The Spirit of the Rocks: Twyfelfontein

“Place of Ceremonies” – Twyfelfontein, Namibia.  A pathway leads between two imposing slabs of rock and on entering this shaded corridor there is an immediate sense of a captivating aura.  Some inner call whispers an invitation to reach out and touch the cool sandstone.  It’s like checking a pulse, finding an ancient rhythm and feeling a deep-earth heartbeat.  In the surrounding area, a legacy of San rock art is chiselled in the stone.   These petroglyphs are the finest in Southern Africa and date back to the late Stone Age.  Fortunately it was proclaimed a World Heritage site in 2007 and is administered under UNESCO’s preservation guidelines.  

Panels of engravings cover some 212 stone slabs depicting an extraordinary diversity of wild animals. Stories of animals slipping through rocks, elephant, rhino and the famous ‘five toed lion’ with a kink in it’s tail.   Giraffe, ostrich, graceful buck species parade along the slabs.  A seal here, and there flamingoes, creatures that exist some distance away from this inland place.  A young zebra foal suckling from it’s mother.   Our guide leads us through the ‘galleries’ theorising and giving context to the scenes.   Hunting scenes – spoor, geometric markings symbolising the rituals and beliefs of the hunter-gatherer people of the San.  Imaginings of a different realm, a spiritual trance world where animals were people and there was a connection between man and animal.  If only the rocks could talk what legends we would learn!



8 thoughts on “The Spirit of the Rocks: Twyfelfontein

  1. Makes you feel very humble standing in a place where man stood all those thousands of years ago. I saw some paintings in northern South Africa too close to the Limpopo River which were equally fascinating. So hard to photograph though. You have done very well.

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