Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Poachers Cave


Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area

Poachers Cave can be used as an alternative to Leopard Cave in summer, but in winter the lack of water makes Leopard Cave the better choice.  Like Leopard Cave, Poachers Cave also has its own Bushman paintings.  These are on the walls adjacent to the sleeping areas and have unfortunately been almost totally worn away.  Poachers Cave is, in fact, one of the few caves containing Bushman paintings where overnight camping is still permitted.

Leopard Cave, Poachers Cave, Gravel Cave and Schoongezicht Cave lie on a major dagga smuggling route which originates on the escarpment above the Tlanyaku, Thuthumi and Organ Pipes passes and follows the Ndedema valley to the Black settlement below.  The smugglers show no consideration for the environment, making fires, leaving litter along their entire route and taking short cuts which have produced many new, badly eroded paths which will be the ruin of the gorge.  Please do not behave like these criminals by making use of their shortcuts - keep to the original, carefully contoured paths, especially in the cut-backs, no matter how tempting it is to take their routes!

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

S28 59.854 E29 16.959 at 1657 metres


Accommodation: 12

This cave is officially closed! The main reason for this is to protect the Bushman art on the rock face in the sleeping area. However, the increase in dagga trafficking and incidents of theft in the Ndedema Valley is a good reason to avoid it.

Poachers Cave is a large overhang which can easily accommodate 12 hikers, although they will not all enjoy a perfectly level floor.  The area in front of the cave is overgrown with tall grass and bushes.

The cave was once used by poachers, hence its name.

Beware of theft!


The floor of the main sleeping area is almost level and quite smooth, but the other smaller areas may prove to be less comfortable.


A small stream runs to the left of the cave opening, but in winter this may dry up completely, in which case it will be necessary to carry in all your water requirements en route to the cave.


There are no pools within easy access of the cave.


Poachers cave provides adequate protection from the rain, but it is far more exposed to wind than Leopard Cave.


Poachers Cave overlooks the Ndedema Gorge, and from the mouth of the cave it is possible to see parts of the escarpment on a clear day.  The setting is nowhere near as appealing as that of Leopard Cave, however.


+27 (036) 4881880


Last updated: 2009-08-20 16:21:45 | Report Listing Report Listing
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