This week on Moolmanshoek Escape, we were joined by Nicola Stein from Germany who came to explore some of the unique features on the Reserve.
Holkrans was first on our ride list, featured in a Facebook post as well. This exciting ride took us up the steep slopes towards Sekonela’s Hoed, to explore Holkrans cave. The spectacular views over the valley as we meandered along trails hugging the mountain, were breath taking. Arriving in Holkrans, we could almost imagine people of ancient civilizations using caves like these as shelter from the elements. We were very happy to have Isabel, Andrea and Cecile join our Holkrans ride…they are usually working too hard and don’t have time to join us!
The ride back down to the valley took us through areas of fynbos, including Sugarbush Protea trees and rare Mountain Bamboo, the discovery of which made our farm a natural heritage site.
On Nicola’s second day of riding, we went to explore the Bushmen Paintings. South Africa is home to one of the world’s richest rock art, and we are privileged to have one of the few rock art sites in the area on the reserve. The Moolmanshoek Rock Art Paintings were painted at different periods and are believed to be between 600 to 150 years old.
Most rock art paintings were done by hunter-gatherers known as “San” or “Bushmen”.
The thrill of being able to ride up to these ancient sites on horseback makes this an incredible experience. We viewed rare depictions of women and their digging sticks which they used to dig up roots and bulbs which were used as a source of food and medicine.
San rock-art is not a simple record of daily life of the San people. It was a religious art concerned with Shamanism – group harmony and the spirit world. The San people believed that the spirit world lay behind the rock face.
The site we visited has an unusual 3 meter deep tunnel at the Northern End, that the San believed was an entrance to the Spirit world, making this a sacred place in their culture. Just to the left of the tunnel, we found paintings of an eland and another unidentified quadruped.
This is a protected site and can only be accessed under supervision, which we do either on horseback or on accompanied hikes.
Our ride back to the lodge gave us an uninterrupted view of the farm, bathing the area in the weak winter sunshine. We arrived back just in time to get a great photo of Nicola and her trusty steed Frank under the Moolmanshoek Sandstone Arch.
Come and experience this fascinating ride for yourself!