We offer a range of rock art excursions to gain insight into the deep and rich spiritual culture of the Bushman who lived for millennia here in the Cederberg Mountains. These tours are available daily, the most popular of which is our early morning tour that will have you on a glorious drive and a short hike to some of the most outstanding rock art sites in existence.
The heady fragrance of fynbos is intoxicating as you follow in the footsteps of mankind’s oldest culture. A walking guide will enlighten you with insights about the images on rocky overhangs, many dating back over 10 000 years. Enjoy a delicious bush breakfast and hear the folklore of an ancient spirit world.
This is an astonishing opportunity to connect with the ancient messages in the rock, a living portrayal of stone-age culture, and of our own origins in Africa. The Bushman used natural pigments such as ochre, animal blood and plant juices to make their paintings. While some colours have been lost over time, numerous clearly discernible pictographs have survived to serve as cultural markers, revealing shamanistic visions, tribal dances, and other spiritual rites.
One of the more important sites is Bleeding Nose Shelter, where the paintings stand out in chiaroscuro against white Sandstone. This was probably a ceremonial site, and subjects include eland, small antelope, and rare paintings of birds. A variety of human figures are depicted standing, dancing and shooting with bows. This site takes its name from a painting of a man in the shamanistic ‘trance’ state, with blood pouring from his nose, joined to his companions by mystical lines of power. The massive slab that gives Fallen Rock Shelter its name is dramatic in its own right, but it also houses one of the largest and most well preserved collections of images known in the entire Pakhuis region. It is thought to have been a dwelling site, due to deposits of ash, sand and grass left behind by Bushman occupants. It shelters the largest painting of a Bushman cave-dwelling group known in the Western Cape.
Sonya’s Cave holds series of ledges filled with tall, elongated, male figures painted red. Nearby, figures in black depict giraffes and antelope.