Wonder Cave, Cradle of Humankind, Kromdraai
The single-chamber Wonder Cave, deep under the Witwatersrand, is situated in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, one of the world’s richest hominid fossil sites. The cave, which has been open to the public since 1991, is home to fossils of rodents, frogs, lizards and birds, and beautiful rock formations.
After an initial 90-step descent, visitors take an elevator down to the chamber of the 60m deep cave. Despite damage from lime mining, the 125m-long, 154m-wide natural wonder has spectacular cave formations. Features include rimstone pools, mushroom, straw and popcorn formations, “Madonnas”, cave pearls, and stalactites and stalagmites up to 15m in height, most of which are still growing. The cave has its own colony of bats.
Entrance is by guided tour only. Day tours from 08h00 to 16h00 each take about 45 minutes. Nights tours are conducted by arrangement. The pathways are well lit, wide and and it is not necessary to clamber or crawl. An 18m abseil is offered to the adventurous but must be booked in advance.
Facilities at the Wonder Cave include a curio shop selling arts and crafts and limited braai facilities. Pizza, snacks and refreshments are on sale.
Children: R70 (3-12 yrs)
School tours: R50 per person
Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 17h00 (last tour is at 16h00)
Saturday and Sunday from 08h00 to 18h00 (last tour is at 17h00)
The cave is close to the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitor Centre in the Kromdraai Valley, northwest of Johannesburg.