My Anguilla Caves Adventure
Hiking and other excursions with the Anguilla National Trust (ANT) are favourite hobbies for me in Anguilla. I enjoy walking along our coastline and exploring our various cays, ponds and other natural habitats.
As a member of the Anguilla National Trust I have hiked along the coast from Limestone village to Shoal Bay and from Junks Hole to Windward point. I have visited and hiked around Dog Island and Prickly Pear and also hiked around some of our numerous ponds.
In addition to ANT, there are other tour guides in Anguilla who also organize nature based excursions. I had the opportunity recently to go to Katouche village and do some hiking and explore two of our caves. The first tour of the Katouche area and Katouche Cave or Iguana Cave (don’t be fooled by the name) was led by Andre Samuel from the Department of Environment and the second tour into Gavannah Cave was led by Mr. Oliver Hodge of OH Tours, a well-respected and sought after tour guide in Anguilla.
I enjoyed the gorgeous view from Masara Resort and the quaint and rugged beauty of Katouche Bay before heading into the rainforest.
Both tours included children from the high school Biology class and environmental Club. It was encouraging to see how knowledgeable they were about the environment and flora and fauna. During our first tour we started at Masara Resort in Katouche, walked down to the beach and entered the Katouche ‘forest’ from the beach.
I had done this tour a number of times but it is always fun to do it with young people who are first timers. Our knowledgeable tour guide Andre asked questions about various trees and plants and I was impressed that the students were able to answer most of the questions.
I am disappointed to say I could only identify a few of the various plant species. I will have to definitely try to become more knowledgeable about plants and trees found in Anguilla so look out for a blog post on this as we learn together.
We stopped to discuss the pond and some history behind the old well.
We explored the inner caverns of Iguana Cave and again I was fascinated by the sound of bats and the large fig tree which grows from the floor of the cave through a hole at the surface.
It was an interesting tour and I took lots of pictures before we continued through the forest and up the incline to exit on the North Hill road. An added bonus was definitely that it was a great workout!
Immediately after lunch we took the second tour to Gavannah Cave. I had not been in this cave since I was a child so I was excited to explore it. It turned out be even more of an adventure than I remembered.
If you are interested in adventure, geology and history contact tour guide Oliver Hodge to visit this cave. This cave was a source of phosphate during the 19th century and it is also the place where the fossil remains of the pre-historic massive rodent like creature, Amblyrhiza Inundata is found. The tour of the cave includes crawling through small spaces to get into larger chambers and also a little bit of ‘rock climbing.’ I dislike heights so I was really nervous when it was my turn to climb down the rock face to a lower chamber, but I did it and I am proud of myself.
I needed both my hands free so I did not take a lot of pictures other than of this spider which we spotted as soon as we entered. However, do check out the geology exhibit from the students at the Anguilla Public Library which includes professional photos from one of the students. It really is impressive.
It is a great adventure and if you don’t mind getting dirty and sweating a bit; it is a great activity to do in Anguilla.
See below the wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide Oliver Hodge!
More Information about the Anguilla National Trust
The ANT engages in a number of activities including turtle monitoring, bird watching, seabird monitoring, youth programmes and so much more. Do check them out on https://www.facebook.com/axanationaltrust#!/axanationaltrust. You can also get in touch with Oliver Hodge through the ANT.
Thanks for reading! Do leave a comment about the most adventurous activity you did while visiting Anguilla.