This specialist guided day trip takes you from Cape Town to the magical Cederberg mountains – a wilderness conservancy around three hours’ drive from the city.
Here we will walk an easy 5km trail to view a series of later stone-age San rock art (sometimes also referred to as cave paintings. This archaeological site is one of the best open-air galleries of San rock art accessible from Cape Town.
The San people were the original hunter-gatherer nomads who inhabited southern Africa for tens of thousands of years.
On the trail you will see several sites with their intriguing rock paintings, some of which date back more than 7000 years before present. Seeing the paintings in situ - in their original wilderness setting - is a unique experience.
You will learn about the art and San people - and how they painted, what they painted and why they painted.
This wild, mountainous landscape is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed for its astoundingly rich floral biodiversity.
This is an art, archaeology, cultural history
and wilderness experience rolled into one.
We leave Cape Town around 6am in the summer and 7am in the winter and drive for 3 hours through rich farmland, open landscape and mountain passes to reach the head of the rock art trail in the Cederberg. The 5km walk is about 3 hours as we stop at several rock painting sites en route. After the walk we'll have lunch (optional extra) at the local farm store and then drive back to the city. You'll be back at your accommodation in Cape Town before sunset.
What to bring on the rock art exploration day tour?
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Rock Art Day Trip on
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Rates vary depending on number of days, number of people and type of accommodation.
Simply send an email if you want to know more.
The private, guided, multi-day trips are custom designed 2, 3 or 4-day trips.
They take you deeper into the Cederberg mountains to explore more rock art sites and experience more of the magical Cederberg mountains.
Several of these archaeological sites are seldom seen by anyone because they are on private land and closed to the public. I can arrange access to some of these sites, which are outstanding because of their unique art and their beautiful setting in the landscape.
To reach some of these sites requires a short hike, a bit of rock scrambling and bushwhacking.
Accommodation is in fully equipped farmhouses and food is catered to your preferences, usually with an evening braai (BBQ).
Some guests of Cape Town Outside
Wow!! The San Rock Art tour was *the* best part of our six week holiday in South Africa. Our tour guide, Callan, was knowledgeable, patient, considerate and generous with his knowledge about the history of the art, the area, and the people of the land. Over three days, we visited 15 rock art galleries, the South African San Cultural Museum, two amazing guest houses, and enjoyed a barbeque, brilliant night skies, and some lovely drives through the landscape. All of it was stunning and a trip very much worth taking.
Emmanuelle and family,
We are back home in France but we will never forget our stay with you which was magical both in the landscapes, in the paintings, in the campsite, the hike, the BBQ and the restaurant on Valentine’s Day. I could write hours on these two unforgettable days .... The trip is suitable for all ages ... children, as well as the grandmother and the parents ....
A BIG THANK YOU ...
A wonderful two-day adventure. The rock art was extensive and beautiful, and the terrain, rock formations, caves and overhangs were equally stunning. Callan was great and was an expert guide, and enjoyable to travel with, generous in sharing his extensive knowledge about the art, plants, history and geology. (And also the stars -- I learned how to distinguish between the Southern Cross and a somewhat look-alike.) Everything was provided, and Callan had thought of every detail, from providing a walking stick, to TP for the camp, spices and napkins for our tasty roasted chicken and vegetable dinner (he was also a great cook), flashlights for the tents, and more. It was great having the two days. Highly recommend the experience.
Waouh! Such a great day! Definitely the highlight of my trip in Cape Town. Discovering these rock paintings was wonderful and it felt like a real adventure. Callan seems to know everything about rock paintings. He's passionate and shares his passion and all his knowledge. He's also a very nice and interesting guy and good company.
Brno, Czech Republic
I chose the day trip to see San Rock Painting, because I wanted to have some out of Cape Town experience away from the main attractions, to see some of the countryside and spend the day in nature, plus of course I wanted to see these thousands-of-years-old paintings. Callan was great guide, knew so much about the history and the place. He showed me also books, pointed out interesting things in the nature. The walk was very nice, open wild landscape with all these orange rocks and wild flowers. Callan was very nice to be with, very friendly, we had great conversations. On the way we stopped at the farms for fruits, refreshment and lunch. I also appreciated to see these places. I had a wonderful day. I would strongly recommend this trip to anyone who is looking for a more authentic experience!
Southampton, United Kingdom
This was a really special day! Beautiful drive with stunning views, stopping wherever for photos, sampling citrus farms and finally taking the walking trail through the wilderness full of flowers to see a real selection of beautiful San rock art — and we even spotted a group of eland! Callan was really great, we learned so much about the area, plants, rock art and history of South Africa, and he provided lunch, drinks and traditional snacks. We had a great day and would fully recommend this experience!
now Cape Town, South Africa
The rock paintings in the Cederberg are not on the tourist's bucket list when they come to Cape Town. If you are looking for a truly unique experience, you should see the paintings! This tour is absolutely amazing and Callan is the perfect guide. After a three hours’ drive we arrived in the Cederberg area and walked to the rocks and caves. It did not take long when we saw the first paintings and there was much more than I’d expected! Callan knows so much about their history, it was more than interesting learning from him. Callan is very polite, drives safely and is a very good company. I definitively recommend booking this tour even for women traveling alone. I was by myself and never felt uncomfortable. Again, thank you Callan for this unforgettable day!
I had a wonderful trip to the San Rock painting with Callan. He is a really nice guy and good company. He is very enthusiastic and he has a great knowledge about the paintings. I've been to Cape Town several times and this is definitely one of my best experiences :-)
In the images below - Slide the bar to reveal Before and After
These ancient images of San rock art that have faded with time can be brought back to life with new digital technology.
The tech is called dStretch and was originally developed by the US-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory and used by NASA to enhance Mars Rover images.
It is now proving very useful for rock art / cave painting researchers to enhance digital images of very faded paint and bring to life again these ancient painted images some of which are now almost invisible to the naked eye.