It may not be Transylvania, but that isn’t stopping Bracken Cave from hosting the world’s largest bat colony!
This rocky cave near San Antonio, Texas is home to more than 15 million Mexican free-tailed bats. Once wild land, Bracken Cave was purchased by Bat Conservation International in 1991 to prevent urbanization threatening to take over the area. The organization now owns nearly 1,500 acres of land around the cave, ensuring a safe habitat for these tiny winged mammals.
Each year, expecting bat mothers return from wintering in Mexico to give birth in the safety of Bracken Cave. When the pups are born in late June, Bracken Cave’s bat population nearly doubles in size. In fact, it’s estimated that there are 500 bats per square foot gathered on the cave walls during this period.
While the mothers go out hunting, the infants are left in a nursery-type setting. Amazingly, each bat mother is able to locate her child among the millions of others using her incredible sense of hearing.
Visiting Bracken Cave
To protect the bats, visits to Bracken Cave are available only to members of Bat Conservation International. Membership costs $45 for an individual to bring a group of up to four people (including the member), while $60 and up memberships allow up to six people per group.
For those lucky members, they can visit once per season between May and September, with the best months being July and August. These visits include a 2-3 hour guided tour with amazing views of the bats exiting the cave at sunset.
Special member tours are also offered, including Camp Overs and Morning Return tours.
Where to Stay
Bracken Cave is a perfect attraction to visit during your San Antonio vacation. We have three convenient Sun RV resort locations to choose from that are within close driving distance of Bracken Cave.
First up is Blazing Star RV Resort, where modern amenities meet quiet countryside. Cool off in the lagoon pool and let kids run and climb on the playground. Other amenities include a fitness center, game room, camp store, and a peak season shuttle to SeaWorld.
Just three miles from the Alamo is Traveler’s World RV Resort. Here you’ll find 160 full hookup RV sites, as well as a sparkling pool, hot tub, game room, and plenty of planned activities. Head downtown to enjoy hiking and biking trails, along with other local attractions like the Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk!
Finally, we have Hill Country Cottage & RV Resort, located north of San Antonio in scenic New Braunfels. Hill Country boasts a wide array of cottages for groups of any size. Amenities include a jumping pillow, indoor pools, and a spacious clubhouse for hosting reunions and rallies.
Pull out your itinerary and make time for the bats of Bracken Cave during your next Texas trip. Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook and Twitter!