The caves were rediscovered in modern times in 1780 by a local farmer named Jacobus Van Zyl. The chamber he first was lowered down into was found to be as long as a football field, and is named Van Zyl Hall in his honor. Further exploration was done and a second chamber discovered in 1792. The caves soon became a popular place to visit.
Mr Johnny van Wassenaer, the cave’s first official guide is purported to have walked 29 hours to find the end of the caves in 1898. When there, he is said to have calculated that he was 25km from the entrance and 275m underground; his route apparently followed an underground river. More and more caves are still being found to support this story.
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