The only freshwater cave on the coast of Africa.

De Kelders Drip Cave is the lowest lying freshwater cave on the African coast and it is steeped in rich history as well as local lore. Part of an ancient cave system, this magical limestone wonder lies hidden in the cliffs of De Kelders and boasts a crystal clear pool with refreshing mineral water, known for its healing properties. Stalactites reach down from the ceiling of the cave, which is home to Cape Horseshoe Bats. This excursion is both beautiful and educational, with a key focus being on preserving this natural wonder for future generations.

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About

The De Kelders Drip Cave is formed at the contact point between Table Mountain sandstone and Bredasdorp limestone.  One of the major components of limestone is a mineral called calcite. Water dripping through cracks in the cave roof carries this mineral with it, which builds up to form the icicle-like stalactites the cave is known for.

First visited in 1798 by the ever-so-adventurous Lady Anne Barnard, this privately owned cave with its mineral pool has always been a favourite holiday destination and can be found under what was once the location of the legendary, but now sadly demolished De Kelders Hotel. Many happy memories were made here and there are visitors who still make a nostalgic pilgrimage to the limestone cave. After being closed to the public for many years, controlled cave tours are now offered, with the emphasis being on education and on preserving the cave for future generations.

Tour and Rates

Henk promotes responsible access to the cave and prefers to keep tour groups small with a maximum of 10 people per tour group. The cave tour encourages geotourism and ecotourism and is a highly educational experience for the serious cave lover. The excursion is ideally not suitable for small children or for visitors with restricted mobility.

Cost and duration

R250 for 3 people, plus R60 for each person thereafter (the rate is the same for children).

The tour lasts between one and one and a half hours.

Booking essential!

What to expect

The charismatic Henk is your personal tour guide and will supply you with a torch and hard hat when you set off for this magical tour. A rambling old stone staircase with one hundred well-worn stairs leads you down to the De Kelders Drip Cave.  A medium level of fitness is required,  especially for the climb back up all those stairs after the tour. Entry to the cave is easy and a passageway leads you to the main cave, which features a crystal clear freshwater pool. Water temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius which is perfect for a refreshing swim. Conditions in the cave stay the same all year round and you will feel comfortable in the slightly warm and humid cavern. The Cape Horseshoe Bats that reside in the De Kelders Drip Cave may greet you on your tour and pose absolutely no threat to humans. Remember, if you suffer from claustrophobia, this tour is not for you.

What to bring

Wear comfy shoes for the walk down to the cave, as you may want to explore the surrounding rocky cove after your cave tour. Don’t forget to pack your costume and your towel, so that you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters of the pool.

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