Did you know?
The ingredients that went into the paint that the San used to create rock art include blood, gall, egg white and ochre.
The Cederberg area of the north-western Cape, about 270 km north of Cape Town, is perfect for hiking, with its vast, tumbled rockscapes, strange formations sculpted by nature, and choice of trails to view the ancient rock art of the San Bushman.
The Sevilla Rock Art Trail, which starts about 36km from Clanwilliam, at Traveller's Rest Guest Farm on the road to Wupperthal, is a four-kilometre ramble along the Brandewyn River that most can manage, and the easiest access to the plentiful Bushman rock art in the Cederberg.
The trip takes two to three hours, and you view nine sites. There is an additional site you can visit, but that will increase the length of your walk to seven kilometres. Buy the necessary permit and trail map/guide booklet at the farm at the start. The Clanwilliam Tourist Bureau also offers booklets.
The Cederberg region has been declared a World Heritage Site, and no one may camp or hike in the area without a permit.
Another interesting place to visit is the University of Cape Town's Living Landscape Craft Centre in Park Street, Clanwilliam. They have books, craft items and a compact disc on rock art. You can also hire a guide here to show you other rock art sites in the area.
The Sevilla rock art site's paintings are estimated to be between 8 000 and 800 years old, and there are around 2 500 paintings in the Cederberg.
Self-catering accommodation is plentiful, such as the authentic but comfortably furnished stone labourers' cottages at Traveller's Rest, on the same farm as the Sevilla Trail.
Temperatures can reach more than 30 deg C November to February, and in winter you should phone ahead as rain and snow can make the roads hazardous.
In spring the vivid banks of wild-flower colour on the Sevilla Rock Art Trail are a wondrous sight.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Traveller's Rest (& Sevilla Rock Art Trail)
Tel: +27 (0) 27 482 1824
How to get here
Easily accessible by road, Travellers Rest is 36km from Clanwilliam, off the N7 highway.
Best time to visit
Summer or spring is ideal, though snow-capped Cederberg is also magnificent.
Permits for the route are required, and can be purchased from Travellers Rest farm, the start of the trail.
Where to stay
Traveller's Rest has 12 cottages, spread over a huge area in wide open settings. The cottages are simple yet well-equipped.
What to eat
The Khoisan Kitchen restaurant is beautifully situated on the banks of the Brandewyn river, built of local stone like the rest of the buildings on the farm.