MHC – Game Pass Shelter
Kamberg Nature Reserve
Central Drakensberg
25 March 2017

Report and photos by Dave Sclanders.

[CLICK ON PHOTOS TO VIEW FULLSIZE - or view pics in accompanying SIMPLEVIEWER Presentation]

Our club seems like it has turned into a ”Wet week end miz maker for our hikers” . The last number of our day walks and hikes have been done in wet, misty conditions. We had a large number of hikers down for the hike, as we neared to Saturday, the forecast worsened and on Saturday morning we left our homes in light rainy conditions. The old adage that must be thought about is that “if it is wet at home, it might be dry in the berg !!!???” After a wet and muddy trip to Kamberg, 75% of the group arrived.

Game Pass Shelter is a world renowned Rock Art Shelter, with very beautiful and spiritual ancient rock art on the rock walls. It has been referred to as the “Rosetta Stone of the Rock Art world”. Here it is believed, that due to the painting, the understanding of the Bushmen, The Eland and the spiritual aspect of between the human, the eland and the spiritual world was understood.

The normal incredible view of Giant’s Castle, the Highmoor cliffs, Gladstone’s Nose , and the long valley ahead were shrouded in a rolling mist that never strayed far from us. The weather was great for hiking, just nice and cool, with a hint of a light misty drizzle.

The stream was running clear and fresh, and the stream tipping over and falling over Waterfall Shelter was strong. Waterfall Shelter has over time played a considerable role in the lives of the people of the berg, as well as local people. The shamans and healers believed that this water holds miracle healing and spiritual powers.

From Waterfall Shelter rest stop it is a good steady climb up to the cliff face and its very steep approach. The path is good, so the pace was good and steady, with the party well strung out. The mist came and went giving tantalizing glimpse of the lovely valleys and steep cliffs around.

We all met at the locked gate, gathered our breath for the last bit of the climb. From the cave floor, one can see how steep the drop was from the bottom of the cliff where the paintings were, to the valley floor far below.

Once at the site, a talk was given on the history, the paint, the age , the meaning of the painting, and carefull time was spent looking at these remarkable paintings of the long gone past.

Lunch was had at a safe place well away from any paintings, but today a lunch without any view as the mist had by now thickened greatly and blocked all visibility. To top it off as we left, it was raincoats on, back pack covers put on and we headed home in a rather more determined rain fall.

Back at the cars dry clothes were exchanged for wet ones, and after a short thank you , where all agreed it had been a very worthwhile trip. Even the weather was appreciated, on a very hot day this climb can be a bit of a slog.

It is very well worth a trip to this site. It is one of the special Rock Art Sites of the World, These paintings are one of the reasons that the uKhahlamba Drakensberg is a World Heritage Site.

Also most important it is the best painted site that visitors can get to fairly easily. Others are very much out of the way to the day walker. One can only go with a guide from the Kamberg Office. Booking is essential. If you do book please go, the guide will be waiting for you. Others may be put off if they have to wait, and you do not turn up.

The site is locked and walkers can only go with a guide. The key is not available to anyone. These paintings need protection. They are a vanishing ancient art form that can never be replaced.