One of the biggest tourist attractions in belgium is in our region. The caves of Han.
The caves of Han consist of a group of underground caves in Han-sur-Lesse near Rochefort, situated on the Lesse en Famenne (Belgium), in the geological region called Calestienne.
It is the Lesse, a tributary of the Meuse, which is at the origin of these caves, by erosion of a part of the limestone hill. The river disappears beneath the ground for a distance of about 1,100 meters (as the crow flies), but the water takes 3 to 36 hours to cover this distance (depending on its flow).
With 17 kilometers of galleries discovered to date, the underground network of the cave of Han is the longest in Belgium.
In the cave, the temperature is rather low throughout the year (10-13 ° C) and there is also a high degree of humidity.
The general public can access the caves after purchasing a ticket at the Han Grotto. A course of about 2 km has been arranged and can be done on foot (+ – 1h45) under the aegis of a guide who comments. An audiovisual show shows the rooms and galleries not accessible to visitors and reserved for speleologists.
There are 508 ascending or descending steps and the cave has various « rooms. » At the end of the visit, visitors left the cave in a boat: the cave came out through the resurgence of the underground Lesse, Is located in Gouffre de Belvaux. Since April 2009, the part of the course on the water that was carried on board a boat has been replaced by a passage through footbridges, mainly for budgetary and security reasons (which is a shame).
The caves are not the only attraction, they are situated in « The Han Caves Estate » which contain too a a natural reserve of wild animals.
The site of the Massif de Boine and the Chavée, former abandoned valley of the Lesse, has been converted into an Animal Park of our countries.
On 250 hectares, the visitor discovers in « safari-car, twenty animal species.
The Domaine des Grottes de Han has owned the site for over a hundred years. In 1961, in order to preserve the site, conservation measures were taken. Canadian barriers, impassable by animals, allow vehicles to move freely between these areas.
The decision not to restrict wildlife to native species was taken and there was therefore reintroduction in the reserve of animals that once inhabited the temperate regions of western Europe. These species have become accustomed to the environment and reproduce normally. In addition to abundant flora, passengers observe wild boars, wolves, Przewalski horses, wild cats, ibex, roe deer, lynx, tarpans, deer, aurochs, donkeys, deer, sheep, bison, brown bears, Scotland or reindeer,…
Some animals are part of European programs for endangered species.