A Bushman rock art researcher from Wits University, David Witelson, is visiting Dordrecht in the second half of February to visit sites and plan future research in the area. On Sunday February 24 I’m going to take David to look at paintings in a rock shelter on Donkerhoek farm, about 35 km north of Dordrecht. Anyone who wants to join us, is very welcome.
David, an expert in the field, is very happy to answer questions about the rock art in the shelter, about his own research, and about Bushman art in general.
I wouldn’t describe the Donkerhoek paintings as spectacular: rather, there are a few small panels which are exquisitely done, and then a number of very faded images.
But combine the paintings, the excellent exercise you’re going to get walking to the shelter, the experience of visiting the impressive shelter itself, and the opportunity to meet David, and you have a very worthwhile outing.
How to get there:
From Dordrecht, take the Indwe road, and 3km out, turn left onto the Lady Grey/Barkly East road. After 1km turn left onto the Lady Grey/Floukraal road. Another 14 km, and turn right where the sign points to Ventersberg (or Vensterberg). Keep following the signs to Ventersberg, drive up the mountain, down the other side, and the first road sign you come to points to Wintershoek off to your right. DON’T turn right: keep straight on for another 2.7 km, past Chris Mans’ house on your right, up a wiggly bit, past a big dam on your right. At 2.7 there’s a metal gate on your left, and an opening in the fence on your right with a track leading into it. There are no signposts.
We will be waiting on the road at that turnoff from 9.30am to 10am, and will set off for the shelter PROMPTLY at 10am.
What it involves:
From the turnoff, a drive of about 2km along a farm track which though not rough (probably okay for a car with good clearance), had a few muddy patches this last weekend. We will park at the old farm buildings, and walk down into a valley and up the other side. Probably 40 minutes’ walking. Excellent opportunity for the ladies from the exercise class to demonstrate their new-found fitness. I intend to have my morning tea in the cave; I will be packing my lunch, and depending on how things go may eat it there as well.
It never rains on Sunday mornings in our part of the district, so I can’t see any reason why we would cancel. If you want to check, my home phone is 087-550-2565.