oa Botswana Notes & Records - Discovery and preliminary exploration of a new cave in the Gcwihaba valley

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0525-5090



In the northwest corner of Botswana a single limestone cave was known to exist in the Gcwihaba Valley. Exploration in 1992 has led to the discovery of a second cave system. Unlike the previously surveyed Gcwihaba Cave, the new system has been almost totally sealed from recent outside influence. Extensive and diverse formations are found throughout the cave. At the deepest point reached to date, the atmosphere becomes noticeably warmer, more humid and oxygen depleted. This suggests a deep CO2 source and restricted air exchange. The latter is apparently facilitated by passage structure acting as a barrier to airflow. Implication for the genesis of both caves, relationships with the paleo Gcwihaba River and conservation problems are discussed.

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