Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Schoongezicht Cave


Cathedral Peak Wilderness Area

Schoongezicht Cave can be reached from Mike's Pass via Phillip's Folly.  Leopard Cave, Poachers Cave, Gravel Cave and Schoongezicht Cave lie on a major dagga smuggling route which originates on the escarpment above the Tlanyaku 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 major paths which will be the ruin of the gorge.  Please do not behave like these criminals by making use of their paths - stick to the original, carefully contoured paths no matter how tempting it is to take their shortcuts!

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

at metres


Accommodation: 8

Schoongezicht Cave is a fairly narrow, very low overhang, situated on the opposite bank of the Ndedema River about half a kilometre upstream from where the path below Phillip's Folly crosses the same river.  It used to be about level with the Ndedema River, a branch of which flows past just in front of it, but after years of heavy flooding the river has split and dropped a few metres so the cave should now be safe even in high summer.  Reaching the cave from downstream requires some careful boulder hopping and several crossings, since the river has split into several branches.  Provided you keep to the left going upriver, you cannot help but pass right in front of the cave.

"Schoongezicht" is a Dutch name and, directly translated, means "Clean View", which is a reference to the unspoilt beauty of the mountains as seen from this vantage point.

Beware of theft and flooding!


The floor of the main sleeping area is perfectly flat and smooth, but consists mostly of coarse sand so it is a little dusty.  The roof is very low and getting in and out of the cave requires a lot of stooping.


You could hardly be closer to a major berg river than in this cave!  This is a little disturbing in heavy summer thundershowers, and even though flooding is no longer a major threat, it is worth monitoring the water level at regular intervals during the night just in case something happens upstream to change the course of the river again!


There are several good pools up and downstream from the cave, although getting to them involves some careful boulder-hopping.  In summer the Ndedema River flows quite fast in this area because of the steep gradient, so one should take special care.


Because of its low roof, Schoongezicht Cave provides good shelter from both wind and rain.


Schoongezicht Cave looks out towards Thuthumi Ridge and on a clear day the Thuthumi Mountain Hut can be seen standing lonely and forlorn halfway up the mountain. Facing upstream one can make out the Sphinx and Windsor Castle on either side of Tlanyaku Pass.  In high summer this area generates huge thunderstorms and the moody atmosphere often culminates in an awe-inspiring lightning show accompanied by the deep, reverberating echoes of thunder.


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Last updated: 2009-08-20 16:22:45 | Report Listing Report Listing
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