Famous Rock Art Galleries
Highest concentrations of rock art in the world...
Matobo Hills gained its World Heritage Status principally on the rich cultural diversity of this area. The Matobo Hills boasts one of the highest concentrations of rock art found anywhere in the world. This ancient Khoisan art can be viewed in the both the National Park and even within the immediate vicinity of Big Cave Camp. These famous rock art galleries can be visited on foot or by 4x4.
Nswatugi Cave: One of the more famous sites is Nswatugi Cave, which is normally combined with a trip to Rhodes Grave, World’s View which is a beautiful drive through the Recreational Park. View the hidden lady, who can only be seen when shadow is cast over the painting. The small museum at the car park is also very informative.
Bambata Cave: This very large cave combines fantastic rock art with a wonderful 4 km walk through the National park, with incredible views into the Whovi Game Park. The path first winds its way through the natural forest, and then you slowly gain altitude along a large granite ridge that leads up to the cave. Bambata cave was one of the first sites in Zimbabwe to be excavated , and revealed occupation deposits that date back 3000 years. The rock art is estimated at between 300 - 1500 years old, and is a combination of animal species and depictions of people in trance.
Inanke Cave: Inanke is the remotest of the famous rock art galleries, and pre-booking a tour to Inanke is essential , as this is a full days activity. Guests should also be decently fit, as it is a 7 km walk each way from the car park, with steep inclines and declines. The cave is on the eastern side of the Recreational park, and is also a 1.5 hour drive from camp. The walk is well worth the effort though, as the path is a combination of walking on granite along high ridges, as well as winding ones way through giant whale backs , while walking in superb natural forest. The paintings in my mind have to rate as some of the most incredible rock art on the planet. The paintings are amazing in both diversity and quality, and entering the cave for the first time is just mind blowing.
Tours to the nearby Ndebele Village and Whitewaters Secondary School provides an insight into the lives of the local people. The school in particular has been supported by guests of Big Cave Camp for many years. To date a library has been constructed and school fees, science equipment, desks, chairs, sporting goods and building materials have been donated. In times of real hardship a guaranteed meal has also been provided for all the school children. In addition a number of children have had their education sponsored by guests of Big Cave Camp.