Game Pass I

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This site, one of the best preserved in southern Africa, is situated in the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation reserve at Kamberg. It was first brought to the world's attention in 1915 when a photograph of the main panel was published in Scientific American.

It has become one of the most famous rock art sites in the world because of a cluster of images at the site that have been referred to as the 'Rosetta Stone' of southern African rock art. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, these images allowed researchers to interpret something of the mystery of San rock art.

The Art

Even before one reaches the gate to the Game Pass site, the strikingly clear images can be seen from lower down the mountainside. Once through the gate, the panel immediately before you is breathtaking in its clarity.

Here eland, many of them shaded polychromes, have been superimposed over elongated kaross-clad figures. Above these is a row of running figures, their legs unnaturally stretched out as if they are in full sprint. This posture is sometimes called 'run-run', and some of these figures have infibulated penises.

The panel is notable for its well preserved beauty; in some cases, the brush marks of the artist are still visible. Interestingly enough, where cases of superimpositioning occur in the rock art, very few figures are painted over eland. Instead, eland are more commonly painted over other figures as is the case here.

This suggests that the artists may have had rules that governed superimpositioning, though these rules and their significance are not yet well understood. There are many more figures at this site, scattered about here and there on the rock surface, and worth a close look.

The famous 'Rosetta Stone', a panel that is some fifteen or more meters to the left of the panel with the strikingly well preserved eland. The importance of this panel to southern African rock art research cannot be overestimated. In this painting, a key to a great deal of the code of  the San rock art is to be found. The panel principally comprises of an eland in white and reddish ochre, and three light red therianthropes.

To visit the site, visitors will need to pay a fee to get into the park first, which will be R28 p/p and R15 for children. The trail to Game Pass Shelter is a two-and-a-half, to three hour guided walk, via the spiritually moving Waterfall Shelter.Visitors have to book their tours with the interpretative Centre at Kamberg between 9 am and mid day. Before the journey to the site can begin, visitors have a choice to watch a DVD  presentation at the state of the art interpretative Centre at Kamberg for R20 or start their journey to the site, which will cost R30 p/p.

For accommodation in the area please visit the following sites:

Kamberg KZN wildlife resort

White Mountain

Antbear Guest house

Engeleni Lodge

Glengarry lodge


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