COULD TALK

In Flight Magazine - - TOTALLY TASTY -

AS A COUN­TRY, SOUTH AFRICA IS PRETTY YOUNG. THERE ARE NO RO­MAN RU­INS OR PYRA­MIDS AND WE DON’T HAVE ANY CAS­TLES FROM THE MID­DLE AGES. BUT THIS LAND WASN’T AL­WAYS CALLED SOUTH AFRICA, AND THOUGH FOR THE BET­TER PART OF 400 YEARS, CHUNKS OF IT HAVE CHANGED SOVEREIGNTY AC­CORD­ING TO THE WHIMS OF OF­TEN FAR-FLUNG RE­GENTS, POL­I­TICS AND ECO­NOMICS, ITS HIS­TORY REACHES FAR BE­YOND THE FIRST EURO­PEAN FOOT­STEPS ON THESE SHORES.

South Africa’s his­tory is an­cient, and its pre-Colo­nial art and arte­facts are fas­ci­nat­ing, weav­ing rich nar­ra­tive ta­pes­tries – if only one takes the time to un­der­stand them. What’s more, many of these sites are sur­pris­ingly ac­ces­si­ble, yet you may be lucky enough to be the only one to en­joy them at any given time.

OUR OWN ROSETTA STONE

The uKhahlamba-Drak­ens­berg Park is ar­guably the best place in the coun­try to see rock art, with some 550 recorded sites home to 40,000 in­di­vid­ual im­ages rang­ing be­tween 120 and 3,000 years old.

If you only see one se­ries of rock paint­ings in your life, make it Game Pass Shel­ter at Kam­berg Na­ture Re­serve (www.kzn­wildlife.com). It’s one of the world’s most cel­e­brated rock art sites thanks to a clus­ter of im­ages that have un­locked the mean­ing be­hind so much of the art found at other sites around the coun­try.This has led to this panel be­ing re­ferred to as the “Rosetta Stone” of south­ern African rock art.

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