Sudwala Caves
Sudwala Caves
4.5
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
About
The Sudwala Caves is the oldest known caves in the world and lie in the Drakensberg escarpment.Regular guided tours take you 600 meters in and 150 meters underground. Tours leave every 10 min (approx) and take about 30 minutes.The caves have some amazing formations including stalactites, stalagmites, flow stones and pre cambrian fossils. The most famous formation is the Screaming Monster. This is actually a stalactite that has joined with a stalagmite and has formed a column that is 200 million years old.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles611 reviews
Excellent
290
Very good
273
Average
44
Poor
4
Terrible
0

WanguiG
Sandton, South Africa78 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
I was in awe of this magnificent work of nature, such wide and high spaces in some parts that you would be forgiven for thinking you were in a cathedral and not a cave. They have an amphitheatre in there!! what?!.... So glad we visited. Only disappointment was that the neighbouring Butterfly park at the entrance had released the butterflies so there was not much to see there. Awesome gift shops and hilarious guides make the experience informative and unforgettable. There's a steep set of steps from the parking lot to the cave entrance but after that, the rest is manageable even for an adventurous 3-year-old. Strategic lighting all over the caves make the place easy to navigate and great signage gives you some history if you would prefer to walk around without a guide.
Written December 8, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cjsimplyscraps
Hampstead, NC11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020 • Couples
I’ve
Been to many a cave or caverns in the United States and this was my first trip to Africa and I loved these caves. The best thing is that it was not all the same and there were some colored lights to highlight some areas but a lot of au natural . In the middle of the cave is a sort of stage. We happened to be there while a school was visiting. I spent 40 days in Africa and this was one of my highlights. The school got up on the stage and sang African music. I was in heaven. It was so beautiful inside this beautiful cave with a whole nother world of acoustics! This is a do not miss!
Written April 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Megan B
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
The drive alone to the caves was so beautiful and scenic! My husband and I did the Sudwala cave tour November 2022. We had a wonderful experience with the tour, that gave us enough time to learn about the dolomite cave, it's formations, and past inhabitants. Our tour guide was highly knowledgeable. The caves themselves were beautiful and we took excellent photos. If we had time we would have zip lined, because the outside of the caves was as beautiful as the inside.

The staff inside and outside of the gift shop were friendly. We stopped to get some snacks before our drive back to Johannesburg.

Would recommend for any age or group.
Written November 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kobus
Sasolburg, South Africa188 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
The reception is friendly and fast. Entry fees are reasonable. The guide was knowledgeable and friendly. Great experience to see the caves, bring easy walking shoes! The curio shop has interesting items and the restaurant has fast food and beer! Well worth the trip. Drive carefully up and down the mountain road, as it can be narrow at some areas.
Written June 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lungi N
Durban, South Africa74 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
The Sudwala Caves are worth a visit. There seem to be two entrances- coming from the caves parking you can go up a very steep climb up stairs or from the parking at the dinosaur park you can take gentle, leisurely walk with amazing views. Due to Covid regulations they no longer offer guided tours so you do a self guided walk but there are plenty of tour guides located around the caves who share interesting information. Inside it is very spacious and there is a lot to wonder and marvel at and learn about. The time will fly past without you realising it.
Written January 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CareneMouton
Johannesburg, South Africa143 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Couples
Amazing geological site. Apparently these caves are the oldest in the world. The tour guides are well-informed and hospitable. Would definitely recommend a tour. The restaurant probably has the most beautiful view in the province. Unfortunately, the branding and decor is quite tacky. However, the site is lively and in good condition.
Written April 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SittoK
Johannesburg, South Africa41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Friends
The staff was friendly and generous in sharing knowledge. The visit is mostly self-guided, and cam be done at one's on pace. Along the way however, staff members share information that enhances the tour experience. Definitely requires one to be dressed comfortably, and with sturdy shoes. This place is filled with a lot of history and amazing natural wonder.
Written October 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Meera
Gauteng, South Africa57 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Family
This place was an amazin experience. Sudwala caves are historic and a wonderful experience. Scenery are amazing. The 🦕 Park was spectacular. Created beautiful memories here. Crystal caves were magnificent.. Fantastic weather, great atmosphere, excellent....
Written August 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenny S
Johannesburg, South Africa107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Family
Guided tours of the Sudwala Caves are offered seven days a week every half hour from 08:30 to 16:30.
Contact: (013) 733-4152

Entrance Fees December 2013:
R 80.00 per adult
R 40.00 per child 5-15 years
Children under 5 years FREE

I even took a photo of the entrance fee as I could not find this information on my website or any trip advisor review.

The Sudwala Caves was certainly worth a stop. The Sudwala Cave contain the largest dolomite chamber in the world and it impressive.

The Sudwala Caves, one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga, are located in the Mankelekele hills in the "Valley of the Houtbosloop" about 35km north-west of Nelspruit.
Over a period of 2,000 million years, water, percolating from above has eroded the dolomite of the hills, forming large caverns with strangely fashioned stalactites and stalagmites. The tallest stalagmite in the caves is about 11m high.

Legend has it that there is no end to these caves and that they may extend for more than 40km under the mountains, as far as Lydenburg! There is a constant flow of air, but the source to this day is still unknown.

Prehistoric people discovered the caves and used the entrance as a shelter. The caves were re-discovered in the early 19th century during a Swazi succession melodrama. The find was made by Somquba, son of Swazi King Sobhuza I, who, together with his followers, fled there in fear of his brother Mswati. The dispute also involved substantial numbers of royal cattle. Somquba and his people built a village next to the entrance of the caves, where they hid every time Mswati and his punitive parties arrived on the scene. On several occasions, Mswati and his men made huge fires in vain, in the entrance to smoke out his quarry. One day they struck unexpectedly and killed Somquba and many of his tribesmen. The survivors stayed on under a headsman or Induna by the name of Sudwala, hence the name of the caves.

A professional tour of the cave was included in the entrance fee.
We found the tour guide to be very knowledgeable. He really made it fun for the kids. He allowed them to bang with a hammer on the various rock to hear the difference in the noise.

He turned all the lights off in the cave for a few seconds so we could see just how dark it really was in the cave - VERY dark!

The Dinosaur Park, curio shops and a restaurant are all located on the premises.
Written February 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LinnyWilliams
Benoni, South Africa35 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Family
I battled to find a review comparing the two caves before our trip, so here is a review of Echo Caves vs Sudwala caves.

Our family recently enjoyed a trip to both the Echo caves and then the Sudwala caves. My opinion is that both are worth a visit. I am, however, glad that we visited Echo caves first.

There are quite a few steps leading up to the entrance of the cave, but not too bad if you take your time. The entrance fee was a little cheaper than Sudwala and the caves themselves are very dusty and dark. We were all covered in a layer of brown earth when we left. The kids really enjoyed the visit. I was worried about managing tight spaces, but found the caves to be easy going, only a few low areas, no narrow areas. The 90 or so steps at the end were a bit of a climb, but we all managed, even the elderly lady in our group. I have noticed a few comments about the tour guides passing a tip book around at the end with inflated figures, and this was our experience as well. I didn’t write in the book, but did tip the guide an amount I thought reasonable.

I have heard people say the Sudwala caves are more ‘commercial’, however, I found them to be very impressive. The caves are sprayed down to minimise dust and had a lovely damp smell. I found them to be much larger than Echo caves, I was amazed by the scale and grandeur. The lighting was done beautifully, and the tour guide was both knowledgable and considerate, shining his torch to help guide our path and answering any questions we had. Once again no tight spaces, only a couple low areas.. but nothing hectic. The guides also expect a tip - with a subtle tip box at the end of the tour, but our guy was so knowledgeable and helpful, that everyone gave gladly.

In summary both are well worth visiting, but I would defiantly recommend visiting Echo caves first, then ‘upscaling’ to Sudwala.

If you have younger kids with you (6 and under), then they would really enjoy a visit to the Dinosaur Park (next-door to the caves), and there is also a Butterfly garden with free entrance. We also had a lovely lunch at the restaurant.
Written September 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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