More on a historical note, the delightful Poacher's Cave and Leopard Cave in the Ndedema Gorge of the Cathedral Peak area, were closed to hikers at the end of 2007.
Situated in the Didima area, which has the highest concentration of rock art in the Berg, these caves also contain paintings, and yet were always open for use by hikers wanting to overnight in them. Leopard Cave, as the name suggests, has a painting of a leopard, which, though not unique, is a more unusual painintg. Poacher's Cave boasts some fine specimens of antelope, one of them lying down and resting, as well as the usual shaman figures.
They were lovely shelters in a beautiful part of the Berg. The paintings in or around the caves did suffer some degradation as a result of hikers using thems and the decision to close them was in line with general management practices concerning rock art sites.
Rock art sites in the Berg are protected by a number of acts, including the KwaZulu-Natal Heritage Act of 1997, which empowers the appointed custodians (in this case Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Amafa, jointly), to preserve and manage a 50m radius around each site. Currently, of several thousand sites, only some 20-25 are open to visitors, who must be accompanied by a registered guide.
Some of the sites that are open include: Brotherton Rock and Lower Mushroom Cave at Cathedral Peak, Battle Cave at Injasuthi, Main Caves at Giant's Castle, Game Pass Shelter at Kamberg and Good Hope Shelter at Bushman's Neck.
At Vertical Endeavour we make an effort not to publish any information explicitly revealing the locations of these protected sites, such as GPS co-ordinates, and have now also removed any applicable details concerning Poacher's Cave and Leopard Cave.
Overnight spots in the area which can still be used include the two campsites on either end of the gorge, as well as Gravel Shelter and Schoongezicht Cave. A security advisory is applicable for camping in this area though due to one of the most notorious smuggling routes running straight through it. Never leave your gear unattended in this area.