Drakensberg Caves & Huts Database

Vaalribbokkop Cave


Monk\\\'s Cowl Wilderness Area

The cave can be reached from Jacob's Ladder, the Mhlwazini River or the Valley of Pools.

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

S28 59.638 E29 20.769 at 1844 metres


Accommodation: 12

Vaalribbokkop Cave is a long overhang with two main sleeping areas, one near the access path and the other about half-way along the cave under some yellowwood trees.  The first sleeping area has some Bushman paintings on the rock face behind it, but these have deteriorated so badly that conservation officials are now allowing hikers to overnight in the cave.  There is a third small sleeping area at the very far end, past a small waterfall at the head of the small gorge which encloses this end of the cave.

The cave is named after Vaalribbokkop (which translates to Grey Rhebuck Mountain), a very prominent, 30 metre-high dome on the hill behind the cave, whose slopes are covered in protea trees.  This dome lies almost on a line drawn from Stable Cave to Vaalribbokkop Cave, and forms a useful landmark because it can be seen from many vantage points around the Mdedelelo Wilderness Area.  Vaalribbokkop is easily climbable from the midlands side.


The cave is comfortable, although the second sleeping area under the trees is very sandy.  In driving rain this area may also get a little wet.


In summer the waterfall near the far end of the cave provides drinking water and shower facilities, but in the shallow valley about 150 metres below the cave, three streams meet to make up the main part of Hospitalspruit.  In winter, when the waterfall at the cave dries up, there is always water to be found at this confluence, and some of the pools are deep enough for a good wallow.  The abundance of water makes Vaalribbokkop Cave a far better alternative than Stable Cave in winter, except for the much less spectacular outlook.


There are some nice shallow pools in the valley below the cave, an easy 150 metres away.


The cave provides very adequate shelter except in driving rain, when the area under the yellowwood tress may get wet.


Although nowhere nearly as spectacular as the views from Stable Cave, Vaalribbokkop Cave still offers an interesting outlook, especially if you step a little way out of the cave.  Nestled in a shallow valley as it is, it has a homely feel without being too closed in.  There are many proteas in the area, and some interesting narrow valleys beckon the explorer.


+27 (036) 4681103


Last updated: 2009-11-10 19:20:13 | Report Listing Report Listing
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