De Kelders Drip Caves

Neighbouring Gansbaai is De Kelders. A relatively small village with a few guest houses, cafe, Coffee on the Rocks and a great vantage over Walker Bay. Perfect for whale spotting. Also the only place on the South African coastline with fresh water pools.  The fresh water pools are enclosed by the Drip Caves – Drup Kelders in Afrikaans – the origin of De Kelders’ name. These caves are privately owned by the Van Der Verf family and access can only be gained by booking a guided tour.

It is told that Lady Anne Barnard, Scottish travel writer and socialite, once took a bath here to refresh while travelling through the Cape Whale Coast during her five-year stay in Cape Town.  Others also visited the pools with notions of pain relief.  People with ailments traveled from far afield to seek the healing qualities of the mineral rich water.  Today you can still swim here during a tour of the caves.  The caves are decorated with many stalagmites and stalactites. Truly beautiful formations.  Three species of bats call this their home and they are visible while walking through the caves.  It is only deeper in the caves that these Common Slit Faced, Egyptian Free Tailed and endemic Cape Horseshoe bats seemed  a bit more active.  With their super sensored natural radar they flew close to us but are well equiped not to make contact.

A big thanks to Glenda Kitley of Gansbaai Tourism for inviting me on this tour and also to Dave Privett who guided us and kept our interest with his story telling and sharing of De Kelders Drip Cave facts.

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