Rock Art Mozambique Africa Niassa Reserve
Radiocollared lions in the Niassa Reserve
Managed by the Sociedade para a Gestão e Desenvolvimento da Reserva do Niassa (SRN), the Niassa Reserve is vast and remote wilderness area of 42,000 sq km in northern Mozambique. There are approximately 25,000 people living inside the Reserve primarily from the Cyao and Makua tribal groups with some Ngoni, Marave and Matambwe people. Currently, Keith and Colleen Begg (the resident chief researchers) are studying carnivores along the Lugenda River in the Reserve.
While tracking one of the radiocollared lions in November 2005 they discovered what appeared to be paintings on the lower overhangs (north facing, 270m asl) of a large boulder which forms the end slope of a granite inselberg called Nkopola. The lion regularly rests in this spot in the shade of the boulder. Once the lion moved off they were able to investigate further. The paintings are primarily in an area of 0.5 x 0.5m with some additional marks on the south facing side (these might have been degraded as they are more exposed). Many of the paintings are parallel lines of fingertip sized dots, others are circles with three adjoining lines extending like fingers, or arcs of dots. They are primarily reddish in colour.
Rock Art Mozambique Africa Niassa Reserve
Rock Art in the Niassa Reserve
Rock Art Mozambique Africa Niassa Reserve
Rock Art in the Niassa Reserve
The Beggs explored further in the immediate vicinity and found another site about 100 m away (283 asl), on the edge of a cave. These paintings are fainter but they appear to be two figures with additional lines and dots (red paint), there were also some fragments of pottery in the cave. The area is elevated above the surrounding Miombo woodland within 2 km of the Lugenda River. The boulder and associated small koppie system are unusual in this immediate area (although inselbergs are common) and Keith and Colleen could envisage why this area might be of spiritual significance as it is in a very special spot, and the boulder is an obvious landmark.
Rock Art Mozambique Africa Niassa Reserve
Rock Art in the Niassa Reserve
Rock Art Mozambique Africa Niassa Reserve
Rock Art in the Niassa Reserve
Less than a kilometre away at the base of the same inselberg on the southeastern side is an old smelting site with slag remains of tuyeres and hundreds of fragments of pottery. The researchers have also found other smelting sites of a similar nature in the region, although these might date from a different time. When the Beggs asked some of the older local people who fish and honey-gather in the area about the paintings, they did not know anything about them but suggested the smelting site was probably the work of Ngoni people long ago
Photographs by Keith & Colleen Begg/SRN
Sociedade para a Gestão e Desenvolvimento da Reserva do Niassa (SRN)
Africa Rock Art Archive
bradshaw foundation donate help
Mailing List

Email Sign-Up
website updates


First Name

Last Name


bradshaw foundation ishop tshirt
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Bibliographic Database Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Privacy Policy Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Sri Lanka Archive Index Rock Paintings & Engravings Sri Lanka Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery A Cultural Memory Izzy Wisher Biography Deer-tooth necklace Cave Art Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation