Battle Cave I

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This is one of the few public sites where a painting of a fight can be seen, although elements of the painting suggest that it is not a real fight.

The site is approached from the Injasuti Camp in the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg Park. In order to visit the site, a long but easy walk is required. The site is ideal for those who do not wish to undertake an arduous journey to see rock art, nor to be bustled and jostled amongst a mass of tourists.

The Art

Although there are a great many images to be seen at Battle Cave, we concentrate on two panels. First we discuss the 'scene' after which the cave is named, then we consider the section of the shelter that is known as 'Pixie Panel'.

The splendid battle scene is to the far right of the shelter where there are three clusters of human figures, predominantly in red. The group on the left comprises a number of running figures holding bows. One of them - the one situated highest in this group - has an arrow ready to shoot. This figure carries a quiver that bristles with arrows. Below is another man who holds a spear and points towards the two other groups in the panel. This posture is highly significant.

To the left are a number of figures. Two women hold a man, while another woman holds on to a man who is holding an axe -he has an erect and infibulated penis. To the right of this group is another cluster of figures that appear to be in the thick of a fight. A number of figures face each other with bows poised. Arrows and arrow-like flecks surround them, and two figures have axes.

Slightly to the right of this cluster a figure walks away removing an arrow from its arm. At first this painting seems to be an obvious depiction of a fight between two rival groups, but as with most San rock art, initial appearances are deceptive.

To visit the site, visitors will need to pay a fee to get into the park first, which is R20 P/P and R10 for children. This cave is reached from the Injasuti camp and it is a 5 hour round trip  guided walk which leaves daily at 8.30 am. The cave is fenced so it cannot be accessed without a guide. Booking is essential – phone 036 4319000. The tours will  cost R 55.00p/p, for a group of four or more people. If the group is made up of less than four people, the charge will be  R220 for the group.

For accommodation view the following sites:

KZN wildlife camp site and resort: This camp is in Injisuthi, which is close to Battle Cave.

http://www.kznwildlife.com/index.php?/injisuthi.html

The KZN wildlife camp is the only accommodation in the valley, for further accommodation visitors would have to search in the vicinity valleys.

http://www.drakensberg-tourism.com/drakensberg-tourist-information.html

http://www.drakensberg.org.za/

www.cdic.co.za

Or contact Magda, cdta@futurenet.co.za

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