Kamberg Nature Reserve Rock Art

Diverse Rock Paintings

©Roger de la Harpe
San rock art at the Game Pass Shelter in Kamberg Nature Reserve.
©Roger de la Harpe
The Kamberg Rock Art Centre in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg region, KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg region is rich in rock art left behind by the San people. These exquisite rock paintings tell stories of yesteryear and teach us more about the mythology, rituals and beliefs of the San. The rock art at Kamberg Nature Reserve is possibly one of the best examples in South Africa. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity, representing the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in the region.

There are several rock art sites in the reserve, but the one of the main sites worth visiting for the variety and quality of the paintings is Game Pass Shelter. Start off at the Kamberg Rock Art Centre where a spectacular DVD presentation will give you some valuable information before you set off on a guided hike to the Game Pass Shelter, commonly referred to as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ of Southern African rock art, for it was here that archaeologists first ‘cracked the San code’.

The trail to the Game Pass Shelter is about a two-and-a-half hours guided walk, via the spiritually moving Waterfall Shelter. The guides are really clued-up and the walk itself is nice, though maybe a bit close to the edge at one point if you suffer from vertigo. The sheer number of paintings is impressive, mostly deep red in colour and with clean, modern lines. The paintings depict shamans, animals (mostly eland), hunters and even women. Just outside the shelter there are some fossilised dinosaur footprints.