Bushmen Rock Paintings of Zimbabwe

Choi and I hiked to a mountain area about seven miles from here that has ancient Bushmen Rock Paintings in a cavernous part of the mountain. I’d heard about it for several years and always wanted to see it. Today we hiked there. We picked up Chris Matinha, the stone sculptor, when we got to Tsvingwe, which was on the way. It’s good that we did, because we would never have found the rock caverns without him. He had heard about them but had never seen them before either. Most of the people we asked directions from had never seen them either, but they all knew about them and the way to get there.

After going there today, I understand why not many people, even locals, have seen these rock paintings. The trail up to the rock mountain caverns is a good climb through rough terrain, and then the caverns themselves are a bit difficult to access and get around. When we found the rock paintings though, it was really worth the effort. They’re primitive, but well preserved considering the elements they have been exposed to over hundreds or even thousands of years. Here are a few pictures:

Chris & Choi viewing Rock Paintings

Chris & Choi viewing Rock Paintings

Animal & Human figures

Animal & Human figures

Large Antelope

Large Antelope



  1. Thanks for all your posts; I enjoy them. As for these bushmen paintings, I lived at Old Mutare for my first sixteen years without ever knowing these existed! They are very good.

    • Thanks! It’s interesting that these bushmen paintings are not nearly as publicized as many of their other ones in Zimbabwe and elsewhere. I suspect that it’s because they are relatively few in number at this location, and because they are remote and not easy to get to. I’ll try to share a few more pictures later today.

  2. What a fabulous experience and view. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  3. Wonderful post! Looks like it was well worth the climb!

  4. Linda and I visited bushman painting in the Matopos Hills when I taught at AU in 1995. Are these the paintings you viewed? The semester must be winding down about now.

    • Hi Art. No, these rock paintings are in hiking distance from AU (about 7 miles, or nearly 15 miles round-trip.) The Matopos Hills have many more rock painting sites from what I understand, but they’re south of Bulowayo – a long way from A.U.

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