Rock Art Trail

Charcoal feline 26 000 yrs BP, Apollo 11 Cave, southern Namibia

Namibia has one of the largest and most complex bodies of rock art in the whole of Africa.  At least two thousand rock art sites are known, mostly from the rugged escarpment zone.  Although few sites are dated, remarkable time depth is demonstrated by Late Pleistocene paintings from one site. The highest local concentrations of rock art occur in the granite inselbergen of the western and northwestern parts of the country.  Here, evidence from rock shelter sites indicates a florescence of rock painting and intensive hunter-gatherer occupation from the mid-Holocene, gradually declining in the last one thousand years.

The Rock Art Trail links four of Namibia’s premier sites which provide an excellent cross section of both rock painting and engraving sites.  The Namibia Archaeological Trust  recommends these as well-managed sites with adequate facilities.  The trail commences in Usakos and finishes at Kamanjab, covering a distance of 560 km on good gravel roads.  An off-road 4×4 vehicle is not required, and overnight facilities are available at or near all four sites.  The trail passes through several small centres where supplies, fuel and minor repair facilities are obtainable.  To sample the Rock Art Trail and plan your journey, click on the Google Earth file link at the bottom of this page.  Download the Garmin format track file before you set out, and enjoy the Trail.

Visitor Centre, Tsisab Ravine

Anibib is your first stop, about 70 km from Usakos.  Spectacular rock art is easily accessible by guided excursions from the Ai-Aiba lodge.  The Tsisab Ravine, your second stop, lies a further 135 km to the north, at the foot of the Dâures (Brandberg).  This is Namibia’s most famous rock art site, home of the famously mis-named White Lady painting.  Guided walks to several sites can be arranged at the visitor centre.  The third stop, 148 km further north, is Namibia’s first World Heritage site, Twyfelfontein, or /Ui-//aes, a magnificent concentration of rock engravings.  The final stop, Peet Alberts Kopje, lies 210 km further north, just outside the village of Kamanjab.

Rock Art Trail.kmz Rock Art Trail.gdb