Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Lammergeier Cave


Bushman\\\'s Nek Wilderness Area

There is no path up to this cave, but careful navigation from the Ngwangwane River should put you in the correct valley, after which you can make your way up the relatively gentle slope towards the escarpment until you come across the cave on your left. The cave is hard to miss - it is by far the longest continuous overhang in the entire Natal Drakensberg, well over 100 metres in length!  A fairly stiff 1 km uphill walk from the cave will take you past Goats Cave and into Lesotho.  After Ngwangwane Pass, this route provides the easiest access into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho - it is not even classed as a pass!

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

S29 50.130 E29 08.300 at 2354 metres


Accommodation: 12

Lammergeier Cave is a very long, mostly low cave.  As berg caves go it is also quite deep, but in comparison with its length this is not immediately obvious.  The top end has a relatively level floor and can accommodate 12 people with ease.

The name is derived from the old Dutch name for the bearded vulture - the lammergeier or "lamb catcher".  This magnificent vulture is a resident of the Drakensberg mountains.  It was once thought by settler farmers to prey on their lambs, but since they are carrion eaters it is more likely that the lambs died of other causes.  Because of their huge size, they are quite capable of carrying a small lamb in flight.  The birds are now quite rare, though they are often seen in the area.


The cave is quite dusty, but the sleeping areas are level and smooth.


There is a tiny but reliable stream near the top end of the cave.


There are no pools in the vicinity of the cave.


This is a dry, relatively sheltered cave, but it may be a bit windy at times because of its location near the top of a narrow valley.


The cave is north-facing but the view towards the escarpment is blocked by the surrounding hills.  The hillside in front of the cave is coloured by orange watsonia blossoms in summer.  A fairly simple walk to the ridge above the cave will provide you with stunning views of the most southerly parts of the Drakensberg range.


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Last updated: 2009-09-01 10:11:36 | Report Listing Report Listing
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