Rock art spots

Rock art spots


Painted on the rocky outcrops and caves of South Africa are approximately 15000 known rock art sites. Experts say there might be twice as many of these in existence in South Africa, and are found in all manner of habitats – from the Highveld’s kopjes to the granite caves of the Eastern Cape. It’s incredible to think that the artworks we see today were the representation of the rich spiritual beliefs of the San people who painted them as long as three thousand years ago. Take a closer look at three of South Africa’s most intriguing rock art sites.

The Drakensberg

Main Caves in the Giant’s Castle Game Reserve

Undoubtedly the most famous of SA’s rock art sites, the Drakensberg hosts the greatest concentration of rock art in the country at some 600 sites which collectively showcase 35000 images. Although the paintings need to be viewed with the help of a guide, most of the sites are easily accessible and just a short walk through mountainous surrounds. The oldest painting here has been dated to about 2400 years ago.

Where to stay: Giant’s Castle Game Reserve

Kalkoenkrans

Rock art at Denorbin Caves

The caves of the Eastern Cape contain some of the most intriguing examples of Bushman art found anywhere in the world. Images of people with Eland-like features, like those found at Sephton Cave mystified experts for years. Similarly, incredibly detailed depictions of the eland led the Kalkoenkrans Rock Art site to be declared a National Monument and led scientists to a greater understanding of the spiritual life and purpose of art for the San people.

Where to stay: Mountain Zebra National Park

Driekopseiland

Engravings at Driekopseiland

A National Monument since 1944, the site has been the centre of much controversy and debate since more than 3500 unique, pecked geometric images engravings were discovered here. Scientists argue over the creators of these images, which differ significantly from the character of other Khoi/San paintings found around the country.

Where to stay: Mokala National Park

What’s your favourite spot for rock art in SA? Share it with us below!