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The Heritage Centre

The Heritage Centre at Bushmans Kloof provides an opportunity to gain wonderful insight into the distinctive and fascinating history of the Bushman in the Cederberg wilderness area. South Africa’s rich heritage is a great source of pleasure for our guests, who may enjoy the permanent exhibits, photographs, specialist talks and nearby medicinal herb garden.

The centre houses a collection of artefacts established by the late anthropologist, Jalmar Rudner, and includes jewellery, hunting equipment, dancing sticks, musical instruments and magical paraphernalia. Photographic portraits depicting Bushman culture and customs are accompanied by informative texts. Guests are welcome to participate in enlightening discussions about rock art, bushman histories, the ley lines of the reserve and social commitment projects.

Adjacent to the centre is a superb medicinal herb garden, where guests can learn about a host of botanical remedies used by Bushman and Khoi people in the area.

The Heritage Centre brings a deep appreciation of many fascinating aspects of the reserve, the Cederberg area and its history.

The Heritage Centre and Bushmans Artefacts (Rudner Collection) at Bushmans Kloof

The Rudner Collection

This extraordinary collection encompasses a range of cultural artefacts of the Bushman. In 2003 the collection was acquired by the Tollman family for Bushmans Kloof, and is exhibited in the Heritage Centre.

Jalmar Rudner and his wife, Ione, were passionate recorders and collectors of San rock art and history, undertaking some fifty field trips in the 1950s and 60s. These expeditions took them across Southern Africa, as far north as Angola and Zimbabwe, where they would trace ancient images on rocky overhangs at hundreds of sites, and work them into life-size watercolours on their return.

Though born in Sweden, Rudner was passionate about South African heritage, and was appointed honorary archaeologist at the South African Museum in 1956. He was instrumental in establishing the Rock Art Recording Centre at the museum to coordinate the preservation of these national treasures.

The Heritage Centre and Bushmans Artefacts (Rudner Collection) at Bushmans Kloof

The Rudners’ life’s work culminated in the publication of their book "The Hunter and His Art; a Survey of Rock Art in Southern Africa". Published in 1970 this seminal volume was one of the first comprehensive studies on the subject.

The Rudners sourced artefacts during their pioneering fieldwork, as well as by acquiring smaller collections from various Christian missions in Cape Town during the 1950s.

Now, deep in the heart of the Cederberg wilderness area, this beloved treasury has finally found a fitting home at Bushmans Kloof.