The capacity of the giant Novy Afon karst cave system is 3 million cubic meters, and it is in itself a complicated set of labyrinths. It was discovered by a Novy Afon artist, Givi Smyr. He was the first person to take the risk of going down into the crevice that the locals stayed away from for decades.
The cave was open for tourists in 1975. The trail inside is about 2 kilometers long and passes through 6 giant halls lavishly decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. The temperature inside the cave system never goes above or below 11 degrees Centigrade.
It's the lowest hall of the Afon Cave. Length - 150 m, depth - 50 m, height - more than 20 m. There are two underground lakes here- Anatolia and Blue Lake. Mirror of Lakes lies at around 36 m above sea level, their average depth is more than 25 m. Some time the water level in lakes got up and the water flooded a large part of the hall. You can see traces of those floods - dark brown horizontal stripes- on the surface of the lake almost to the ceiling. Now the Cave waters exits through the drain tunnel in the Manikvara River gorge.
Hall of Makhadzhirs
The largest hall of Afon Cave is named in honor of makhadzhirs - the Abkhazians, who were forcibly resettled in Turkey and the Middle East. Among the conglomeration of dark rocks of cave stands the White Mountain. White columns of stalagmites arise near the mountain and a little farther there is a dark depression with yellow fangs of limestone boulders. Sometimes you can see here the cold and not quite clear lake.
This hall is covered by clay-bearing bed. At the lowest point in the hall, at around 36 m above sea level, is a "living" lake of the cave - it inhabited the colony of crustaceans. In the cracks of clay floor is found a beetle trehus, which has no eyes. On the south wall of the hall you can see the quaint shapes of the stones. Near the hall "Nartaa" is a Corallite gallery which walls are covered with corallites - a snow-white small balls.
Hall "Speleologists". Hall of Givi Smyr
Hall "Speleologists" is the highest hall of the Cave; its height is 97 m. Stone arch of hall is dappled with numerous tectonic fractures and oval holes. This is an uncovered with ancient landslides craters of karst wells, the so-called "organ pipes" - the lower part of the karst systems through which the cave receives water and air. In this hall live bats - comparatively low air moisture and moderate temperatures create a favorable conditions for them.
In the southern part of the hall "Speleologists" is a passage in the Hall of Givi Smyr, which is higher than other halls of the Cave. The floor of the hall is covered with frozen waves of cream-colored limestone. The most important decoration of the hall is a magnificent stone medusa.
The length of the hall from north to south is more than 100 m. Lengthways the tawny walls along the full length stretch the black horizontal stripes - the pricks of the rock, filled with clay particles. These cracks in the limestone separate the ancient lower layer of the younger upper. But those and others were formed hundreds of millions years ago. The hall is decorated with hundreds of stalagmites from semi-transparent orange and red calcite.
This small hall has excellent acoustics - the location of projections and niches in the walls and ceiling create wonderful conditions for playing music. In the hall sounds the music, sometimes artists of Abkhazian State Choir give concerts, performing the Abkhazian folk songs.
Before entering the hall is situated the four-meter stalagmite, and in the room - an unusual cave "waterfall". With thirty-meter height of the holes in the high sheer wall "falls" a huge stark stone swell. On smooth surface of calcite "waves" streams water. This hall always has maximum air moisture.
Grotto is famed for astonishing beauty of the rare wandering forms. The wall is covered with sparkling white calcite, and its background towering orange, purple, green and yellow stalagmites. Patterned floor consists of many small trays with thin walls, called gurs.
The main wealth of the grotto - geliktits. It is still unclear why these mysterious cave formations grow in the side and upwards. Ceiling of the cave is covered with thousands of small geliktits of variety colors - from dark red to light pink. Some geliktits are over 10 cm in length. Excursions in Geliktits grotto are not conducted, because the presence of a person changes the temperature and humidity that can lead to loss of unique formations.