West Coast Rock Art Route


The San (Bushman) rock paintings in the Cederberg, Nardouwsberg, Koue Bokkeveld and Olifants River Valley north of Cape Town are amongst the most accessible in South Africa. There are about 3 000 shallow caves or rock shelters with paintings in the region between South Africa’s West Coast and the mountains east of the Cederberg. The sites on this route together have about 25 rock shelters with hundreds of individual paintings.

Some paintings are within two hours’ drive of Cape Town, but many of the better preserved examples need three to four hours’ drive and an hour or more of hiking. The Cederberg area is rugged and good hiking boots are recommended if you intend visiting places off the beaten track. The best times of year are in the spring and autumn. It is worth taking time to examine the paintings in detail. The longer you look, the more you will see and understand. 

The places included on this route offer a variety of options. Some are open to self-guided day visitors, others only with a guide, and others only if you overnight on the property. Some are free of charge and others require a fee. In all cases it is recommended that you contact the property owner first to obtain directions and relevant information, and to ensure that you will not be disappointed. 

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