Tchitundo-Hulo Prehistoric Rock Paintings
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
With very little to go on, we set out on the smallest tracks yet in an attempt to find the Rock Paintings of Tchitundo-Hulo. After much back-tracking and guessing based on driving around in circles on the only tracks we can find, we eventually drive to within five hundred yards of a rocky hillside that fits the description.
Not entirely sure what to expect, we bring a bunch of water and our hats and set out on foot. After some doubt and a rock scramble through spiny bushes, I am elated to see the first of the rock paintings, right on the side of the hill. They are mostly circles with lines and dots, and I even spot a few drawings that might be four legged animals.
Out here in the open, they are mostly rock carvings, the designs and patterns scratched deep into the rock. The prices age of these features is unknown, though they are estimated to be around 20,000 years old.
I explore up and down and all over, and am elated to continually find higher and higher quality carvings of many various designs and levels of detail. Unfortunately many are being destroyed by the elements, and in many places the rock is actually chipping away, taking the carvings with it.
After many hours scrambling over the rocks we take a rest in the shade of a huge boulder. Still determined to find more, I traverse a slippery steep section and find the goods inside an overhanging rock cave. On the roof of the cave are the actual paintings, and there and many extremely detailed examples. Again it’s a little difficult to determine exactly what they are, though I’m sure one is a fish, and others depict the sun and moon.
Sitting inside the cave looking out, we clearly see the bomas that have been built by the locals – huge enclosures for their livestock made entirely of the branches of extremely thorny bushes. We can also see their mud and stick huts, which are very basic. I wonder how different the view from this cave looked 20,000 years ago..?
I am betting it was almost identical.
The whole site is extremely beautiful and peaceful, and I am very happy we endeavored to find it.