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Weekend activities in Swaziland

April 18, 2011 Comments Off on Pioneers of Adventure Caving News

Pioneers of Adventure Caving

A Caving adventure in Swaziland

Swazi Trails were the first company globally to coin and start using the term “Adventure Caving“. The concept is now used in many countries worldwide including the South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

Adventure Caving is a lot more demanding than standard walk-in, walk-out caving tours and requires some mastering of basic pot-holing or spelunking skills as well as the use of special equipment.  It is however something that anyone can decide to do, as no prior experience is necessary.

Caves used for commercial caving operations are generally robust caves that and are suited to regular visitation. Many caves however are extremely fragile environments where even walking or breathing can upset the delicate balance that occurs within them. Exploring such caves is best done under the auspices of speleological associations or clubs.

The Gobholo Caves in Swaziland are a very unusual geological formation. There are very few granite caves in the world, with information generally only available on sites in Sweden and the USA. This cave structure is effectively a saddle between two mountains Msunduza and Gobholo, which are situated just outside the Swazi capital of Mbabane. The Gobholo River flows through this formation and is underground for approximately 2km. At its deepest point in the middle of the saddle the river is 60-80m below the surface. Those walking on the grass and forested slopes above would never know that there are a vast subterranean caverns below.

Very little is known about how these granite caves formed, whether it is merely a massive boulder choke from millions of years ago that has slowly grassed over; whether it is the remains of glacial debris from even earlier; or whether the erosion to form this feature happened in situ as the results of water action in the Gobholo River. To date every geologist who has accompanied us on a trip has had a different opinion.

Whilst Swazi Trails have explored this caves more extensively than anyone before, our estimation is that we have only so far covered less than 5% of the cave. This only adds to the intrigue and adventure. Come and join us for some REAL adventuring. Half day or evening excursions are available on a daily basis.

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