The surface landscape in the Nakanai Mountains is full of very dense forest, which made travel on foot slow-going. You literally can’t see the wood for the trees. We worked closely with the locals, who know the forest well, and they took us to a number of caves. Here you see the entrance to the vast Kavakuna cave and the route to it through the rainforest and into the doline. In the doline, we travelled past two huge waterfalls; the thundering sound of the water crashed out from the upstream cave and then sank back underground, carving out the continuing cave route beyond the doline.
Kavakuna was originally explored by a Swiss team in 1979. We knew of its grandeur and wanted to see it, so we spent two days trekking from the coast to visit it. I was ill prepared and didn’t have a sealable bivvi bag for the evenings. I remember well the feeling of being eaten alive by what seemed like every tiny little creature in the rainforest.