Is it a cave? Is it a kraal? No, it's both!

07 Jan 2023 11:57 - 07 Jan 2023 12:06 #78243 by supertramp
During our December South-North GT, we (HAC, Pathfinder and myself) visited Didima Cave for the 1st time for a planned lunch stop and some respite from the sun. Due to its location, we've never been able to work it into any of our previous trips before.

I was not sure what to expect, but my expectation of the cave that it was a solid shelter with good views. It was always in the back of our minds as a potential overnight option as part of a fast-packing trip. I am however, super relieved that we took the effort to check it out first. I'm not sure whether it has always been the case or a more recent development (images and comments on the cave are far and few apart) but the cave has been converted into a kraal with clear signs of a permanent / semi-permanent resident too. The cave floor and entrance is filled with animal dung, with the sleeping area covered in a layer at least 5 - 10cm thick. A kraal rock wall has also been built around the cave entrance (20m radius or so).

 

Cave floor
 


Needless to say but even the view and shade couldn't persuade us to take our lunch (couldn't stomach the smell and site) so we were on our merry way shortly after taking a few pics 

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Hope this update may be of some value to future hikers planning to visit the cave. 

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Last edit: 07 Jan 2023 12:06 by supertramp.
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07 Jan 2023 20:16 #78244 by Richard Hunt
Re Didima Cave. It's a pity about this cave being lost in sheep shit. It is located well on the South African side of the border though. Slowly but surely this cave amongst others are being lost to the expansion of sheep herding.
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08 Jan 2023 03:09 #78245 by MarkT
Despite the smell, GriffBaker and I spent a night in that cave in April 2022! We put down some plastic groundsheet, and it was bad but we survived. I think we opted for the cave because of the bad weather, can't quite remember.
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09 Jan 2023 09:35 #78248 by Riaang
There is another cave (which I haven't visited yet) a bit earlier next to the path, towards Grays pass side. Seen pics of it on VE. Anybody knows the current condition of this cave as it could be used as an alternative.

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19 Jan 2023 08:56 - 19 Jan 2023 09:36 #78278 by GriffBaker
As Mark T mentioned we stayed in there April 2022 and I was also there in April 2021. Both times it was in a similar state but last year it had the addition of cattle dung in the front area. It would interesting to hear from anyone who has tried to use it in summer, to see if they have encountered any Basotho herders who may be occupying it permanently in the summer months.

My view is that maybe it serves as a stopover point on occasion for guys moving their herds over the highway from Champagne Castle to yodlers.

Despite the mess, the back section is flat and comfortable for 2-3 people and I also found it quite warm in there. Both times I have been totally worn out from long days, so perhaps could have slept anywhere.

Riaan, is the other cave you have heard about not Reido Cave? www.vertical-endeavour.com/forum/12-drakensberg-caves/743-reido-cave.html
Have not been to it myself but have always thought it looks like a better option particularly for a non tenting gt stopover.
Last edit: 19 Jan 2023 09:36 by GriffBaker. Reason: add on

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19 Jan 2023 11:03 #78280 by Riaang
@GriffBaker,

No, I'm not referring to Reido cave. The one I saw in the pictures had a much larger opening and kinda looked like Rolands inside. The positioning would be kinda similar to the Reido, i.e. in the upper rockband section looking over the escarpment, The position of this cave was below the footpath, on your right (North facing) as you approach the part where you would turn off to go towards Didima cave. I'm not sure exactly how far this point is as I've not physically been to it, but remembering back from images, if you stood at the entrance of Didima cave (escarpment on your left), this cave would be roughly on your 2 O'Clock.
 
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19 Jan 2023 11:08 #78282 by Smurfatefrog
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19 Jan 2023 11:37 #78283 by Riaang
Spot on SmurfateFrog!

Thanks for sending the ink and refreshing my memory :-)

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