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Boesmansgat Sinkhole

Boesmansgat is a natural sinkhole on the farm Mount Carmel, located some 55 km South of Kuruman on the Danielskuil road.

The sinkhole was formed when underground water dissolved the dolomite rocks above. Now Boesmansgat (sometimes referred to by its English translation, Bushman's Hole) offers a glimpse into the watery world below.

This vertical, submerged cave is almost completely filled with fresh water, with the 100 metre diametre surface pond often covered in a green film of duckweed. The cave's immense size was determined by sonar to be some 270 metres deep, making it one of the deepest freshwater caves in the world.

Access to the mouth of the cave is achieved by climbing down a steep rock-face to the water suface. The entrance of Boesmansgat is deceptively narrow, about 20 metres from the surface, it opens up into the vast main chamber that stretches to the depths of the cave over 200 metres below. The extreme depth of this cave requires divers to spend many hours decompressing when they ascend from the depths.

Many world records in cave diving have been set up in this exceptional sinkhole. This cave has been explored by numerous divers over the years seeking the thrill of diving its dangerous waters, while breaking records in the process. Boesmansgat has claimed the lives of some expert divers, including Eben Leyden (1993), Deon Dryer (1994) and David Shaw (2005), who attempted to recover Dryer's body. A plaque at the entrance to the cave, as well as a poem entitled Boesmansgat (written by Tilla Louw) pay homage to those who lost their lives in Bushman's Hole.

An entrance fee of R50 per car, R100 per combi or R300 per bus is requested. Access to the sinkhole is gained by travelling about 10km through the farm Mount Carmel (a map is supplied). Keep your eyes open for wildlife, like Gemsbok, Kudu, Wildebeest, Eland, Springbok and more.

Tel: (053) 384 0564

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360 Virtual Tour of the Boesmansgat Sink Hole