Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Spectacle Cave


Cobham Wilderness Area

This cave is situated above the Pholela River near Gorge Cave and Pholela Cave.  Its location is not as interesting as either of these latter caves, but it provides a useful alternative to the more popular Pholela Cave which is often booked up.

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

S29 38.716 E29 19.518 at 2054 metres


Accommodation: 2(S) or 8(W)

The map suggests that Spectacle Cave can accommodate 12 people.  Unfortunately, the ledge which provides the main sleeping accommodation has become badly eroded and at best this can provide shelter for only 3 hikers during winter.  During summer the waterfall near the top end of the cave often runs so strongly that spray dampens that end of the ledge, making it unusable and reducing the accommodation to just 2.  In winter or on a dry summer night it is possible for another 6 people to bed down under the ouhoud bushes on the large, level area below the ledge, but this does not provide any shelter from driving rain.

Just below the main path to Pholela Cave, and diagonally below Spectacle Cave itself, the hollow under a large boulder can provide additional accommodation for about 4 hikers. Many hikers mistake this for Gorge Cave, but it should rather be thought of as an annex to Spectacle Cave.  There is also a large, level, tufted grass area between the boulder and the main river suitable for tenting.

Unknown, although the name suggests that early visitors were impressed by the view from the cave.


The ledge is sloping and narrow, and the top end is usually muddy in summer.


The small waterfall next to the cave tumbles into a small pond below the ledge, and water can also be fetched from the stream lower down when the flow reduces to a trickle in winter.  Water may always be fetched from the Pholela River, which is about 150 metres from the cave.


There are several pools in the Pholela River below Spectacle Cave.  The river is quite interesting at this point and is well worth exploring.


Spectacle Cave provides adequate shelter for a small group of hikers (6 or less), but will definitely not do this for the advertised 12 people it is supposed to be able to accommodate.


The cave provides a scenic view across the Pholela River valley and up the Pholela gorge.  The height of the foothills and the intricate rock formations add some interest.  There are plenty of opportunities for exploration, including a visit to Pholela Cave, Gorge Cave and the Pholela gorge itself.


+27 (033) 7020831


Last updated: 2009-08-14 10:40:32 | Report Listing Report Listing
Powered by Sigsiu.NET RSS Feeds

Member Login

             | Join

Who's Online