Experience underground tourism

Posted by Imogen Searra on 12 February 2019

Get off the beaten tourist track and take your holiday adventures underground.

Underground tourism is becoming a popular travel trend and is a form of alternative tourism that helps you see a country from a different perspective.

If small spaces, a bit of history and an adrenalin kick sounds like fun to you, then underground tourist adventures is something you should consider doing.

There are many ways to experience our country’s beauty, yet exploring South Africa’s underbelly may just be the most unique of them all.

Tunnel tours with Good Hope Adventures, Cape Town

Experience the Mother City’s underbelly with a guided tour of an underground world that few know exist. The Underground Bunker Tour takes you through the abandoned military base of Fort Wynyard, its military techniques and equipment whilst listening to the detailed history of the base from a very clued-up tour guide. In addition, there is a ghost tour, walking tours and private tours that can cater to specific interests. Tours last for 1h 30m and allow adventurers to discover a whole new side to Cape Town. Bookings for a tour are essential.

Contact details: tel: (+27) 082 482 4006 or email: [email protected]

Cullinan Diamond Mine Tours, Gauteng

With 5km of tunnels to explore, this underground walk-about takes a page out of the history books and transports you back in time. This mine is particularly famous for the Cullinan Diamond or the “Great Star of Africa” which was discovered in 1905. Tours last for 4h 30m and operate daily from 10:30 am to 2 pm.

You will be given boots, a belt pack, oxygen, a head lamp and some snacks to keep you going.

Learn about the intricacies of diamond extractions all for R1,150 per person. Please note no under 16s are allowed.

Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng

World famous for the amount of archaeological discoveries made within its crevices. The Sterkfontein Caves are where the fossils of Mrs Ples and Little Foot were discovered. A visit here would make for the ultimate adventure for those wanting to learn about the history of humankind.

The tours start above ground and lead explorers deep into the caves. Tours operate from 9am to 5pm every day.

The cost to tour this cave are R165 for adults, R97 for under 18s, free for under 4s, R65 for pensioners, R100 for students and R90 per pupil on school groups.

 

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The best in the business! 📷: Stephen on his way down into the Silberberg Grotto section of the Sterkfontein Cavesto work on Little Foot (or what the scientific community refer to as STW 573) with Abel. Discovered in the 1990’s, Little Foot is the most complete Australopithecus skeleton in the world (don’t worry Little foot will be a major feature on this page). It has taken many years for Little Foot to be recovered from the underground cave system as the fossil skeleton was preserved in breccia (incredibly hard cemented rock) due to the limestone make up of the caves. #archaeologist #palaeoanthropology #archeology #prehistory #caves #southafrica #ilovearchaeology #paleontology #science #history #archaeology #fossils #bones #discover #nature #stonetools #lithics #archaeologylife #geology #geologyrocks #naturegram #speleology #cradleofhumankind #worldcaptures #heritage #evolution #UNESCO #heritage #history#karst #caves #witsarchaeology

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The Big Hole, Kimberley, Northern Cape

The Big Hole is world famous for being the largest hole excavated by hand. Its mining days ended in 1914, but still the Big Hole has visitors who frequent to gaze upon this wondrous open pit. There is an open-air steel platform that extends out over the Hole, instilling a sense of vertigo in those who wonder on it.

The underground experience includes a lift that feels like it is taking you deep underground to a recreated mine shaft that replicates the mining conditions of the 19th century. There is also a vault that contains real diamonds for visitors to marvel at as well as the famous 616, the largest octahedron in the world, named after it’s carat and size.

Wreck dive a Maori ship, Cape Town, Western Cape

Located 7.5 km from the Hout Bay Harbour, lies one of the most popular wreck dives in South Africa. Understandably not quite an underground experience, this underwater tour is still worth exploring.

The ship sank in 1909, making it one of the oldest wreck diving sites in Cape Town. The dive site ranges from 13m-21m and requires divers to have an advanced open water license and wreck speciality for penetration.

The ship originally was a British cargo steam ship, on its way to New Zealand from London, with supplies such as railway lines, explosives, piping and crockery. For more information or to book a dive, visit the Into the Blue scuba dive centre website here.

If you are travelling to Europe in the near future and want to divulge into the world of underground tourism, there are many major cities that have an underside for you to explore. Find out more, here.

 

Image source: Pixabay

 

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