The Artist’s Journey

The Artist’s Journey

Discover the earliest forms of patterns and symbols

The greater Cederberg region is an area of exceptional natural beauty, offering many outdoor adventures from hiking (there are around 37 different routes to discover) to climbing. The area is also an important location in the Western Cape’s Cradle of Human Culture.

The Cederberg is dotted with rock art, but Truitjieskraal in the Matjiesrivier Reserve World Heritage Site east of the Cederberg Wilderness is arguably one of the most impressive sites, with rock paintings dating back thousands of years. The Truitjieskraal interpretive trail, with information boards providing insight into what exactly you’re seeing, takes you on a journey of discovery of the ancient San and Khoekhoe cultures.

Find out more about the lives of people who lived in the area thousands of years ago, how the landscape formed and changed, and how plants and animals fit in. You will need to obtain a permit from Algeria campsite office or nearby Dwarsrivier farm, home to Cederberg Cellars.

Take a side trip to the Cederberg Wilderness Area (you need another permit to enter) to see the beautifully executed 1 000-year-old ochre rock paintings of people and a group of elephants, before continuing to the reserve's Stadsaal (Afrikaans for “City Hall”) Cave.

1
Cape Town
84km to next stop

Cape Town’s story begins with the birth of Table Mountain 800-million years ago and the discovery of human footprints dating back 117 000 years. Today it’s a colourful and harmonious fusion of ethnic diversity and a city overflowing with opportunity.

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2
!Khwa ttu, Yzerfontein
53km to next stop

Join San demonstrating their skills and sharing their ancient knowledge about oral history, tracking animals and identifying plants at !Khwa ttu, a non-profit San culture and education centre.

Read more See map Yzerfontein
3
West Coast Fossil Park, Langebaan
95km to next stop

Map your route to the West Coast Fossil Park near Langebaan about 150km from Cape Town to see many well-preserved fossil remains of some of the animals that roamed the area about 5-million years ago.

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4
Elands Bay Cave, Elands Bay
23km to next stop

Ancient San paintings have been found in the Elands Bay Cave in the mountains a few kilometres from Elands Bay. Researchers believe people lived in the cave 4 400 to 3 000 years ago.

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5
Diepkloof Rock Shelter, Piketberg
81km to next stop

Though not open to the public, Diepkloof Rock Shelter near Piketberg is perhaps the most significant destination on The Artist’s Journey route. Here, researchers have discovered evidence of human occupation for nearly 85 000 years.

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6
Riel dancing and living culture
36km to next stop

Experience an authentic riel dance, a cultural expression of courtship rituals, animal antics and joyous jive moves practiced by descendants of San and Khoi people.

Read more See map Clanwilliam
7
Sevilla Rock Art Trail, Clanwilliam
71km to next stop

See some of the finest examples of San rock art in the region at nine sites along the Sevilla Rock Art Trail on Traveller’s Rest Farm, 34km from Clanwilliam.

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8
Truitjieskraal, Matjiesrivier Reserve
256km to next stop

The Cederberg is dotted with rock art, but Truitjieskraal in the Matjiesrivier Reserve World Heritage Site is arguably one of the most impressive sites, with rock paintings dating back thousands of years.

Read more See map Clanwilliam