The San Bushmen were the original inhabitants of Southern Africa for many thousands of years. They were the creators of Africa's deep cultural past. Their only surviving monument to this achievement is their rock art, which is to be found in great variety in the Drakensberg.
They existed as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Their Shamanistic (medicine man) approach enabled them to survive in this harsh environment. They lived close to nature, were generous and hospitable, and killed only for their own survival.
With the arrival of both the Zulu and the European settlers, these small, innocent people were driven deep into the Drakensberg. As a result of disputes and cultural differences, they were partially exterminated and absorbed by the surrounding tribes.
Bushman or San Rock Art can be found in the sandstone shelters of the Southern Drakensberg (of which there are over 200 sites) and represent some of the finest in the world.
The Ikanti paintings, which are situated on a scenic walk not far from the Hotel, have been identified by the Natal Museum and Conservation Services as being of great cultural importance. They can be visited with an accredited guide. The nearby Cobham Nature Reserve has some of the best sites south of the Didima Valley and it is possible to hire a guide to visit a selection of them.
These Bushman Paintings are part of our national heritage – help us to preserve them.
Do not deface or chip pieces off the rock formations. In fact please do not even touch them. Under no circumstance should fires be lit in or near these natural shelters as smoke and soot can do irreversible damage to the paintings.