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Visiting rock art sites inside Monk's Cowl - Visitor's Book and Permit System

Drakensberg Hikes

Visiting rock art sites inside Monk's Cowl - Visitor's Book and Permit System

A permit system is going to be implemented at Monk’s Cowl to solve the problem of illegal visitation at rock art sites and problems accompanying this.

For example, making fires inside shelters and caves containing rock art that causes soot to accumulate over the art and the art to start exfoliating, making candles “stand” on “steps” of the parent rock that results in waxy blotches that causes chemical weathering to the parent rock and destroys the rock art, throwing water over the art to take “better pictures or clearer photos”, this causes mineral accretion and white blotches over the art that finely leads to pigment deterioration and exfoliation, littering inside rock art sites and writing or scratching over irreplaceable rock art..

All visitors or guides that plan to take clients to rock art sites, must first visit Monk’s Cowl’s Reception, where they will sign a visitor’s book and they will be issued with a laminated permit, which must be returned to the reception when the guests return from the rock art site.

The permit card contains the code of conduct of what is permissible at or inside a rock art shelter or cave, namely: Do not kick dust, do not touch the paintings, do not make fires inside caves or shelters containing paintings, do not litter, do not write over rock art or scratch over these irreplaceable and fragile San art panels, respect the religious integrity of the art, enjoy the outing and only leave your footprints.

Secondly, the card contains Section 35 of the National Heritage Resources Act No. 25 of 1999 that stipulates that no one should damage, destroy, alter, write or draw upon rock art....or they will suffer Prosecution: 3 years imprisonment or 3 years imprisonment and a fine.

This permit will initially be for visits to Hospitalspruit Cave (Knuffel’s Shelter) and Bee Shelter.

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