Kitum Cave, one of the most dangerous places on Earth

Kitum Cave is a cave located in the Mount Elgon National Park in Kenya. It is known to be one of the most dangerous places on Earth due to the presence of deadly viruses and diseases that can affect humans and other animals.

Furthermore, the cave is known to be a very difficult place to access and explore, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries. The cave can also be dangerous due to the presence of wild animals such as elephants, buffaloes and leopards, which can be aggressive and attack visitors.

For these reasons, Kitum Cave is considered to be one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

What is Kitum Cave and where is it located?
Kitum Cave is a cave located in the Mount Elgon National Park, in eastern Kenya.

This cave is known for its natural beauty. The cave is located on Mount Elgon, an extinct shield volcano, and was formed as a result of the cooling of volcanic rock. It extends some 183 meters inside the mountain, it has walls rich in salt.

Every night for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years, animals have entered the cave in the middle of the night to use it as a large salting room. Buffaloes, antelopes, leopards, hyenas and especially elephants, clumsily make their way into the cave (elephants often hit their heads in the process), making their way towards the salty walls of the cave. It is the elephants that have done the digging.

Using their huge tusks, elephants tear chunks out of the walls to crush and lick up the salt. Over the centuries, this has resulted in a noticeable increase in the size of the cave, as well as walls covered in fang marks.

The journey into the depths of the cave is not without its dangers; there is a deep crevasse into which many younger and inexperienced elephants have fallen, leaving behind an elephant graveyard.

Why is Kitum Cave believed to be related to the Ebola outbreak and the Marburg virus?
Kitum Cave is believed to be home to several species of fruit bats, which may carry the Ebola virus, Marburg among others.

In 1980, a French engineer working in a sugar factory near the base of Mount Elgon in western Kenya decided to venture into Kitum Cave, a passage deep in the mountain’s volcanic rock that is sometimes visited by elephants looking for salt Unfortunately, the engineer’s visit to the cave resulted in his passing from the Marburg virus in a Nairobi hospital.

In 1987, during a family vacation, a Danish student scaled the mountain and explored the same cave, also finding death from infection with a closely related Marburg virus, now known as the Ravn virus. These events caught the attention of the expert Swanepoel in Johannesburg. In 1995, another outbreak occurred, but this time of Ebola in the city of Kikwit in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).