With evidence of habitation dating back to the Stone Age, the Sudwala Caves provided safe refuge to many generations. Dominated by the Amphitheatre, renowned for its acoustic qualities and host to numerous international and local performances, the Sudwala complex with its many attractions is a must see for cave lovers. A delicious lunch at the on-site restaurant rounds off this fabulous half day tour.
This half day tour includes:
- Pick up from your accommodation
- A fully guided cave tour
- Entry fees
- Lunch and beverages with lunch
- Drop off at your accommodation
This tour excludes:
- Souvenir shopping
Pick up for this tour will be at 8:00am and drop off will be in the late afternoon or early evening.
There will be a cooler box available in the vehicle with a variety of soft drinks and bottled water. This will be run on account and will be payable at the end of the day.
The Sudwala caves have a long history, with the oldest evidence of habitation dating back some 2.5 million years to the Early Stone Age. They were also used as shelter by prehistoric man (Homo Habilis) some 1.8 million years ago.
In the nineteenth century, the caves were used as a fortress by Somquba, brother to the Swazi heir apparent, in a power struggle for the Swazi throne. The caves are named after Sudwala, Somquba’s “inDuna” (chief), who was the principal guardian of the caves. According to legend, his spirit still lingers in the caves.
During the second South African War (1899 to 1902) it was rumoured that the Kruger millions, which vanished between Waterval Onder and Nelspruit, had been hidden in the caves. However, despite numerous searches, they have never been found.
In 1965, the caves were acquired by a Pretoria excavation contractor, Mr Phillipus Rudolph Owen, as part of the farm Sudwalas kraal, and subsequently opened to the public.
The Sudwala complex is dominated by the Amphitheatre which is 70 metres in diameter and 37 metres high, known as the PR Owen Hall. It has unrivalled acoustic qualities and is used as a performing arts venue which can seat 500 people. Numerous recitals, dramatic performances and even drumming workshops are held in the venue.
Other attractions that are popular amongst visitors include the “Devils Workshop”, the “Map of Africa” on the ceiling of the caves and an alcove known as “Fairyland”. The caves are blessed with a stream of fresh, cool air from an unknown source resulting in an even temperature of 17°C all year round.
The caves are inhabited by a colony of around 800 horseshoe bats. They leave the caves at around 7pm each evening to feed on mosquitoes and consume roughly their own body weight in insects before returning at around 4am. They pose no threat to humans.
Join us for a fabulous guided tour of this ancient cavern formation and share in a special part of Southern African history. Thereafter, we will relax, chat and enjoy a delicious lunch before heading back to your lodge.
Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park Combo Tour
After leaving the cool depths of the Sudwala caves, why not continue your journey back to the past with a visit to the Dinosaur Park.
The park, set in lush sub-tropical grounds displays life size models of pre-historic animals sculpted by Jan van Zijl. These include amphibious reptiles, dinosaurs, pre-historic mammals and pre-historic man. The park is also home to live Nile Crocodiles, numerous monkeys and Red-Breasted Cuckoos as well as an abundance of other bird and insect life. The viewing deck gives unparalleled views of the Rainforest Valley (National Heritage Site 167) with occasional glimpses of wild Chacma baboons.
When paired with a tour of the Sudwala caves (outlined above) and accompanied by a delicious lunch, you will experience another fabulous day in Africa in the company of Sasekile Africa – Guided Tours and Transfers.