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The Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya



Caving is an activity that has recently gained popularity in Kenya. Kenya is a land blessed with numerous caves.

The caves are rich in history, as most were used by local communities as religious centres, mineral mines,

cemeteries and places to seek refuge. This has attracted a lot of caving enthusiasts, both local and foreign,

for recreational and educational purposes. Below is a comprehensive list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.



1. Hell’s Gate National Park

At the top of our list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Hell’s Gate National Park. The infamous National

Park is located 101 kilometres from Nairobi, south-east of Lake Naivasha in Nakuru County.

It lies on the floor of The Great Rift Valley.

Hell’s Gate National Park is popular because it is home to a wide variety of wildlife and ultimately,

it is known for its breathtaking scenery, which consists of caves, star-rock towers, tower cliffs, water-gouged gorges,

scrub-clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam.

Along the buffalo circuit, on the eastern side of Hell’s Gate National Park, lies a string of Obsidian Caves

characterised by their glassy black look, which is a result of lava cooling as it comes into contact

with the lake’s water. These caves are intriguing to explore!



2. Mau Mau Caves, Aberdare Ranges

Located 200 kilometres east of Nairobi City in Nyanyuki County, we have Mau Mau Caves. As history

has it, Mau Mau Caves, found in the Aberdare Ranges, were used as hide-out spots by the Kenyan

Freedom Fighters as they fought with the British Colonial Army between 1952 and 1960.

Mau Mau is a Kiswahili phrase that says, ‘Mzungu Arudi Ulaya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru.’ Translated to English,

it means that the colonisers ought to go back to Europe so that Africans can get freedom. 

Mau Mau Caves hold true historical significance.



3. Paradise Lost Cave, Kiambu

In 1966, a group of coffee farmers in Kiambu County discovered Paradise Lost Cave.

The cave is famous because it hosts the largest underground lake ever discovered.

It is a cave system made up of numerous chambers. To add to its attributes, it holds

historic value as it has stone-age artifacts made from obsidian rocks found in the cave.

The walls of the cave are composed of fish fossils, stalactites, crystals and stalagmites.

Other activities within Paradise Lost include camping, horse riding, fishing and coffee farm visits.

Paradise Lost Cave is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Kenya and it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.



4. Shimoni Caves, Diani

Shimoni Caves comes in fourth on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

This hidden gem is located on the south coast of Kenya, 50 kilometres from Diani. Shimoni is a Kiswahili

word meaning inside the hole or the location of the hole. The caves range about 5 kilometers.

Shimoni Caves have a great historical value as they were used as docking bays for boats and to

hold and load captured slaves to be shipped to Zanzibar.

There are iron rings on the rocks, which are evidence of slaves being held here. The caves were also

used for rituals by the locals long before the slave trade.

The historical nature of Shimoni Caves makes it a top caving destination.



5. Kitum Cave, Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano mountain located west of Kenya in the border of Kenya and

The Pearl of Africa, Uganda. Kitum Cave lies within the borders of Mount Elgon National Park.

The cave extends approximately 600 meters into the mountain; the walls are rich in salt, which

attracts animals like the elephant. The cave gained popularity in the 1980s when two visitors

contracted a deadly virus called the Marburg virus after a trip to the cave. The bats in the cave

are believed to be the carriers of the virus.

Kitum Caves is equally rich in history and it is also among the most important bat hibernation

sites in Africa. It is also home to a wide variety of animals.



6. Suswa Caves, Mount Suswa

Sixth on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Suswa Caves on Mount Suswa,

which lies on the floor of the Great Valley. Mount Suswa is popular as a result of the lava

caves that are situated on the outer crater. One outstanding attraction in the caves is a section

called the ‘Baboons Parliament’, which is inhabited by baboons, as the name suggests.

They seek refuge in the cave at night to hide from potential predators. Also inhabiting the caves

are the nocturnal mammals, bats. Be sure to see them hanging on the cave’s roof. Suswa Caves

are also used by the Maasai community as a place to perform rituals. This is evident because

of the writing on the wall.



7. Chyulu Hills Caves, Makueni

Located in the southeastern part of Kenya, in Makueni County, is a mountain range

called the Chyulu Hills.

The mountain is famous because it has lava tube caves, which are arguably the deepest

in the world. The caves are frequently visited by volcanologists and geologists for educational purposes.



8. Oloolua Caves, Nairobi

Next on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Oloolua Caves. It is located within the

city under the sun, in Oloolua Forest Reserve. The cave spans about 37 meters. It is accessible through

a nature trail.

Like the Mau Mau Caves, Oloolua Caves were also used by Mau Mau Fighters as hiding spots.

Various species of birds inhabit the caves, as do mammals like bats.



9. Njoro River Cave, Nakuru

This archaeological site is situated on the Mau Escarpment. The cave was the first place radiocarbon

dating was put to use in East Africa. The cave was excavated in 1938 which unearthed ancient

artifacts like beads, pottery and tools.

The excavation also revealed a mass cremation site that is believed to have been used by the

Elementeitan pastoralists during the Pastoral Neolithic.

Njoro River Cave has significant historical value, which attracts both local and foreign caving

enthusiasts, thus making it worthy of a mention on our list of the top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.



10. Three Sister Caves of Fikirini

To close the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya, is Three Sister Caves located in Fikirini

village in Tswaka, Kwale County. The caves in the system include Pangani Cave, Mdenyenye Cave and

Kisimani Cave, thus being referred to as ‘Three Sister Caves’. It is arguably the most beautiful

cave system in Kenya and the second-largest cave system in all of East Africa.

The caves were used by the local community as a hideout spot during the peak of the slave trade.

Several animals inhabit the cave system, including seven species of bats. It is every caving

enthusiast’s dream destination.

Kenya has a wide variety of caves, each unique in its own way, as illustrated in the above

list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

Each cave comes with its own exhilarating experience!

Find out how you can plan a caving safari or day trip from Nairobi from Robert on

whatsapp: +254 722 661 827 or email


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