The Han caves
The caves are part of an estate that includes an animal park and two museums, full of unusual experiences for visitors of all ages. The underground network of caves was formed by the River Lesse wearing away limestone rock over thousands of years. Its geological marvels can still take your breath away.
Unique in Belgium
The Han caves were formed around 500,000 years ago when the Lesse shifted from its river bed to penetrate the Boine limestone ridge. The river gradually wore away the stone, creating the caves, before nonchalantly resurfacing 2km away. The caves have been a tourist attraction since their discovery 250 years ago. Many of the early visitors were English and they wrote ecstatic accounts of the rock formations which seemed to them to be works of art. Many of today’s visitors would agree with them.
As much excitement as you can handle
There are several ways of visiting the caves. You can sit calmly on a narrow-gauge tramway that stops every now and then amid the supernatural decor for son-et-lumière shows, or you can strap on a helmet and a wetsuit and ropes to follow a 600m caving route along the river. To ensure the spectacle will be available for generations to come, the old incandescent lightbulbs were replaced with LEDs in 2018, both reducing energy consumption and introducing state-of-the-art lighting effects.
European wild animals at the Han Animal Park
On a 250-hectare landscaped site close to the caves, visitors can get close to a range of European wild animals, including bears, lynx, bison and wild boar, either on foot or from a tram. A visual feast for your camera, though selfies are not recommended with some of the animals! The park also offers a night sleeping with a bear (don’t worry, it’s completely safe) or the chance to join the park’s staff when they feed the animals.
The estate is also home to two museums: “PréhistoHan” with displays on the prehistoric humans who lived here and “Han 1900” which recreates the daily lives of the peasants who lived here at the turn of the twentieth century.
Amusement for the entire family
A UNESCO Geopark
UNESCO designated the estate as a Geopark that promotes and preserves is geological heritage. The Han Caves is the geological pearl of the Calestienne limestone plateau between the Fagnes and the Ardennes. Located south of Dinant, the Han Caves are a must-see for visitors to this region, and have a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide.