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Leliekloof - Valley of Art
2 Aug 2015
 
     

The Leliekloof system of rock art sites lies 6km due west of Jamestown in the Eastern Cape. It is situated in a gorge that winds its way in sweeping curves through the landscape of the Stormberg Mountains. In the 1930’s Walter Battiss, the father of South African Impressionism and an artist deeply concerned with grounding his work in the texture and landscape of southern Africa, called Leliekloof the “Valley of Art”, and for good reason. There is a rich variation in subject matter, animals, styles and symbolism in the different shelters. Access to the sites is from the farm Leliekloof...

(GPS coordinates: -31.128273, 26.717892)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/leliekloof-valley-art

Papkuilsfontein
28 Jul 2015
 
     

Papkuilsfontein is situated just outside the small town of Nieuwoudtville. The area is one of the popular centres for viewing the wild flowers of the Karoo when they are in bloom between August and October. The farm is also close to Oorlogskloof, a spectacular gorge in the Bokkeveldsberg, so named because of a war that took place in 1739 over water rights and stock theft. One of the astonishing sites of the gorge is a waterfall that falls 200 metres from the top of the gorge. There are numerous rock art sites in the gorge and on the Papkuilsfontein farm. Some of the best examples of repainted images can be seen in this area...

(GPS coordinates: -31.558215, 19.18276)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/papkuilsfontein

Main Caves
6 Jul 2015
 
     

Main Caves, in the Giant’s Castle Nature Reserve, is an ideal place for one-day visits from Pietermaritzburg for tour groups and families. It is in an area that is steeped in South African history. It was close to Main Caves that the Hlubi leader, Langalibalele, made a bid for Lesotho just over the high mountains to escape the authority of the Colonial Government in 1873. A magistrate, Joseph Millerd Orpen, was sent from the Eastern Cape in pursuit of Langalibalele to try to convince him to return to his lands and submit to Colonial authority. A young San man called Qing accompanied Orpen as a guide. On their journey they visited rock art sites in present-day Lesotho and Orpen recorded Qing’s comments on the paintings that they saw. Today, the Orpen material provides invaluable insights into the meanings of San rock art...

(GPS coordinates: -29.280742, 29.515478)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/main-caves

Burgersdorp Museum Complex
9 Apr 2015
 
     

Rich in historical buildings, Burgersdorp has 10 national monuments located in one museum complex. The main building is the old, Victorian-style Reformed Church Parsonage.  Once the home of the founder of the Reformed Church in South Africa, Prof Dirk Postma, its displays include the replica of a kitchen of the times, weapons and clothing collections.  Situated behind it is the modest old Reform Church Theological Seminary, where this religious movement came into being in the late 1860s...

(GPS coordinates: -30.992231, 26.33189)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/burgersdorp-museum-complex

Craigmore
18 Jan 2015
 
     

Craigmore

The hiking trail in the picturesque Prentjiesberg, just outside Ugie, leads one through one of the last landscapes where the San roamed free and painted. The trail is only open in the wet season, which is in summer, when there is no fire hazard. To see the art, it is necessary to head off the beaten path from time to time. The effort is certainly worth it. While there are smaller sites to be discovered, Craigmore is the most easily accessible and also contains some of the best preserved imagery. It is accessible from the nearby dirt road if you have a 4x4. Not surprisingly, Craigmore has many paintings of eland. The most intriguing images at Craigmore are of a wagon being drawn by oxen, around which are painted Europeans firing weapons...

(GPS coordinates: -31.118732, 28.176962)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/craigmore

Buttermead
15 Dec 2014
 
     

Buttermead

The quaint town of Rhodes is situated in one of the most remote parts of South Africa. There are many rock art sites close to the town, some of which are open to the public. Buttermead is one of these sites. It is an ideal ‘quick and easy’ public rock art site that allows visitors to gain an appreciation of the rock paintings of the area without too much effort. The site is on private farm land and it is important to get permission to visit by calling in advance to arrange a supervised viewing…

(GPS coordinates: -30.811481, 27.912912)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/buttermead

Driekops Eiland
31 Oct 2014
 
     

Driekops Eiland

This remarkable site is situated on a glaciated pavement on the Riet River in Kimberley. Such pavements, planed by ancient ice sheets, are rare in South Africa. Ones with rock engravings such as these are even scarcer. The effects of glaciation date back hundreds of millions of years to a time when southern Africa was closer to the south pole and conditions were cold enough to produce glaciers that have left their mark on parts of the region’s geology. The engravings are far more recent, believed to have been made some time in the last 2,000 years. At Driekops Eiland the engraved images are on stone islands in the river...

(GPS coordinates: -28.749775, 24.780175)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/driekops-eiland

Wildebeestkuil
20 Oct 2014
 
     

Wildebeestkuil

Wildebeestkuil in Kimberley is a wonderful example of the rock engraving tradition found throughout the Karoo areas of the country, most notably in the Western Cape. A visitor centre was opened at the site in 2001, which is operated by San people living on the farm. The site is an easy walk from the visitor centre but a lack of shade requires you to take some form ofprotection from the harsh sun and to make sure that you stay hydrated. Guides are available and the visitor centre provides audio tours that have multiple levels of information...

(GPS coordinates: -28.66723, 24.650412)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/wildebeestkuil

Storm Shelter
23 Sep 2014
 
     

Storm Shelter

Southern Africa has been called ‘the richest storehouse of prehistoric mural art in the world’. Storm Shelter, 44km from Maclear, is a site discovered by researchers in 1992 and published by National Geographic Magazine in 2001. There are some 236 visible images at the site, many of which are well preserved. This is due to a large rock that fell from the roof preventing livestock from getting too close to the art and damaging it by rubbing. A visit to this site takes one through some of the remote and most spectacular parts of the Drakensberg. It is a long and steep hike that is not for the unfit or faint-hearted. The site can only be visited with a guide...

(GPS coordinates: -30.910114, 28.146527)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/storm-shelter

Keurfontein
16 Aug 2014
 
     

Keurfontein

This site is typical of those throughout the Northern Cape province. The engraved images are found on low ridges of black dolerite rock that are ideal for engraving. At Keurfontein the scratched technique of engraving can be seen in abundance. In comparison to pecking and incising, the scratching technique does not produce finely detailed images. Both pecked and incised images are found at the site; this is a good place to compare all three. It is also one of the very rare sites where a ‘rock gong’ can be seen. Although well off the beaten path - it requires staying over in Vosburg or Britstown - this site will appeal to those with an adventurous spirit...

(GPS coordinates: -30.620639, 22.93739)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/keurfontein

Traveller's Rest
1 Aug 2014
 
     

Traveller's Rest

Traveller’s Rest comprises two farms with rock art sites open to the public – Sevilla and Salmanslaagte. Rather than being guided to the sites you can walk at your leisure on any of a number of marked rock art trails. It is the ideal place for a weekend or overnight stay and the art is breathtaking. A guidebook on the trail at Sevilla by Peter Slingsby is available at Traveller’s Rest. You can also pick up a pamphlet with a shorter description of the art on the Sevilla trail...

(GPS coordinates: -32.070556, 19.075717)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/traveller’s-rest

Battle Cave
28 Jul 2014
 
     

Battle Cave

Battle Cave is named for a famous fight scene that it depicts. It is one of the few places where the public can see such a painting in South Africa. Elements of this painting suggest that it was not a ‘real’ fight. The site is located in the Ukuhlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Park and is approached from the Injisuthi Camp, operated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. To visit the site a long but easy walk on a path is required. The site is ideal for those who do not want an arduous journey to see rock art but who also do not wish to be jostled among a mass of tourists. Walking through the emerald-green grass of the Drakensberg insummer with spectacular views of the spine of the escarpment is one of the great pleasures the country has to offer travellers...

(GPS coordinates: -29.156673, 29.415839)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/battle-cave

Martindell
23 Jul 2014
 
     

Martindell

Martindell has a number of interesting and well preserved paintings, including rare depictions of dogs. It is situated in the picturesque Martin’s Hoek Valley, a 15-minute drive from Rhodes. Similarly to nearby Buttermeade, there is a painting of a bird in close association with a dying eland. The site is fenced and there is no charge for visitors. It is easy to visit this site if you are staying over at Rhodes, which is a delightful town with excellent fly-fishing...

(GPS coordinates: -30.817549, 27.866674)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/martindell

Game Pass Shelter
21 Jul 2014
 
     

Game Pass Shelter

One of the best preserved sites in southern Africa, Game Pass Shelter is situated in the Kwazulu-Natal Nature Conservation reserve at Kamberg. It has become one of the most famous rock art sites in the world because of a cluster of images at the site that have been called the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of southern African San rock art. In the late 1970s and early 1980s these images allowed researchers to interpret something of the code of San rock art. Today the site has a visitor centre with a coffee shop. Guides, which are compulsory, can be booked here for the long hike up to see the site...

(GPS coordinates: -29.385354, 29.66922)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/game-pass-shelter

Kamberg Rock Art Centre
13 May 2014
 
     

Kamberg Rock Art Centre

Located in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Pass – a World Heritage Site – is the Game Pass Shelter. This is home to some of the best San rock art in the country, and marks the spot where Europeans viewed these paintings for the first time. A walk through the park exposes the beautiful route home these people took from the caves. Lovely flora and fauna are visible and the walk even takes visitors behind a waterfall. The Kamberg Rock Art Centre puts everything that visitors see on-site into perspective...

(GPS coordinates: -29.3878, 29.6669)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/rock-art/kamberg-rock-art-centre

Mountain Pastures Game Reserve
10 May 2014
 
     

Mountain Pastures Game Reserve

Mountain Pastures is situated near Uniondale, just over 80 kilometres from Knysna. Very little was known about the rock art of this region until the late 1990s. However, through the hard work of local farmers and researchers, over 50 sites have been discovered in the area. Nestled in the Cape Folded mountains and covered in dense fynbos vegetation, Mountain Pastures is in a picturesque but seldom visited part of South Africa. There are some excellent drives here - through the Prince Alfred’s Pass ,for example. A visit to Mountain Pastures is sure to cater for a wide range of travellers, not just those interested in rock art...

(GPS coordinates: -33.691451, 23.252826)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/mountain-pastures-game-reserve

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