Storytelling: the Caves of Han

On the 16th of September this year, I went to the Caves of Han. This park contains not only the caves after which it’s named, but also a wildlife park and several activities to enjoy with the family.

First, let’s talk about the caves. They are the result of underground erosion caused by the river Lesse in the limestone hill. The river abruptly plunges into a sinkhole and then goes over a kilometer under the hill until it reaches the cave complex. The temperature inside the caves is only 13°C and humidity is at 95% creating numerous stalagmites and stalactites. The caves of Han are known as the biggest caves of Europe and traces of a human presence have been found dating all the way back to prehistoric times.

Only parts of the cave system are accessible and the entire walking tour takes about one hour and a half. The guid will tell you all about how the caves were formed, point out special features and explain what archaeologists found in the caves and what that means for the people that used to live around there back in prehistoric times up til now.

At the end of the caves, right before emerging back aboveground, you pass through a big cavern. In there, you will find an amazing permanent light and sound spectacle called “Origin”. With advanced video mapping and laster technologies, it takes you through magical worlds that show the history, the future and more. It was created by artist Luc Petit. Here is a preview:

Then there’s the wildlife park. You can hop on a safari train with guide that will take you through the entire park, or walk most of the way. The park is about 250 acres large and you can spot the European big 5 along the way: the wolf, the brown bear, the lynx, the European bison and the wolverine. The guide will not only point out all the animals around you, they will also tell you all about them: when they came to the region, what they eat, how they survive and more. Then they will also talk about the animals that used to live in the region and how that evolved. There will be several stops along the way to get off the train, take pictures and enjoy some beautiful panoramic views.

Here are some pictures I took from the caves and the wildlife park:

If you’re ever nearby and want to discover about our history and nature’s history, be sure to stop by for a visit. And it’s not just entertaining for children, but also offers a lot of extra layers for adults. Enjoy!

Happy reading,

Loes M.

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