Exploring Coastal Caves on the Western Cape of South Africa

Exploring Coastal Caves on the Western Cape of South Africa – In today’s article I would like to share with you some pictures taken during one of my favourite pastimes – crawling over the rocks and caves around the coastline of the Table Mountain National Park near Cape Town.

View from Karbunkel Mountain Caverns of Table Mountain National Park and Llandudno
View from Karbunkel Mountain Caverns of Table Mountain National Park and Llandudno

It has been a week since my return to the tip of Africa and so the timing is right to share with you more views of the fantastic scenery we enjoy here. During the last few days I have been putting the finishing touches to a piece of music that was inspired by the many caves within walking distance of my studio in Llandudno.

While you read the following article why not listen to my e-baroque compositions – just click on the box below:

or if techno music is more your cup of tea here are my techno/ambient compositions:

I hope you find the article below interesting…please visit chrisduggleby.com again.

Some of these caves are not just interesting on the inside – their location on the coast provides them with some amazing views – like the one above. This photo was taken from one of the caverns at the base of the Karbunkel mountain. This mountain separates the town of Hout Bay from Sandy Bay beach and Llandudno village. These views inspired a piece of music that, not surprisingly, I have called ‘Coastal Caves‘. I know some visitors to ChrisDuggleby.com like to listen to music while they read my articles – so if this is you – just click on the arrow in the picture below:

The video also features many of the pictures you will see in this article so please re-visit it any time you feel like a musical trip around the some fantastic caverns.

I am probably the world’s laziest explorer. I normally only explore places that are within walking distance of my music studios in Africa, the German Alps and Surrey in England. OK you might consider this from from another point of view – I have situated my studios in some incredibly beautiful locations enabling me to quickly get a dose of inspiration and then get back to the job of making music (and of course writing).

To illustrate this minimalistic approach to exploration let’s take as an example my studio here on the outskirts of Cape Town. The picture below is taken from the balcony and if you look very closely along the bottom of the mountain on the left you might just see some dark caves close to the middle of the photo:

Sunset Rocks (Llandudno) balcony view of Karbunkel Mountain Caverns
Sunset Rocks (Llandudno) balcony view of Karbunkel Mountain Caverns

Just to prove I do actually physically trek over the coast by foot to take photos in the caves here is a picture of ‘the author‘ walking along the path at the foot of the Karbunkel mountain. At this point in the article I must issue a health and safety warning: About 6 years ago I was stabbed and robbed while taking sunset photos on the beach near to where the photo below was taken. If you do decide to take photos in remote locations in Africa please be careful about your security. I was lucky – I only needed 5 stitches to fix the knife wounds – and the stolen camera and cell phone were replaceable.

'The Author' in front of Karbunkel Mountain on the way to explore some coastal caves
‘The Author’ in front of Karbunkel Mountain on the way to explore some coastal caves

To illustrate precisely where these caves can be found let me return to my balcony and use a rather powerful lens to magnify the view. The following two photos are of the openings to the caves. To get to these openings I followed the rocky coast line from Sandy Bay beach along the base of the mountain (this can take about 30 minutes – hobbling over granite rocks). Should you decide to visit the caves by this ‘path’ you will need to avoid stormy or very windy weather conditions – this route is not far from the water’s edge and if the rocks are wet they can be very slippery. Alternatively there is another steeper pathway higher up the mountain.

Closer view of the entrance to the Karbunkel Caverns (dark spot in middle of the costline) taken from my Llandudno balcony
Closer view of the entrance to the Karbunkel Caverns (dark spot in middle of the coastline) taken from my Llandudno balcony


Precise location of the entrances to three of the Karbunkel Mountain Caverns
Precise location of the entrances to three of the Karbunkel Mountain Caverns

One of the additional treats for anyone prepared to walk a little further round the coast are the local ship wrecks – the busy shipping routes around the Cape can be notoriously challenging in rough weather. If you are interested in the local ship wrecks why not visit my photo article on this subject by clicking on the title below:

Ship wrecks (and other old wrecks) on the rocks near Sandy Bay, Cape Town

As if this is not enough we have even more caves if you walk in the opposite direction. By taking the coastal path from Sunset Rocks to Llandudno Beach there are some interesting rock formations which provide rather unique views of the Llandudno rocks and their associated beach. Here are some of my photos from this unusual vantage point:

Cave View of Llandudno Beach
1. Cave View of Llandudno Beach
Cave View of Llandudno
2. Cave View of Llandudno Beach


Cave view of Llanduno Rocks
Cave view of Llanduno Rocks

The last of these photos features a view of the Llandudno rocks. If you move on from these caves along the coastal path from Sunset Rocks, across Llandudno beach to this outcrop of rocks you will find even more caves on the other side of the rocks.

Many of the local caves featured above have actually been inhabited in the past. In fact I remember one year being rather surprised to find a family residing in one of the larger caves at the base of the Karbunkel mountain.

To further wet your appetite for exploring caves I have selected below a few interesting photos of caverns from other parts of the world which I believe are well suited to the ambience of the music I composed for the video featured above.

Domica Cave in Slovakia
Domica Cave in Slovakia
Lechuguilla Cave Pearlsian Gulf (photo D. Bunnell)
Lechuguilla Cave Pearlsian Gulf (photo D. Bunnell)
Lechuguilla Chandelier 'Ballroom' Caves (photo D. Bunnell)
Lechuguilla Chandelier ‘Ballroom’ Caves (photo D. Bunnell)

By the way…if you are interested on coming to stay in Llandudno one of my friends who manages a lot of the holiday accommodation here has just set up a website illustrating some of the great local properties. To take a look at his website just click on the picture below (which also a has a snazzy scenic gallery with pics provided by ‘you know who’):

Link to Llandudno Accommodation website
Link to Llandudno Accommodation website

If you are interested on some of my other scenic ‘photo blogs’ – why not take a look at the following articles?:

Schloß Neubeuern: A fairy tale castle in the Alps near the Bavarian/Austrian border

Achensee or Lake Achen: The largest lake in the Austrian Tyrol (and one of its best kept secrets)

Up the Black Mountain (Schwarzenberg, Eingang zum Voralpenland)

Bayrischzell: Pit-stop on the way from the Deutsche Alpen Straße to the peak of the Wendelstein Mountain

Sunset from the top of Table Mountain following an exciting canine adventure by Cable Car

Looking for wild (and almost ferocious) animals near Chapmans Peak

Woking Walks – Part 2: Canal Boat Chick Gets Frisky, Chris’s Organ Gets a Good Plucking

Walking Round Woking – Part 1: River Wey, Newark Priory Ruins & 13th Century Royal Palace

Prehistoric Britain (or more precisely: Prehistoric Woking!)

Searching for Cannibals in Surrey

The beach where the Martian invaders landed

Newark Priory, near Woking inspires TRANSFORMATES’ ‘Rock the Priory’ (with Cannons)

Happy Travels! (and look out for unusual wildlife)

Chris Duggleby

Townsends Bat in Californian Cave (photo D. Bunnell)
Townsends Bat in Californian Cave (photo D. Bunnell)

Chris Duggleby started his scientific career studying Bacteriology, Virology and Immunology at the Manchester University Medical School. From there he went on to spend over 35 in the chemicals and oil industries which included setting up a polymers research and development group in Geneva, Switzerland for a major international chemicals company. Following an MBA from Warwick University he went on to lead a number of international manufacturing and marketing operations in the Chemicals, Plastics and Oil industries. His work involved living and working in Europe, Asia, the USA, the Middle East, and Russia. More recently he was invited to take on a senior leadership position in the Audit Department of the BP International Oil Group. Here he used his global change and risk management experience to help the group reshape its management structures and processes following a major environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. He has now retired to focus on writing about risk management and producing music in his studios near London, in the Alps and Cape Town. If you are interested in risk management check out his RiskTuition.com or BizChangers.com (management of change) sites.

If you would like to take a look at some of my other recent reports just click on the titles below:

…starting with some more serious stuff…

13th Jan 2016 Kill Head Lice In A Day With The Newly Developed Plasma Nitcomb From The German Fraunhofer Institute

8th Jan 2016 Cancer from Handbags, Shoes and Gloves – Allergic Reactions to Jewellery – German Institute Identifies Excessive Chromium 6 and Nickel Levels

13th December 2015 Health Risk – Potential Carcinogens Found in Advent Calendar Chocolates – German Investigation

26th July 2015 Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

25th October 2015: Health Risks: Food allergy prevention – Latest research ‘feed infants early with allergenic food

17th October 2015: Health Risk: Vitamin and antioxidant supplements help cancer cells become malignant – latest research from Texas

31st May 2015: German Concern about Potentially Carcinogenic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Cosmetics  

6th April 2014: Product Quality Risk: Shoes Sold On-line By Zalando Recalled Due To Chromium 6 Contamination – Known Allergen And Carcinogen

29th December 2012: Spreading diarrhea and vomit through the washing machine– The Norovirus propagator in our kitchen

and here are some fun reports…

21st June 2015: Bio-undies: Guilt free Passion with ‘Easy Emma’ and ‘Loose Harry’and Getting Rid of Garden Snails with Rent-a-Duck

4th March 2015: Hamburg Reeperbahn (St. Pauli): Germans install walls that urinate on passers-by

19th April 2014: German Police Catch Hedgehogs Testing Home Made Crash Helmets in Saarbrücken

17th April 2014: Niche On-line Dating Services (Specialities: Herpes, Thrush and Genital Warts)

18th March 2014: Germany and Finland Joint Investigation: New Case of Sexual Cannibalism Including Self-mutilation (Castration) During Intercourse.

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

You can also find some of my more humorous reports in the Alpine Press section of this site using the link here.

Please share your comments on the site. Thanks - Chris

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