|Wednesday 17th October - South Africa - Swellendam
Cango Caves are a huge complex of caves, 30km from Oudtshoorn and are the main tourist draw in the area. This morning we joined a 1 hour tour of the most accessible area of the caves. The caves are incredible. Huge cavernous halls resembling subterranean cathedrals, with well-named rock formations such as the curtains and the organ pipes. Ancient columns made of slowly dripping rock - like huge candles dripping molten wax. Its a dynamic landscape, but so slowly dynamic that by our fleeting perspective it seems static. We all enjoyed the tour, the caves are a bit like one of these popular board games suitable for ages 2-102!
Next stop on our tourist trail of Oudsthoorn was Cango Wildlife Ranch which provides thrill seekers with the dubious pleasure of cage snorkelling with crocodiles. Our main reason for visiting the Ranch was that it has a number of big cats, including man lions (as Keziah calls them). The big cat enclosures were very well done lots of space and a raised walkway for visitors to walk along and view the animals from above. We saw white tigers, tiger cubs, a jaguar, lionesses, male lions and cheetahs. There are also many other species of animal at the ranch, but the big cats are the coolest thing. Keziah was particularly delighted to see a man lion. The Ranch also has other attractions that, although less exotic, were equally exciting for the kids a big play area, a petting zoo and a bouncy castle.
By the time wed had lunch at Cango Wildlife Ranch, the girls were happy to flop into the car and fall asleep. We left Oudsthoorn and drove to Swellendam, deciding to take the Little Karoo route, route 62 through the mountains and over the Tradouw pass. Once again the scenery was just gorgeous. Before coming here we hadnt realised how beautiful South Africa is. I feel as if I am repeating myself time and time again and running out of adjectives to describe the scenery, but it is a beautiful country.
Swellendam is a pretty little town nestled between the mountains and the main N2 road that runs from Cape Town to Durban. We booked into a B&B for the night and completed an otherwise excellent day with possibly the worst fish and chips takeaway weve ever had the misfortune of tasting.