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Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database
19
RATING

Lakes Cave

Location:

Cobham Wilderness Area

Once a very dry cave throughout the year, this cave has now deteriorated - possibly due to the cracking of rock by ice in winter - and is no longer a good option for summer hikes.  It is near the head of a very picturesque valley which is walled by some interesting rock formations, including the Camel and what this author has named the Oupa and Ouma.  For those wanting to venture up or down Minaret Pass or Amakehla Pass on a day walk, Lakes Cave provides a convenient overnight base.

Just recently (July 2005), a new smuggling path was found leading from the tarns above Lakes Cave up Amakehla Pass, starting off along the left bank of the river.  Although the path has made the pass easily accessible, as usual the smugglers have gone straight up slopes instead of zigzagging, so certain parts of the route are likely to become severely eroded.  Smugglers' litter is also frequently encountered along the route.  Once at the tarns, the down route follows the hiking path towards the Policeman (a rock formation!) for about 1 km before dropping down towards the Mzimkhulwana valley.  This route means that Lakes Cave may be used by the smugglers during inclement weather, and this is borne out by a fireplace and stack of firewood which was recently seen in the cave.

Co-ordinates (WGS84 / dd mm.mmm):

S29 39.795 E29 18.891 at 2135 metres

Description:

Accommodation: 4(S) or 8(W)

The cave can accommodate 4 people in summer and 8 in winter, unless hikers are prepared to make use of the narrow ledge inside the cave as well.


Lakes Cave takes its name from the numerous tarns in the bedrock above it.



3
COMFORT

In winter this is a comfortable and surprisingly sheltered cave, but in summer it has become a muddy mess.


5
WATER

There is a reliable stream running slightly below the cave.


4
POOLS

There are several small pools in the stream below the cave, sufficient for a good wallow and washing off the day's dirt.


3
SHELTER

Lakes Cave has a very large rock in front of it and is also sheltered by natural vegetation.  You may get wet in driving rain though.


4
OUTLOOK

The cave is quite closed in, but there are some interesting views of the rock formations opposite it.  However, for some really spectacular views of the whole southern Drakensberg escarpment, you need only climb above the cave, where you can laze on some large patches of rock near the tarns and take in the beauty.  Eland can often be seen from here.  There is also a resident mongoose colony below the cave, some of whose members are not shy to come and investigate their new neighbours.

Bookings:

+27 (033) 7020831

Contributors:


Last updated: 2009-08-17 13:45:27 | Report Listing Report Listing
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