The Drakensberg is the name given to the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation – 2,000 to 3,482 metres (6,562 to 11,424 feet) within the border region of South Africa and Lesotho.
The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the Eastern Cape Province in the South, then successively forms, in order from south to north, the border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape and the border between Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal Province.
There are numerous caves in the easily eroded sandstone of Clarens Formation, the layer below the thick, hard basalt layer on the KwaZulu Natal-Lesotho border. Many of these caves have paintings by the San (Bushmen).
This portion of the Drakensberg has between 35,000 and 40,000 works of San rock art, and is the largest collection of such parietal work in the world. Some 20,000 individual rock paintings have been recorded at 500 different caves and overhanging sites between the Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park and Bushman’s Nek.
Due to the materials used in their production, these paintings are difficult to date, but there is anthropological evidence, including many hunting implements, that the San people existed in the Drakensberg at least 40,000 years ago, and possibly more than 100,000 years ago.