Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back

MMore than 400 ancient rock etchings await visitors at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre outside Kimberley, in the Northern Cape. Dating back as far as 1800 years, it is believed the engravings record the visions of Later Stone Age shamans as they went into states of trance.

If you've ever experienced the Northern Cape capital of Kimberley in mid-summer, you may have also been caught in a sudden, drenching Karoo thunderstorm. That's the way rain happens up here in the heartland, and out at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre you'll see the way in which the ancient shamans have been connecting with the rain spirits for millennia.

Did You Know?
SSouth Africa is a world-leader in rock art recording and research.

IIt is believed that some of the 400-odd rock engravings at the site were inspired by shamans accessing the spirit world through altered states of consciousness. In trance, they could heal disease, control wild animals and bring rain. The etchings are thought to be an expression of their visions.

WWildebeest Kuil, a farm lying between Kimberley and Barkly West (a 15 minutes' drive from Kimberley), has a long history of occupation recorded on the ancient rocks scattered about the area – from the older hairline engravings to the more recent pecked-out shapes and relatively modern drawings, it has become clear that the rock art history is rich, moving and meaningful here. Later Stone Age groups (ancestors of the San), the KhoiKhoi and various waves of colonists left their marks here too.

Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre, Northern Cape

AA qualified guide meets you at the interpretation centre after you watch a short introductory film. You then take the 800-metre walkway tour that weaves up and over a hill via a number of information boards. At the entrance is a well-stocked craft shop selling books on rock art and handicrafts made by the locals. A visit here can be a deeply moving experience and an informative one too.

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Around the area
Tours to do
Get around
What will it cost
Length of stay
What to pack
Where to stay
What to eat
Best buys

Related articles

The ‡Khomani Desert San – SA’s ninth World Heritage Site

Active adventure
The ‡Khomani Desert San – SA’s ninth World Heritage Site

The ‡Khomani San and their lands have been awarded the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ninth such site in South Africa.

Northern Cape

Active adventure
Northern Cape

Northern Cape

Get the catch of the day from rivers around Kimberley

Active adventure
Get the catch of the day from rivers around Kimberley

Experience good fly-fishing for yellowfish in the rivers around Kimberley.

From mountains to sand dunes, take an off-road adventure in the Northern Cape

Active adventure
From mountains to sand dunes, take an off-road adventure in the Northern Cape

Are you one of those adventurers who likes to tackle the road less travelled?

Trail running adventures the SA way

Active adventure
Trail running adventures the SA way

Trail running and Mountain Biking in South Africa is extremely popular, and a growing sport for many South Africans and visitors alike.

Paddle the Orange River

Active adventure
Paddle the Orange River

Splish splash down the Orange River on a canoe adventure

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2018 South African Tourism
| Terms and conditions | Disclaimer | Privacy policy