Our Bushman Paintings

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” Peter Slingsby 1998.

Banghoek is privileged to be part of this extraordinary heritage.  We had our paintings dated and verified in the 1990s to 3000 years ago, however, new research now indicates that the San could have been in the area much earlier.  There are several indications of the San in the valley – a natural place one would think given the wide slow riverbed – a drawcard for game – and the rocky ledges surrounding as look-out points.  One such is a rocky outcrop in the northwest area of Banghoek.

We have found stone chippings from tool making – we have left them as is – so thrilling to sit there amongst the chippings and imagine the same view as the San some 3000 years ago – a softly flowing wide river with teeming game.  Ostrich shells have also been found midway up the reserve in a dry shallow “cave”.  And nearer the farmhouse, we have a rocky overhang with the paintings you see displayed on this page.  Again, it is good to take a flask of coffee and sit there and see what a good vantage point it is overlooking the river valley.

We’re not quite sure of the meaning of our paintings; San art frequently reflects a belief system, and one cannot interpret them literally.  When visiting the site please do not touch the paintings or allow your children to do so.  Above all do not wet the paintings…!

Banghoek Private Nature Reserve