Battle Cave

The tour to Battle Cave is a guided hike. Book in advance through the Injisuthi Camp of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Central Drakenberg, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.   The telephone number for this camp is 036 431 9000. This cave is one of the few rock art sites in the Drakensberg that is open to the public.

Injisuthi Camp is particularly special as it is situated deep in the Drakensberg. It is also a remote area. You can’t even pick up a cell phone signal here!

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Battle Cave, with its wide sandstone overhang, is one of the best-preserved San rock art sites in southern Africa.  The distance to the cave is 5.7 km. The shelter is fenced and is not accessible without a guide.  The guide provides an interpretation of the famous rock art of this area.

Battle Cave
The principal fresco in Battle Cave

The most significant “fresco” shows two opposing groups. Firstly, women trying to restrain their menfolk from entering the fray, arrows flying in all directions. Secondly, wounded and dying warriors. Exquisite painting on the right top side shows a warrior in full stride, with his bow and arrow poised and a full quiver of arrows. It is far more detailed and delicate than others in the panel, so one wonders if it might represent a spiritual presence. Paintings in other caves often depict intricate abstract figurines, which are said to represent the spiritual facet of Bushman life and believed to be painted by shamans when they came out of painful trances.

Injasuthi renowned for its spectacular hikes. One of the most popular being “Marble Baths”. “Mafadi”, the highest peak in South Africa is also found in this conservancy. The height of this peak is 3,450 metres.

 

Special thanks to Mr Graham Barry of Wits End Mountain Resort, for editing this article.

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