Makgabeng Rock Art

Among other attractions, the Makgabeng Plateau is famed for its rock art. For many centuries, primitive humans have recorded their life experiences and religious beliefs, making use of sandstone and similar surfaces as a natural canvas on which to do so. In this particular corner of South Africa’s most northerly Limpopo province, not only are these early examples of art present in abundance, but the site is also unique in that it is the only one to feature the efforts of the three distinct cultures responsible for them in close proximity to one another.

A More Enjoyable Way to Experience Makgabeng Rock Art

It was the San and the Khoikhoi people that first adopted this practice in southern Africa, and the two closely related but rival cultures are jointly responsible for the bulk of the Makgabeng rock art that we can see today. Each displays a style that is quite distinct from the other, although their chosen themes tend to be similar. The works of both are also to be found in several of the country’s other provinces, particularly those that make up the Cape region. By contrast, the efforts of the Northern Sotho people, which are also of unique style, are exclusive to the plateau and are also of a far more recent origin than that of their now long-departed bushman predecessors.

Owing to the rugged nature of the terrain, many of the more fascinating features in the region, including much of the Makgabeng rock art, can only be reached easily with the aid of an off-road vehicle, as many of its paths are likely to prove impassable when driving the average family car. The area is also well supplied with camps for those who would like to enjoy an overnight stay and the chance to enjoy the unforgettable experience of both an African dawn and sunset.

For those who choose to visit the region and who are not fortunate enough to own a 4×4, there are fortunately other options open to them. Among the best and most popular of these is a well-appointed lodge that shares its name with the plateau and offers easy access to the Makgabeng rock art, as well as many of the region’s game trails. The nearby Blouberg Mountains offer their own delights. Here you can catch sight of the Cape vulture, giraffe and buffalo, as well as the elusive leopard. If so inclined, you could also take the opportunity to experience the traditional village life of the Hananwa people who inhabit the area and even have a lesson in pot making.

The rooms at our lodge offer a bathroom/shower, air conditioning, fridge, tea/coffee facilities, internet access and 8 DStv channels. You will have the choice of a traditional thatched chalet, a farmhouse suite or the special suite designed for honeymooners and executives. When not visiting the Makgabeng rock art, you are free to enjoy a meal in the Old Farmhouse restaurant and, depending upon the time of the year, guests can cool off in the pool or warm themselves before a roaring fire in the lounge.

In addition to the facilities of our lodge, we also cater for those who may want to get closer to nature. For them, there is the opportunity to spend a few nights under canvas at our Makgabeng rock art camp.