And more caves!

go! Namibia - - GUIDE TSUMEB -

The Uisib Caves are in the Karstveld dolomite for­ma­tions west of Otavi on the farm Uisib, which is owned by the Schoe­man fam­ily.

To reach the two most ac­ces­si­ble caves – Uh­len­horst and Sprok­ies­grot – the el­dest Schoe­man son, Kyle, takes me into the veld with dogs Sniffie and Bea­gles lead­ing the way. We hike up the side of the moun­tain for about half an hour, while Kyle points out tree species like tam­boti, marula, lead­wood and sickle-bush.

When we get to the en­trance of Uh­len­horst Cave, we climb down a chain lad­der into a room full of sta­lag­mites and sta­lac­tites. They sprout from the ground like cau­li­flower and hang from the ceil­ing like spears.

Kyle tells me about the ex­plorer af­ter whom the cave is named and ex­plains the dif­fer­ent lay­ers of rock and how pools of wa­ter form in the cave dur­ing cer­tain times of the year. It’s al­most too much to take in. I’m happy just to mar­vel at the cave…

Kyle asks me to switch off my head­lamp and we sit qui­etly in the inky dark­ness in the belly of the earth.

Sprok­ies­grot is even more beau­ti­ful! We climb and crawl deeper into the cave, to a place where you have to slither un­der­neath low-hang­ing sta­lac­tites if you want to carry on. This is the end of the tour and I’m a bit dis­ap­pointed. Af­ter the won­ders of this sub­ter­ranean world, I’m in no rush to re­turn to the sun­shine out­side.

The Bauers farm next door to the Schoe­mans and there is yet another cave to see on their prop­erty – Aiga­mas Cave. Aiga­mas has an un­der­ground lake, which is the only known habi­tat of the golden cave cat­fish. These fish are al­most com­pletely blind and eat bat drop­pings, in­sects and small an­i­mal car­casses that fall in the wa­ter. You can learn more about them on a guided tour that lasts about three hours.

Where? Fol­low the D3028 (the Etosha dirt road) from Otavi for 16,5 km and look for a farm gate with horses on it – this is Uisib. Aiga­mas is about 10 km fur­ther along the same road.

GPS: S19.55277 E17.21524 (Uisib gate); S19.46047 E17.18539 (Aiga­mas gate)

Cost: Uisib R200 per per­son for a morn­ing tour (about four hours). Have a pic­nic (hot dogs, fruit and cooldrinks or beer) in one of the caves for an ex­tra R150 per per­son. Aiga­mas R250 per adult; R150 per child un­der 12.

Con­tact: 00 264 67 234 250 or 00 264 81 223 1736 (Jeanita Schoe­man, Uisib); 00 264 81 253 0947 (Axel Bauer, Aiga­mas);

aiga­mas.com

For more ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions in the Tsumeb-Otavi-Groot­fontein tri­an­gle, turn to page 118.

Sprok­ies­grot, Uisib

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Namibia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.