By Peter Swart May 2007
The town of Somerset West, on the coast of False Bay is over looked by the cliffs and buttresses of the Helderberg. The south eastern side of Porcupine buttress has a number of steep cliffs near to its top. We had heard of some caves in the area and an official meet was organized by Alan Butcher on the 4th May 1997 to explore and survey these caves. At the base of the cliffs behind the Erinvale Estate is a 30m long, 15m wide, sheltered ledge that provides a splendid spot for camping. This spot is so attractive that someone keeps a sleeping bag and provisions in a large blue trunk on the ledge. A little further along from the campsite, is the large entrance to Helderberg Cave 3, or Rasta's Rest. The cave is home to a colony of Egyptian fruit bats, and a diverse collection of invertebrates.
Further along the base of the cliff and one level above Rasta’s Rest are two more caves, Helderberg Caves 1 and 2.
Bat specimens examined.
|Cave 2||Rhinolophus clivosus||Female||54.5mm|
|Cave 3||Rousettus aegyptiacus||Female||88.0mm|
|Cave 3||Rousettus aegyptiacus||Female||86.8mm||scars from parasites|
|Cave 3||Rousettus aegyptiacus||Female||91.2mm||deeply torn ear|