Leviathan Lava Tube

Chyulu Caves

Useful Information

Location: Chyulu Hills. 200 km from Nairobi along the Mombasa road, near Kibwezi.
(-2.528509, 37.853387)
Open: All year daily 6-19.
Guides available.
Fee: Foreigners: Adults USD 22, Children USD 13.
Residents: Adults KSH 300, Children KSH 125.
Citizens: Adults KSH 300, Children KSH 125.
Classification: SpeleologyLava Tubes
Light: none, bring torch, good light recommended
Dimension: L=9,152 m, VR=408 m.
Guided tours: guides available at the park headquarter.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: R. L. Crawford (1993): The World's Longest Lava Tube Caves, Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology, Bend, Oregon, 30 July - 1 August 1982, International Speleological Foundation 1993. pdf
Address: Chyulu Hills National Park, P.O Box 458 - 90137, Kibwezi, Tel: +254-202-626174, Cell: +254-718-685809. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1975 Leviathan Caves discovered.
2010 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Leviathan Caves are two lava tubes in a lava flow of the 2,188 m high Chyulu Hills Volcano. A new road makes it possible to visit the cave on touristic trips. The entrances have been provided with a staircases which makes it possible to enter the caves without climbing equipment. They are still rather hard to reach, 4WD is required, and there is no water and no public transport. It's also necessary to hire an armed guard against the wild animals from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). They also offer rangers who guide through the cave. The fees are entrance fees for the park and do not include guard or guide. The caves are also on the schedules of numerous tour operators. It is definitely a very good idea to visit the cave not on your own, but with such a trip.

The two caves are actually the two sections of the same lava tube, there is an ongoing discussion when two unconnected parts of the same tube are actually the same cave. R. L. Crawford explains this very good in his article. The caves are recently called Chyulu Caves or Kisula Caves, which are actually both metaphors not actual names. Chyulu Caves means caves located at Chyulu Hills National Park, its like Kenian caves a term for caves located in a certain area. And Kisula Caves, a name derived from the , is commonly used by the locals.

Leviathan caves are sometimes called World's n-th-longest lava tubes. This is in any case a stupid statement, as the ranking changes continually. It actually once was the second longest, in the 1970s, and in 2023 it's the 13th longest. The cave is fully explored and does not grow anymore, but there are continually new discoveries of longer caves.

The caves are not really dangerous, there is no special threat. But they are wild caves and visitors should always be careful and use their brain. The floor can be rough, there is always some climbing involved. We strongly recommend a good lamp, sturdy walking shoes, and probably gloves.