RESORT OF THE MONTH KAMBERG – HIDDEN JEWEL OF THE DRAKENSBERG FOOTHILLS

The 6 300 ha Kamberg Nature Reserve forms part of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (MDP) and was proclaimed in 1951. It is a particularly scenic protected area with a number of walks laid out that lead the visitor to some spectacular and fascinating points of interest. It is also rich in San rock art.

Kamberg is ideally placed for visitors who wish to access other sections of the MDP, although we would advise visitors to experience the charms of Kamberg before venturing further afield. It is also the location of the richly painted Game Pass Shelter that is widely acclaimed as the “Rosetta Stone” of San art, having provided clues to deciphering the meanings hidden in San rock-art throughout the MDP. Being rich in rock art, Kamberg also hosts the Kamberg Rock Art Centre, which has an audio-visual presentation on the San, as well as a series of displays explaining aspects of San culture.

The Kamberg Rock Art Centre

Accommodation at Kamberg is varied. All accommodation is fully equipped and is self-catering. There are five 2-bedded thatched chalets and one six-bed rustic cottage. There is a large communal lounge with DsTV. All units are serviced daily, and guests do their own cooking and washing up.
Kamberg offers a wide variety of activities including hiking, year-round trout fishing, picnicking, game spotting and superb birding. Only proper fly-fishing gear may be used when fishing. Fishing rods and permit are available at the resort reception office. Rods are available for hire at the resort office too. Visitors keen on fly-fishing are urged to bring their own favourite flies!

Chalets in the Kamberg Resort

Year-round fly-fishing is allowed on two dams

Ancient San rock art is a distinct feature at Kamberg, but visitors may only view the paintings if they are escorted by a qualified rock art guide who will escort them to view the paintings. Guides may be hired at the rock art centre. As with all internationally famous art galleries, there are strict rules the art connoisseur must observe in the presence of such masterpieces. These beautiful polychromatic paintings were created by the San people over a period of at least 8000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity representing the spiritual and daily life of the San people who no longer live in the region.

The Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site earned this status for a combination of two main aspects – outstanding scenic beauty and its superb collection of San rock art housed in over 600 caves and shelters containing approximately 40 000 images. To quote the UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription document: “The rock art of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park is the largest and most concentrated group of rock paintings in Africa south of the Sahara and is outstanding both in quality and diversity of subject. (First of four criteria listed in the Outstanding Universal Value of the park, as identified by Unesco)

Furthermore, the rock art of the MDP is rated as the best collection of its type in the world.

Richly coloured San rock art in a shelter high in the Kamberg Nature Reserve

Kamberg is ideally placed for visitors wishing to visit the many other access points in the Drakensberg

For more information on Kamberg Nature Reserve and Resort go to: http://www.kznwildlife.com/index.php/accomodation/resorts/kamberg

For a very detailed and informative description of the Maloti-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site go to: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/985 and also: http://www.africanworldheritagesites.org/cultural-places/rock-art-pre-history/maloti-drakensberg.html This site has a wonderful slide show of images from the MDP.

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