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Namibia


Bushman paradise Cave

Rock Paintings | Spitzkoppe | Namibia

Situated south-east of the Pondok Mountains, which form part of the Spitzkoppe Mountain range, is the Bushman Paradise Cave, located to the north-east of Usakos. It can be found at the base of a cliff and the foot of the slope is often washed by rain. They can be reached by following a road leading from the Spitzkoppe Mountains along the base of the Pondok Mountain. A short but exhilarating mountain hike leads to the top, with chain handhold to assist you on your way up to the cave itself as the slope is smooth and slippery in places. At the top of the cave, and at the end of the chain handhold, an amphitheater is to the right and the paintings can be found under the overhang at the head of the amphitheater.

This cave has been known to Europeans since the beginning of the 20th century, and at the time of their discovery were documented as 'one of the finest collections of rock art in Namibia'. It was in 1917 that the first archaeological excavations were undertaken at Bushman Paradise Cave by the geologist E. Reuning.

In 1948, the archaeologist Abbé H Breuil noted that 'the convex rear wall of the shelter is covered from end to end with paintings, some of them excellent.' Unfortunately today they are badly damaged due to vandalism and sticky fingers from visitors and tourists. A few years later, the German archaeologist Dr. ER Scherz described the following figures inside the cave:

The rock paintings in the Bushman Paradise Cave were proclaimed a national monument on the 1st July 1954.

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