Humala River Lodge is tucked away in a most extraordinary spot, a magical 124,000-acre African wilderness – Songimvelo Game Reserve. Though wonderfully remote, there is much to do: Witness elephants and other magnificent wildlife on safari; angle for wild Yellow Fish in the river; catch some rays at the pool, and be pampered at the bush spa. But a unique highlight here is the opportunity to view Stone Age art carved and painted on rocks that are 3.5 billion years old.
20th Century scientists unearthed the deep significance of these 1,000-year-old paintings that were created by the San, the earliest inhabitants of South Africa. Once thought to be primitive pictorial diaries of daily life, studies have yielded the well-supported theory that much of this art symbolizes the spirit world journeys and experiences of the San shamans.
Using fine brushes made from animal hair and paints mixed with powerful substances such as egg whites and Eland blood, the shamans created potent images that allowed them to draw on their spiritual powers.
The art, along with ancient rock formations, artifacts and numerous walled village-type ruins, has garnered Songimvelo international acclaim among scientists. The preservation of some rock exposures in the reserve reveal vital information regarding the origin and evolution of the earth’s crust and the nature of early life, as well as the character and development of the ocean and atmosphere. Despite the rocks being billions of years old, they are so well preserved that their fossils record the earliest life forms on the planet. So it’s not surprising that this region is referred to as “The Genesis of Life”.
Songimvelo is the largest provincial reserve in South Africa. In addition to its archaeological, historical and cultural value, it is graced with grassy savannas, cascading waterfalls, and the spectacular gorges of the Komati, Msoli and Lomati rivers, making it one of the most diverse and aesthetically pleasing wilderness areas in the country.