Khoisan Rock Art

Khoisan Rock Art

“Southern Africa probably has the richest legacy of Rock Art in the world. The Western Cape, particularly the mountainous regions from the Koue Bokkeveld, through the Cederberg to the Agter Pakhuis, may have more rock painting per square kilometre than anywhere else in Southern Africa" according to Peter Slingsby 1998.

Southern African rock art has been dated to be as old as 28 000 years, with the age of the Cederberg paintings ranging from 8 000 years to 100 or 200 years. The paintings most commonly depict animal scenes, and it is thought that particular animals such as eland, have important symbolic religious meanings. Paintings were made by the San as part of their religion and can thus not be interpreted literally.

Humans are also commonly depicted, often in procession, hunting or out gathering food. Other types of paintings show therianthropes (half-animal half-human figures) and entoptic shapes, probably of important religious meaning.

Rock art sites in the Cederberg Conservancy open to the public are Stadsaal, Truitjieskraal, Southern Arch and Varkkloof.

Further reading

  • Cederberg Rock Paintings – Follow the San by John Parkington, Krakadouw Trust, 2003 ISBN 0-620-31113-4
  • Some views on Rock paintings in the Cederberg by Janette Deacon, National Monuments Council, 1994 ISBN 1-875012-25-7

Accommodation

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Nuwerust Rest Camp

An unforgettable experience for outdoor and nature lovers! Nuwerust Rest Camp is situated in the Breekkrans river valley, surrounded by majestic southern Cederberg mountains.

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Cederberg Wilderness - Algeria & Kliphuis

The Cederberg is renowned for its spectacular landscapes and weathered sandstone rock formations, most notably the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross.

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Activities

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Overnight Hikes

The available huts on trails serve as shelters only and do not have beds. Hikers can sleep under the stars or in caves or carry a tent.

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Conservation projects

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SOB Data Collections

CapeNature launched its State of Biodiversity Programme to assess and monitor the state of biodiversity in the Western Cape in 1999.

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Biodiversity & Wine Initiative

The Biodiversity & Wine Initiative is a partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector.

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Cedar Restoration

The Cederberg Conservancy are the proud custodians of the Clanwilliam cedar tree (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis).

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Open Days & Awareness

The Cederberg Conservancy hosts an annual Open Day to raise awareness among the farming community and to promote conservation initiatives.

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About Cederberg Conservancy

  • The Cederberg Conservancy was constituted in 1997 as a voluntary agreement between landowners to manage the environment in a sustainable manner. It consolidates 22 properties in the central Cederberg as one of the core corridors of the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor and it is active through quarterly meetings and awareness days.

    Visitors to the area can engage in bird watching or easy hikes to the Stadsaal cave and Elephant rock art. For the more adventurous visitor the Conservancy offers Mountain bike trails or overnight hiking trials that vary from one to five nights, depending on your level of fitness and ability.