Caving is a fantastic and thrilling sport that requires you to be in an extremely good physical condition. Cavers also have to be committed to conservational and ecological issues, as caves generally host a variety of ecological systems that should be protected at all costs. Accidents with caving are reasonably rare. However, when accidents do happen, they are very often fatal due to cavers being hard to reach for a rescue operation and due to the fact that the majority of fatalities in caving occur due to flooding.
Kazumura Cavern – Hawaii
Technically, this is a lave tube rather than a cave. It is quite important to know this, as it means that the floor is very rugged and sharp and appropriate footwear is very important. The cave, or lava tube, is a true marvel of nature, with hardened lava falls and sky lights allowing you to see the blue sky. Organised trips through Kazumura Cavern are available.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves – New Zealand
Caving the Glow Worm Caves is truly an experience of a life time. Your trip will start by being dropped into a tiny hole where you will need to abseil to the bottom. From there, you will go on a three hour black water rafting trip, which is not for the faint of heart as it is very dark inside the cave. Following this, when you look up, you will be able to see the larva that glows in the dark and was the inspiration for the 80s toy Glo Worms.
Jeita Grotto – Lebanon
This cave has been the inspiration for gothic cathedrals as many people throughout history have visited the Jeita Grotto and have felt closer to god, almost as though he is actually present there. There are two sections to the cave, the first only being accessible by boat. The upper section can be reached by cable cart, where you can see a crystallised structure that looks just like a castle.
Cango Caves – South Africa
This is a truly beautiful cave and one of its benefits is that it is of a very reasonable temperature, around 18 degrees Celsius. Due to conservation issues, large parts of the cave cannot be visited by the general public, but the areas that are accessible are a true marvel to see.
Cueva del Gato – Spain
The Cueva del Gato or Cave of the Cat has an entrance that looks like the head of a cat. The cave can only be visited if you have a special caving permit, but for caving enthusiasts it is most certainly worth trying to attempt to receive one of these permits.
There are many other fascinating caving sites, and these are just some of the ones you could take into consideration. Most caves can be visited with organised groups that will be able to provide you with thorough information about the equipment and knowledge you may need before visiting a cave. Being committed to conservation is always a must!
With caving sites located throughout the world you’ll struggle to choose your favorite. For a completely unique experience why not go caving in Yorkshire and stay in one of the traditional English cottages? There are a variety of Yorkshire cottages to choose from and you are sure to have a great time!
Creative Commons photo by 2il org