Gcwihaba (Drotsky’s) Cave


In 1932 a group of San showed Gcwihaba (meaning ‘Hyena’s Hole’) to a farmer named Martinus Drotsky, who humbly decided to name the cave after himself. Legend also has it that the fabulously wealthy Hendrik Matthys van Zyl stashed a portion of his fortune here in the late 1800s; the treasure has never been found. The cave interior is famous for its 10m-long stalagmites and stalactites, which were formed by dripping water that seeped through and dissolved the dolomite rock.

The cave is home to large colonies of Commerson’s leaf-nosed bats (which have a wingspan of up to 60cm) and common slit-faced bats (distinguished by their long ears), which, although harmless, can make your expedition a hair-raising experience.

Gcwihaba (Drotsky’s) Cave is not developed for tourism: the interior of the cave is completely dark, and there are no lights or route markings. It is possible to walk (about 1km) through the cave from one entrance to the other, but venturing far inside is only for those with some experience and confidence and proper lighting – carry several strong torches (flashlights), as well as emergency light sources such as matches and cigarette lighters. The main entrance is signposted from the end of the track, and is near a noticeboard. The cave is permanently open and there's no admission charge.

Unofficial camping is possible beneath the thorn trees. A fully equipped 4WD with high clearance is essential for visiting the cave, which lies around 100km west of the main Maun–Shakawe highway, from where the caves are signposted.

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