CAVING IN BELGIUM: THE BELGIAN CAVE GUIDE
Grotte Sainte-Anne - Tilff (No. 23)
The cave is situated along the road Esneux-Tilff, right bank of the river
"Ourthe", 1 kilometre before entering the village of Tilff.
Big entrance, about 20 m above the road, at the foot of a very steep
limestone wall (used for abseiling).
This cave has been known for a long time: it was discovered during quarry-works
in 1837. Since it was an easy and well decorated cave, it was used
as a showcave for some time. In the 60ties the "Réseau Lemaire" was
discovered; an upper level featuring nice calcite pools and a lake.
This cave is closed with an UBS-gate, so you need an UBS-key to enter it.
Length: +/- 1542 m, Depth: -35 m
Spacious and easy cave. 4 different levels, the two lower ones
are active and some of the finest stream passages in Belgium can be seen
here. This river collects all (polluted) water from the "Chawresse-valley". The
upper levels are fossil and were once very decorated with helectites. Unfortunately,
not a lot of them are left anymore. There are still many massif
formations to be seen, but everything is blackened because of the
extensive use of carbid lamps...
So, after entering the cave, you'll progress for several hundreds of
meters in big passages (dimensions are never less than 5 by 5 m).
In Salle de la Cascade, you reach the river. Continue in the river until
you can climb up to the upper fossil levels (it is recommend to visit
these first... they are dry). Ten meters before the end of the upper
level, you can chimney up through
a vertical, constricted and wet slot! This is the way to the "Réseau
Lemaire". The small deep blue lake is beautiful and the big active "gour"
pools are still worth seeing.
On the way back, you can (optionally) descend a 10 m pitch. At the
bottom you'll land in the river. You can follow the river upstream for
quite a distance; it ends with a sump. Some low/wet passages make it a
fun trip. Return to Salle de la Cascade following the river downstream
again. After Salle de la Cascade, back in the fossil level again,
several holes in the floor offer another access to the active level. But
here the river flows in a narrow rift and there are several "ducks" to
Probably the most visited cave in
the country, and essentially used for guiding youngsters around.
No ropes are needed, unless you want to go down the 10 m pitch that
connects the upper level with the river. Take a 20 m rope so you can
pull it through. A steel chain is present.
Better avoid this over-popular cave during the weekends!
here to see the survey