Boesmansgat.. or Bushman’s Hole..

This hole is believed to be the third-deepest submerged freshwater cave (or sinkhole) in the world, approximately 270 meters (886 feet) deep. It is located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Boesmansgat was believed to be first explored by amateur diver Mike Rathbourne in 1977.

On November 24, 2004, Verna van Schaik set the existing Guinness Woman’s World Record for the deepest dive with a dive to 221 meters (725ft). What some people won’t do for fun.

Of course as per all dangerous sports, the sport of cave diving has it’s toll and here is the roll of honour..

Eben Leyden died in 1993 after blacking out at 200 feet.

In 1994, while helping a team prepare for a dive, Deon Dreyer died.

On January 8, 2005, famed deep cave diver Dave Shaw died while recovering Dreyer’s remains from a depth of over 800 feet (about 245 meters). Shaw, using a re-breather apparatus and suffering from nitrogen narcosis while attempting to place the remains in a body bag, became entangled in his own lines and blacked out. Later, as the recovery team was removing equipment, both bodies floated to the surface, apparently pulled to a depth where the gasses in Shaw’s body expanded and gave it buoyancy.

HomepageSlideshow_RaisingtheDead_021212courtesy of Outside Magazine with their article of “Raising the Dead” click to read the article.

Facts I found while researching these deaths, it takes them only 15 odd minutes to get down to these vast depths, but apparently up to 13 hours to ascend, due to the fear of the bends. Madness if you ask me..





But how did this hole in the middle of the Kalahari develop? Who knows, was it an air bubble that came to the surface when the area was volcanically forming? Was it a lime stone deposit or pipe that has eroded with time? An area of cracking in the surface?



The hole is located on a farm, no sign posts to it, or advertising, but word of mouth has you exploring and asking the farmers permission to go to it. A slight rise in an otherwise flat terrain brings you to the site.. a deep hole, approx. 20 metres down and a precarious descent, one can spy the water surface, a green slush. But all divers reports are of a beautiful crystal clear water below the surface.

The rock formations are fascinating and here are but a few of those I took..