The Schaapplaats Bushman Paintings are situated approximately 8 km outside the town of Clarens in the Free State, South Africa.
At Schaaplaats Farm, one of South Africa’s 12 Rock Art National Monuments, visitors will find a large painted cave with 35 Bushman rock paintings. These paintings are estimated to be over 2 000 years old and include 8 paintings of therianthropes or part-human, part animal beings which represent Bushman Shamans utilizing the potency of certain animals while in an altered state of consciousness. Unfortunately barbed wire has had to be erected in front of the cave in order to protect the art, but before leaving the cave, go toward the far right corner and put your hand through the barbed wire – you will be able to touch a dinosaur footprint!
The hike to the caves is about 2.7 km and visitors are welcome to swim in the natural pools along the way and admire the scenery as you meander along the stream through a poplar grove.
A fee of R50 is charged and is used toward the upkeep of the trail and safeguarding of the Bushman Paintings.
Open daily during daylight hours. Please confirm you trip beforehand with Schaapplaats Farm.
Before venturing out for the day to the caves and paintings, please remember to contact Schaapplaats Farm to inform them that you are coming – the farm is a working stud farm and it is very important for gates to be locked and for everyone to know who is where on the farm.
Rainfall occurs mainly in the mid-summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels. Winter nights can drop below freezing.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 11˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -2˚C and 16˚C.
There are domestic and/or international flights into the Johannesburg, Durban or Bloemfontein Airports on a daily basis and car rental companies are available for easy access to Clarens. All three cities are approximately a three to four hour drive away.
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