Bushmans Kloof Heritage Centre
Compass Illustration 

Ancient cultures

The Bushmans Kloof Heritage Centre is the proud custodian of a remarkable collection of cultural artefacts collated by the celebrated anthropologist, Jalmar Rudner (1917-2003). The collection includes original San jewellery, hunting equipment, dancing sticks and musical instruments. Photographic portraits depicting Bushman culture and time-honoured customs are accompanied by informative texts. Our in-house curator and rock art guide is available to guide guests through the Centre. Outdoors, a medicinal herb garden allows guests to discover the traditional botanical remedies used by generations of the San and Khoikhoi people in the Cederberg.

A passion for Africa

Born in Sweden in 1917, Jalmar Rudner was a town planner by profession, but his true passion was anthropology and ethnography. Over five decades of research and fieldwork, he – together with his wife Ione – traversed southern Africa to study and record the continent’s remarkable rock art. Jalmar Rudner passed away in 2003, and Bushmans Kloof is today the proud custodian of his priceless treasury of culture, history and folklore.

Bushmans Kloof Rock Art Background

The Rudner Collection

Extraordinary collection

Rudner and his wife were passionate recorders and collectors of San rock art and history. In the mid-19th century they undertook dozens of research trips, with their expeditions traversing southern Africa as far north as Angola and Zimbabwe. During their pioneering fieldwork the Rudners sourced artefacts from across the region, and enjoyed unique access to ancient and sacred cultural ceremonies.

Bushmans Kloof Heritage Centre

A lasting legacy

Jalmar was appointed honorary archaeologist at the South African Museum in 1956, and was instrumental in establishing the Rock Art Recording Centre there to coordinate the preservation of these national treasures. His meticulous fieldwork culminated in the release of their seminal book, ‘The Hunter and His Art; a Survey of Rock Art in Southern Africa’. Published in 1970, this groundbreaking volume was one of the first comprehensive studies on the subject.

Vinicombe Winchester Clowes Grave

Englishman's Grave

Bushmans Kloof are custodians of the legendary ‘Englishman’s Grave’. This is a poignant site, and one that enriches our cultural heritage. We maintain this lonely gravesite that bears the inscription, ‘Brave and True’. Dating back to the Anglo Boer War, it belongs to a British soldier, Graham Vinicombe Winchester Clowes, a lieutenant in the First Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. The memorial was erected by his mother after he died here on 30 January 1901 at the age of 21, when British forces were attempting to prevent incursions into the Cape Colony by the Boer Commandos under General Smuts.

Graham's sister, Eileen, travelled from her home in Hertfordshire, and had the gravestone constructed over the simple hole where her son had been buried. For many years, Eileen made an annual visit to her son’s grave to lay a wreath there; a considerable challenge that involved five weeks at sea in both directions, as well as a day’s journey by ox wagon.