I’m heading off tomorrow to Mnweni, between Royal Natal National Park and Cathedral Peak, to go hiking on the summits of the Berg for five days. The cold front has finally arrived here, and the temperatures have dropped dramatically. The warm winter weather has come to an end! I’m hoping for some dramatic skies for my photos at Mnweni.
Today we visited Kamberg’s special rock art site, called Game Pass Shelter. This is one of the Drakensberg’s most famous rock art sites, because it was here that rock art researcher David Lewis-Williams first confirmed his theory that Bushmen paintings are highly symbolic, and not just a depiction of everyday life. In fact, the paintings are considered religious in nature, or spiritual.
Among the many beautiful paintings at Game Pass Shelter (about an hour’s walk from the small camp of Kamberg), are two figures that stand out. There is a human-like figure holding the tail of a large eland antelope. And it is these paintings that represent the belief that Bushmen could harness the power of the eland, to heal sick people, or to predict where rain was going to fall, or to know where the animals were for hunting.
Sibusiso Zuma was our guide, and as the clouds rolled in from the coast, we headed up to see the paintings. Once again, it was a moving experience to be standing in a shelter where 4 000 years ago, a master Bushman painter used natural ingredients to adorn the sandstone walls.
See you in a week’s time, when I’m back down from the highs of Mnweni.
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Conservation partners BirdLife South Africa, Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, CapeNature, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Gorongosa National Park, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Parque Nacional do Limpopo, South African National Parks and Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.