5 captivating coastal caves in the Western Cape

Posted on 10 June 2020 By Anita Froneman

Caves are magnificent and mysterious at the same time. The Western Cape has various beautiful caves by the sea that visitors can explore.

Sea caves are formed by mechanical erosion through ocean waves breaking directly on a rock cliff, rather than the chemical solution process that is responsible for the majority of inland caves, according to Britannica. 

Here are 5 caves worth remembering when planning your post-lockdown hiking adventures.

1. Klipgat Caves, Gansbaai

These caves were home to humans from 80,000 years ago, according to SAVenues. The area is also believed to have housed people during the Middle Stone Age and eventually the Khoisan from the Late Stone Age, according to Grootbos. From here you have a stunning view of Walker Bay and may very likely spot some whales.

2. Waenhuiskrans Cave, Arniston

The name, meaning ‘wagon house cliff’ in Afrikaans comes from the idea that the cave is so large, it could have fit an ox wagon in inside. Make your way there about 190 kilometres from Cape Town along the N2. The area is part of the Waenhuiskrans Nature Reserve and holds Grade 1 Heritage Importance status.

3. Elands Bay Cave


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The Bobbejaansberg lies south of Elands Bay and here you will find the world famous Elands Bay Cave. Exploration by Prof John Parkington and his team show that the cave has been intermittently occupied by our ancestors since the late Pleistocene/Holocene era, that is between 126 000 and 11 700 years ago. At some stage during this period the sea was 20 km to the west, today it is a 600 – 800 m walk to reach the shore. Adorning the walls of the cave are various ancient art works. #weskus #westcoast #elandsbay #elandsbayhotel #ebay #elandsbaai #sea #beach #bobbejaansberg #surf #leftbreak #travel #travelphotography #verlorenvlei #vensterklip #elandsbaycave #archeology #pleistocene #stoneage

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These caves are home to several rock paintings by ancient San tribes and an archeological site of the University of Cape Town. The area was declared a Provincial Heritage Site in 2009. The caves are situated near the Verlorenvlei Estuary, another worthy stop to add to your trip.

4. Peers Cave, Cape Peninsula

You can reach Peers Cave from either Fish Hoek or Ou Kaapse Weg. Early explorers and excavators, Victor Peers and his son Bertie, discovered a skull in the cave, the bone structure of which was traced back to those who roamed the coast some 15 000 years ago, according to SAVenues.

5. Pinnacle Point Caves, Mossel Bay


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Photo By: @jaredberman_⁣⁣ “Seeing how many enormous caves there are along the Southern Cape Coastline is awe inspiring. To think that people lived in these Caves thousands of years ago and so extremely close to the Ocean is mind boggling.”⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ Tag your favorite person/s or write a comment below 👇👇👇⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ Discover Africa’s best wonders, beautiful lifestyle and majestic wildlife by following us: @Instagram_SA⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ Tag us or use #instagram_sa for a chance to get featured.⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ .⁣⁣ #cave #sea #ocean #capetown #thisiscapetown #PointOfHumanOrigins #PinnaclePoint #PinnaclePointCaves #meetsouthafrica #wanderlust #visulasoflife #instagram_sa #southafrica #africa #discoversouthafrica #wowsouthafrica #travelsouthafrica #cloud #southafricanskies

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Pinnacle Point was declared a Provincial Heritage Site in 2012. Also called the Point of Human Origin, remains found there were believed to date back to the Middle Stone Age. The views onto the ocean right below the cave are unequalled and the insightful archeological tours offered are a bonus.


Image credit: Instagram/jaredberman_

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