Today we went to explore the cave which is a 4.5km network of dry chambers with a small spring that fills about a meter of the bottom of the lowest chamber in the wet season.It was discovered in the 30's and was used to harvest bat Guano (poo) which apparently is a great fertilizer because of the ammonia which allows the plants to get lots of oxygen.The cave is halfway up a hill (or mountain as the guide described it) and it was a hot trek to get there but the view from the top was lovely, not a soul around.The cave is home to 6 different bat species, including one that drinks blood! (Animals not humans though) plus a whole bunch of other creepy crawlies.Some of the baby bats happily posed for photos they looked all soft and furry and quite cute (not the blood drinking ones!) but I struggled to get one to fly slowly for me I think the guide and J.P were a little exasperated by my completely inept photography skills! The caves are no longer used for harvesting but they reckon there is 15 thousand metric tonnes of the stuff still down there! Oh and obviously the bats are refilling it slowly everyday.It was very dusty (all the spots in the photos are dust not rain as it looks) and smelt horrible (well a bit like ammonia really).There were loads of bats flying around and hanging upside down from the rope banisters. We also saw a couple of dead porcupines (one was thirty years old, but because of the dry conditions they hadn't rotted just sort of dried out and preserved all wrinkly with the spines still intact!)Some of the climbing was quite steep on old rickety ladders and loose sand and it was a constant 25 degrees so we were quite hot by the end (although it was 35 outside!) The most spectacular thing is supposed to be the light coming in as you head back towards the entrance, it floods the last chamber like moonlight, although the photos don't show it well! The estate also has some game including 4 caged Cheetahs who were hiding from us as we walked back.All in all it was an experience but perhaps not one I would bother repeating!
only a few days until the other Kotze children arrive should be fun! take care all xx