Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre is a rock engraving site with visitor centre on land owned by the !Xun and Khwe San situated about 16 km from Kimberley, Northern Cape, South Africa. Nominated by the Northern Cape Rock Art Trust in 2006 as a Provincial Heritage Site. The Wildebeest Kuil rock art site was declared, on 19 September 2008. As the first new Provincial Heritage Site since the implementation, in 2000. Of the National Heritage Resources Act.
It is a declared Provincial Heritage Site managed by the Northern Cape Rock Art Trust in association with the McGregor Museum.
More than 400 rock etchings await visitors at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre outside Kimberley in the Northern Cape. Dating back as far as about 1 800 years. It is believed the engravings record the visions of Later Stone Age shamans as they went into states of trance.
Did you know?
South Africa is a world leader in rock art recording and research.
If you’ve ever experienced the Northern Cape capital of Kimberley in mid-summer, you may have also been caught in a sudden, drenching Karoo thunderstorm.
That’s the way rain happens up here in the heartland, and out at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre you’ll see that the ancient shamans have been communing with the rain spirits for millennia.
It is believed that some of the 400-odd rock engravings at the site were inspired by shamans accessing the spirit world through altered states of consciousness. In trance, they could heal disease, control wild animals and bring rain. The etchings are thought to be an expression of their visions.
Wildebeest Kuil, a farm lying between Kimberley and Barkly West (a 15 minutes’ drive from Kimberley) also has a long history of occupation recorded on the ancient rocks scattered about. From the older hairline engravings to the more recent pecked-out shapes and relatively modern middens, Later Stone Age groups (ancestors of the San), the KhoeKhoe and various waves of colonists left their marks here.
In conclusion, a qualified guide meets you at the interpretation centre after you’ve watched a short introductory film. You then take the 800-metre walkway tour that weaves up and over a hill via a number of information boards. At the entrance is a well-stocked craft shop selling books on rock art and handicrafts made by the local !Xun and Khwe.
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