Kitum Cave, one of the most dangerous places on Earth

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

Kitum Cave

In addition, the cave is known for being a very difficult place to access and explore, which increases 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 one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

What is Kitum Cave and where is it located?

Kitum Cave is a cave located in Mount Elgon National Park, in eastern Kenya.

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

Every night for hundreds (possibly thousands) of years, animals have entered the cave in the dead of night to use it as a large salt lick. Buffaloes, antelopes, leopards, hyenas, and especially elephants, clumsily venture into the cave (elephants often bump their heads in the process), making their way to the salty walls of the cave. It is the elephants that have done the excavation.

Using their massive tusks, the elephants tear chunks from the walls to grind and lick the salt. Over the centuries, this has resulted in a noticeable increase in the size of the cave, as well as walls covered in tusk marks.

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

Why is Kitum Cave believed to be related to Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks?

Kitum Cave is thought to be home to various species of fruit bats, which can be carriers of the Ebola, Marburg, and other viruses.

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

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

Although the cave remains a popular tourist spot for adventurers, access to it has been restricted since the Ebola outbreak to prevent future transmissions of the virus.

In addition to its fame as a potential source of infectious disease outbreaks.

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