited sections of the cave to collect limestone for the making of cement and fortunately the destruction ceased at the start of the 20th century. Archaeologists surveyed the cave in the 1960s, and unlike many of the caves in the surrounding area, no sign of human habitation was discovered. However, many animal and bird fossils were collected and today, bats and other smaller creatures still make the cave their home.
Entry into Wonder Cave is by guided tour into the vast chamber to provide some background into the geology and to point out the many natural features that occur in the cave. Tours take approximately 45 minutes and are conducted every hour between 8h00 and 17h00. The caves are open all week. Night-time tours are also available, ask your host to arrange a booking.
The chamber floor is 60m underground and is 46000m² in size. Some of the highlights include stalactites and stalagmites reaching heights of 15m and a natural rim stone pool with water clear enough to see its base. Well-placed lighting highlight features such as the Praying Mary stalagmite. Look out for the small colony of bats roosting in the cave during the daylight hours.
For the more adventurous types, an 18m abseil (rappel) can be taken down into the cave. Advanced booking is necessary.
A restaurant on the premises offers light meals and refreshments. Alongside is a small kiosk for takeaways while the curio shop sells gift ideas and souvenirs.