Wondercave

Bothongo WonderCave


Useful Information

Location: 520 Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp, 1739.
Valley of Kromdraai north-west of Johannesburg. 10 km north of Krugersdorp.
(-25.970713, 27.771199)
Open: All year Mon-Fri 8-17, last tour 16, Sat, Sun, Hol 8-18, last tour 17.
Tours every hour on the hour.
Evening tours, pre-booking required.
[2010]
Fee: Adults ZAR 60, Children (3-12) ZAR 40, Pensioners ZAR 50.
Groups (20+): Adults ZAR 50, Children (3-12) ZAR 30, School Pupils ZAR 30.
[2010]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=125 m, W=50 m, VR=100 m, Vol=46000 m³, T=16 °C, H=88%.
Guided tours: yes
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography:
Address: Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, 520 Kromdraai Road, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp 1739, , Tel: +27-11-957-0106, Tel: +27-11-957-0109. E-mail: Information and bookings: Tel: +27-11-957-0106.
Wondercave, Dolomite Adventures CC, Kromdraai Rd, Krugersdorp 1739, Tel: +27-11-957-0034.
Mr. Trevor Roberts, PO Box 1859, Krugersdorp 1740, Tel: +27-11-957-0106, Tel: +27-11-957-0344
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.

History

1898 limestone discovered by Italian miners.
1902 end of limestone mining.
1991 opened to the public.
1999 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Description

Wondercave consists only of a single huge chamber. Visitors enter this chamber by a 40  m descent with an elevator from the surface. The cave has many formations, including rimstone pools, cave pearls, and popcorn formations. The stalagmites are up to 15 m high.

The limestone deposit was discovered by Italian miners in 1898, and they mined the limestone to produce lime. About 15% of the deposit was mined, placed in a self-built oven, and burned for 2 weeks at 1,100 °C. The resulting lime was taken by ox wagon to Pretoria and Johannesburg to make cement, toothpaste, in the gold smelting process and several other uses. But the productivity was low and in 1902 the mining ended.

Today the cave is part of the UNESCO listing which is locally advertised as Cradle of Humankind. The site is now the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, and as a result the cave was renamed Bothongo Wondercave. However, it is possible to visit the two sites separately.

From the entrance of the cave there is a staircase with 87 steps at a 45° angle. At a depth of 22 m an elevator with a drop of a further 18 m into the cave starts.