The ancient rock art landscape preserved by Bushmans Kloof has been declared a South African National Heritage Site. The 7,000 hectare reserve in the Cederberg Mountains on South Africa’s western cape is an area of huge archaeological significance, and has now been awarded a Grade One accreditation – the highest level of designation alongside Robben Island, Union Building and other iconic national locations.
Set within 7,000 hectares of stunning flora and fauna, our wilderness haven is home to mystical rock formations, crystal-clear waterfalls and the world’s largest outdoor art gallery. With over 130 documented rock art sites dating back 10,000 years, this archaeological landscape has been pivotal in the reserve’s recognition as a National Heritage Site. This distinctive setting pays homage to the social, political, spiritual and economic history of the Stone Age hunter gatherers and Khoekhoe speaking pastoralists, who inhabited the region for the past 10,000 years.
At Bushmans Kloof, we are proud to offer Rock Art Excursions for guests looking to gain an insight into the rich and spiritual culture of the Bushmen who resided for years in the Cederberg Mountains. Our resident Rock Art Curator Londi Ndzima says: “It is an honour to be internationally recognised as a South African National Heritage Site. We are incredibly proud to have the most unique access to the lives of the San people who are believed to be the earliest inhabitants of the country. Because there are no written accounts of their lives we look to these paintings as a window to this inspiring era. We take the responsibility of care for ancestral heritage very seriously.”
Our guests also have access to the exquisite bushman paintings and on-site Heritage Centre, which includes permanent exhibits, photographs and specialist talks, and features an extraordinary collection of artefacts established by the late anthropologist Jalmar Rudner, who dedicates much of his work to South Africa. The collection includes jewellery, dancing sticks, hunting kits, musical instruments and digging sticks.