Today was the last day of the kids half term break so we decided to do something special.  We took them to the Wonder Caves for their first cave experience.  The thought was that if they liked it… it’s a short tour of just 45 minutes… then we would take them to the Sterkfontein Caves in a few months time.

The Wonder Caves is situated in the Rhino and Lion Reserve, and even though we didn’t pay for the reserve, we had to drive through quite a bit of it to get to the caves.  We were very lucky to see the resident rhinos in the reserve having their morning meal.  We even saw a baby rhino! What a treat!  I didn’t even think we’d see that much so I only took a short lens for the cave! What a pity, I would have got amazing shots of the rhinos with a longer lens.

Anyway, after a bit of a wait at the restaurant we went down into the Wonder Caves (we had to wait because the tours are on the hour and we got there just after 11 and missed that tour).  In hindsight, I’m glad we went on the midday tour actually, it seems to be the quietest tour of the caves because you miss the lions feeding if you go at that time.

The Wonder Cave tour takes you down 90 very steep stairs to a lift which lowers you into the cavern.  It’s the 3rd largest cave chamber in South Africa, and the trip is perfect for little kids because it’s quite short, and apart from the darkness and the small lift, there’s no crawling around required or anything difficult.

This formation is called praying Mary… look at the shadow that forms on the rock behind!

The kids found the stalactites and stalagmites fascinating and tried to find the matching pairs.

That’s the lift shaft going up to the hole in the roof…

If you’re wondering about the photos… I would have been better off taking the 50mm I think.  I used the 24-70mm at ISO5000 without a flash of course.  I should have probably gone with a higher ISO to prevent the shake but this is what you’ve got 😉

The verdict… awesome family outing! Especially considering you also get to do some game viewing even if you don’t pay for the Rhino and Lion Reserve (that’ll let you get to the lions and the breeding centres too and we weren’t planning that today).

The kids were also thrilled with their new word … spelunking! I love saying that word, love how it rolls off the tongue… so we said it as often as we could today.

Now we want to see Sterkfontein Caves!