Exploring the caves in Kenya is an enthralling activity for both local and foreign tourists.
The intense feeling of being in small, dark confinements with uncertain bat movements is a unique experience that you can find in all the caves in Kenya.
Zunguka Africa Safaris offers you the best getaway packages to explore the caves located within Kenya.
The Fikirini Sister Caves in Tswaka Village
Tswaka village is a significant place in the history of the Digo people in the coastal region of Kenya.
The village is known for having three sister caves that played a huge role in the ancient slave trade.
These caves were utilized by the inhabitants as hideouts, shrines, meal points, and water points.
They are located 15 kilometers from the village’s Kenana-Shimoni junction.
In addition, the caves have varied cultural artifacts that describe the Digo culture.
Mdenyenye cave is the largest of the three caves. It was a famous hideout for the locals who escaped from slave traders.
Inside the cave, there is a wooden staircase used to connect one point of the cave to another.
The Kisimani cave is a critical water point and has an all-seasons freshwater well where animals come to drink water at this cave.
You can easily find bats, monkeys, and baboons in this amazing cave.
There are about seven bat species in the Kisimani cave including the Angle-faced bat, Egyptian fruit bat, Tomb bats, Common batwing, and the Long-fingered bats.
The Pangani cave was a dedicated shrine. It was used as a place to eat and rest as it had several chambers in it.
This cave has a six-kilometer tunnel leading to Shimoni. The tunnel was instrumental during the escape from the slave traders.
The Digo people at Fikirini have a community-based organization that manages tourist activities to the three sister caves in Kenya.
Kitum Cave in Kitale
Mount Elgon National Park is a vast free-range animal reserve found in Trans-Nzoia County.
The park has rich wildlife including elephants, buffaloes, dik-dik, hyenas, bushbuck, monkeys, and birds.
The national park has a large cave known as the Kitum Cave where animals come to lick salt.
Furthermore, the sodium-rich cave is 200 meters long and the rocks in the cave are volcanic in nature.
Elephants break pieces of the salt-rich rocks on the walls mainly in the evenings and consume to supplement their diets.
Inside the cave, there is an overwhelming stench of bat excrement.
There are also deep crevasses that are responsible for the deaths of many baby elephants.
If you intend to visit, it is advisable that you carry a flashlight to aid you as navigate inside the cave.
Kitum cave is significant for playing a huge role in the identification of the Marburg virus after a French tourist succumbed to the virus in 1980 after touring the cave.
In 1987, a Danish lad named Charles Monet contracted the virus and infected a doctor called Shem Musoke.
The two virus strains were documented and thorough research funded by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease.
A book by Richard Preston was published in 1994. It features the cave’s development in relation to the Marburg virus.
It is alleged that the inhalation of powdered guano of the fruit bats may have caused the Marburg Virus Disease.
Chyulu Caves in Taita Taveta
Africa’s longest and deepest lava tube is found in Chyulu Hills National Park at the border of the Nyiri Desert.
Inside this tube, there are:
- The Leviathan Cave
- Grotte de Leviathan Cave and
- Kisula Cave
Chyulu caves are ranked the longest caves in Kenya. It was discovered in 1975 and currently ranks 11th among long lava tubes in the world.
The cave has two main partitions. Upper Leviathan is 408 meters deep and 9152 meters long.
Lower Leviathan is 70 meters deep and 2071 meters long. The lava tube that forms the cave is 11.5 kilometers long.
The area is still a potential volcanic site as seen from the seismic volcanic movements.
Tourists can enjoy the diverse colors on the cave walls and features on the cave roofs and bats can be found in the darker parts of the cave as well.
The Mau Mau cave is a history-rich spot in Nanyuki and is located in Mount Kenya National Park, 199 kilometers North East of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi.
It was found by the Mau Mau freedom fighters in 1953 and used as a hideout during the war against the British colonial government.
The war dubbed the Mau Mau uprising began in 1952 after the State of Emergency was declared and ended in 1960.
In the end, the horrific war that resulted from a bombing of the cave by the British soldiers led to the death of 200 Mau Mau freedom fighters.
Njoro River Cave
The Njoro river cave is found in the Mau escarpment and some excavation works by the Leakey’s began in 1938.
As a significant excavation site, the cave yielded numerous ancient artifacts such as beads, pottery, and tools.
Mary and Louis Leakey found that the cave was used as a cremation site for some pastoralists.
In 1950, the cave was used as a pioneer site for radiocarbon dating in Eastern Africa.
Paradise Lost Caves
Paradise lost caves system was discovered by Joseph Mbai in 1996 in Misarara, Kiambu County.
The cave is a historical tourist attraction as it bears obsidian artifacts from an ancient civilization.
The Suswa Caves are found at Mount Suswa in Narok County and you will cover 120 kilometers if you are driving from Nairobi.
In addition, these caves are beautifully decorated with Maasai art and tourists can also enjoy viewing the famous ‘Baboon Parliament’ and a family of bats.
Oloolua caves are found in the Oloolua Forest Reserve. The reserve is a center for the Institute of Primate Research.
And, the caves are accessible after a nature trail, 5 kilometers long.
The darkness in the caves provided a sense of security for the Mau Mau freedom fighters who utilized them as a hideout during the war against the British colonial government.
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