Sataplia Cave

Snow White Cave - Imereti Cave


Useful Information

Location: Near Kutaisi. Best visited by taxi from Kutusai (45min from town square), ask for the dinosaur footprints.
Open: All year daily.
Fee:  
Classification:  Karst cave.
Light: electric.
Dimension: L=900m, VR=10m, T=14°C, A=500m asl.
Guided tours: L=309m.
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography:  
Address:  
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
Last update:$Date: 2015/08/30 21:55:22 $

History

 
1925most beautiful karst cave of the area discovered by P. Chabukiani, teacher and naturalist from Kutaisi.
1933dinosaur traces discovered.
1935Sataplia State Nature Reserve established.
2007Imereti Caves Protected Areas created.

Description

Sataplia Cave is famous for fine speleothems and the nearby dinosaur footprints. The cave tour enters the through-cave on one hillside, crosses the hill underground and returns on the surface where the dinosaur footprints can be seen. The name Sataplia is based on the Georgian word tapli (honey), the place was well known for its bees and the locals came here to colect honey.

Sataplia is located at the Imereti Caves Protected Area, which has a size of 354ha and is located 10km north of Kutaisi. It was created in 2007 on the base of the Sataplia State Nature Reserve. The center is the extinct volcano Mt. Sataplia (494m asl). The preserve is intended to protect the five karst caves of the area and the dinosaur footprints, but also the nature and the subtropical forest. At the moment there are 200 footprints known, found in two different layers of the Cretaceous limestones. The 30cm long footprints of the lower layer belong to an unknown predator, the 48cm long footprints of the upper layer to an ornitopod herbivore.

This cave is well developed with trails and electric light powered by a generator, but it is hard to reach and not very much visited by individual travellers. The best way to get there is to take a taxi from Kutusai town square which takes about 45min. The caretaker charges a flat fee and guides only in Georgian. It is better to visit this cave with a guided Georgia trip, several tour operators include a day at the Nature Reserve. It is also possible to book a day trip including the cave visit.

At the moment [2010] the cave is developed as a new tourist complex. Georgian president Micheil Saakashvili, his son Nikoloz and his mother Giuli G. Alasania were among the first to visit the still incomplete tourist trail in NOV-2010. The development, financed by the Ministry of Environment of Georgia and the petrol company BP with some GEL 6,700,000, includes also the construction of a cafeteria, an amphitheatre and a roof for the dinosaur prints.


See also


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