Soaf Omar

Sof Omar is one of the most spectacular and extensive underground cave system in the world. Formed by the Weib River, as it changed its course in the distant past and carved out a new channel (a network of about 16 Kms ) through limestone foothills, the Sof Omar system is an extraordinary natural phenomenon of breathtaking beauty.

The Cave which is now an important Islamic Shrine, was named after Shekh Sof Omar, who took refuge here many centuries ago. The cave has a religious history that predates the arrival of the Muslims in Bale .
The cave network is divided in to three major sections.The upper section has large galleries adjoining the river to the left and right side .The central section of the caves goes about a distance of approximately 250 meters after which the river winds around to the right. At the bend is the Great Dome, which reaches a height of several meters in parts.
After this land mark is the beginning of the middle section . It has passages running off mainly on the left-hand side.Two large passages (old river beds) run parallel to the river rejoining the river at the impressive central hall called Chamber of Columns.The high arched roof of this chamber is supported by over 20 massive pillars and the pedestals of the pillars are encircled by the river.
A network of passages leads to other caves after which is the Shakehole-Collapse.This collapse is an area where a large sink has formed to the left of the river.There are rapids at this juncture.
In the Lower section ,to the left of the river, is an area called the Hulluqa, a labyrinth of caves leading eventually to the exist.And to the right of the river is the Claphem Series, large passages and halls named after the person who explored the cave in the 1960s - Kris Claphem.


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