Diving inland in South Africa/Wondergat
From Johannesburg and other places to the south and east:
Take the R503 from Johannesburg to Lichtenburg(North West Province). About 47km beyond Lichtenburg turn right at the sign to Buhrmansdrift. There is a shop on the left side before entering Rooigrond Drive for about 7km then turn right at the turnoff to Molopo-oog Drive another 7km then turn right at the sign TDA Wondergat.
From Pretoria and other places to the north and west:
Take the R49 from Zeerust towards Mafikeng. About 15km before Mafikeng, turn left at the sign for Rooigrond (there are big silo’s on the right hand side). Drive about 7km then turn left at the second sign for Molopo-oog. Drive another 7km then turn right at the sign TDA Wondergat.
This site is not in a Marine Protected Area. A permit is not required.
The name "Wondergat" is Afrikaans for Amazing hole.
Maximum depth is about 58m.
About 6m above 20m, and about 15m below 20m. Visibility of over 30m has been known in the cave.
Wondergat is a collapsed cavern filled with water. The hole is about 75 x 100m at the surface and the sides are near vertical to the bottom at about 36m. There are caverns extending from the main shaft to the north and south at the bottom. The bottom of these caverns slopes downward away from the main shaft. There is an overhang to the north about half wat up, and a narrow cave on the south wall, quite shallow, known as Leopards cave.
Geology: Dolomite sinkhole.
Water temperature will be between 14 and 21°C
Visibility is often better during winter because there are fewer divers kicking up a mess, and less rain runoff bringing in silt
This is a shore entry site. Access is by 35 irregular steps. The walk down the steps fully kitted up requires good balance, and the return after the dive can be strenuous.
Public access. An entry fee is payable. Adequate parking is provided and included in the entry fee.
The Banded Tilapia (Tilapia sparrmanii) is endemic to Wondergat. Other fish include the Sharptooth Catfish (Clarias garipinus), Southern Moutbrooder (Pseudocrenilabrus philander) There are also fresh water shrimps and crabs.
Suggested routes include:
Dry suits or semi dry suits are recommend for the winter months.