A delight to many hikers is the comfort and shelter of a good cave in the Berg, especially in bad weather. Caves are one of the things that make overnight hiking a special experience. There many in the Berg, not all are marked on the maps, and these in parrticular are a joy to find. Not all are good shelter, some are difficult to find whilst others are far from water, especially in the dry season. Yet all are useful and always seem to be a landmark on any trip.

Two major distinctions in the occurrence of caves is whether they are in the Little Berg or on the escarpment. The former occurr in the Clarens Sandstone layer and are typically shaped by water and collapse of rock. These tend to be big rock overhangs rather than a hole or chamber as one might imagine a cabe to be, though many of them are very large and deep, offering excellent protection. Good examples are Xeni Cave, Zulu Cave, Marble Baths Cave, Lower Injasuti Cave, Gxalingenwa Cave, Pillar Cave, Tarn Cave etc. They were used extensively by the San as shelter and as a place for rituals. The rock art that they left behind in these caves have given the Berg international fame. Some well known rock art sites include Battle Cave at Injasuti and the Main Caves at Giants Castle, though there really are many others, some known and named, others not. Indeed the Ndedema Gorge in the Cathedral Peak area contains the highest concentration of sites, with Sibayeni Cave having around 1000 individual drawings. Some caves are still used by local people such as shepherds or those tending canabis fields. Many of these tend to be in Mweni area and in the Maluti Range around Phuthadijhaba. Examples include Kotletso Cave, Cycad Cave, Shepherd's Cave and Waterfall Cave.

The escarpment caves are in the Basalt layers and seem to be formed by volcanic activity (when these layers were formed) and by weathering. Typically they are smaller and sometimes not as good shelter as the Lower Berg caves, though several are classic, deep, well sheltered tubes. They can be broken down further into those that are associated with passes, typically occuring near the top, then there are those that occur right on the escarpment edge and lastly those that occur in rock bands on the slopes of the ridges & domes of the escarpment plataeu & Lesotho. Good examples of the first group are Fangs Cave, Pins Cave and Spare Rib Cave. Caves in this group tend to be the hardest to find. In the second group Ledger's Cave, Sandleni Cave and Lynx Cave are fine examples. In the last category the best examples are Crows Nest Cave, Roland's Cave, Didima Cave and Upper Injasuti Cave (these are also among the best and most classic caves in the Berg).



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