Gaub Cave

Useful Information

Location: At Gaub Farm, Otavi mountains.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Abbe Henri Breuil (1957): The Philipp Cave, Trianon Press
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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1913 cave discovered by Dr. H. Vedder.
1914 first written account in the Deutsche Kolonialzeitung.


The Gaub farm is located in a shallow valley in the Otavi mountains, in the Groofontein-Otavi-Tsumeb triangle. It was founded as a Rhenish Mission station in 1895 and it soon became an important centre for the area. So the well known German missionary and historian Dr. H. Vedder visited the farm in 1913. He is mentioned in the record book of the farm, but without exact date. And it is also mentioned he visited the cave, according to local legend he discovered it.

The first written account of the cave is in the Deutsche Kolonialzeitung in 1914 in an article submitted by F. Jaeger and L. Waibel. The report is focussed on the geology, the two have travelled through Südwestafrika (South West Africa) the year before. Obviously they visited the cave, but make no claim to be the discoverers. Most likely Dr. Vedder told them about the cave during their stay at the Gaub Mission Station and guided them to the cave.

The cave was later visited by Abbe Henri Breuil when he was in search for cave paintings. He mentions the cave in his 1957 book.

The cave is not developed, although easy to visit. We recommend appropriate clothes, sturdy boots, and torches. Visitors meet at the office of the Gaub farm, after which the cave was named. Here they pay the entrance fee, are appointed a guide and equipped with miner lamp and helmet. The visitors are driven to the cave entrance and the whol tour takes about one to two hours.

The cave is a small karst cave with various speleothems. The guides point out the most impressive formations and visitors are allowed to take pictures. As there is a special tour for every party that arrives, the tours are often small and the guides are able to make very individual tours.