Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Ndumeni Dome Caves

Also known as: Upper Ndumeni Caves


Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area

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

S29 00.918 E29 11.320 at 3182 metres


Accommodation: 4+3

The two Ndumeni Dome caves should not be confused with the two Ndumeni Caves located at the base of Ndumeni Dome in the gully between the top of Organ Pipes Pass and Thuthumi Pass, and to differentiate between them the two sets of caves should probably be referred to as the Upper and Lower Ndumeni caves respectively.  The Ndumeni Dome caves are within 5 minutes from each other and both are easily accessible via the route to the summit of the Dome.  The lower caves offer an easier alternative and Roland's Cave is the best choice if no one in your group has a problem with heights.

The western Ndumeni Dome cave faces north-west and looks onto Cleft Peak. It is a remarkably deep tunnel. It offers good weather protection, although the entrance may be damp in summer. In the dry season it will accommodate 4-5 people but in summer only three.  There is also a one-man "tube" within 10 metres of the cave, which offers just enough space for one person and a backpack. Protection might be an issue if the wind comes from the wrong direction.

The eastern cave faces North-East and has views very similar to Roland's Cave. In addition one can see the Monk's Cowl area and a view of Yoddler's Cascades is just around the corner.  It can accommodate 3 people. The entrance of the cave might be a bit exposed to the weather though the floor is usually dry and dusty.

Information about these caves has been supplied by C Sommer.  His research suggests that the Ndumeni Caves marked on Slingsby's map are actually the ones described here (i.e. the Upper Ndumeni Caves), although the lower caves are probably known to many more backpackers.


The western cave has a level floor and is quite cosy, but the roof is very low . There is storage space for backpacks at the back of the cave.  The eastern cave is also tunnel-like, with a higher roof, but it is not as cosy as the first.


The nearest running water is about 1 km from the caves in summer, and even further in winter, behind the top of Organ Pipes Pass.  The biggest disadvantage with these caves is their height above the nearest running water.


There are no good pools within easy walking distance of the caves.


The caves provide good shelter in the dry season, but their entrances may become damp during the summer.


Both caves offer excellent views out over the escarpment.


+27 (036) 4881880


Last updated: 2009-08-20 14:29:32 | Report Listing Report Listing
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