A soulful and inspiring destination, the Cederberg Mountains beckon those looking for an intimate encounter with nature. Ancient mountain trails wind through the 100km Cederberg Mountain Range, enclosed by the official Cederberg Wilderness Reserve. This pristine wilderness area is surrounded by three other conservancies, the Cederberg, Pakhuis and Nardouwsberg, bringing the total area of protected land close to 170 000 hectares. Accommodation options range from basic campsites to self-catering cottages in Moravian Mission villages to upmarket luxury lodges.
The isolation of the area is its main attraction; you can explore the mountains, hike through indigenous fynbos and swim in crystal clear mountain rock pools and probably not encounter another soul. Only a two-hour drive from Cape Town, this wild and dramatically beautiful area is worth exploring at length.
Walking trails are well maintained and you can choose to hike for a few hours or a few days depending on what part of the Cederberg you want to explore. There are great picnic spots and deep rock pools that you can plunge into to escape the heat of the day.
With more than 2 500 documented rock art paintings discovered in these mountains, you would not leave here without having seen the art of the original inhabitants, the San people. Their art often depicts festivals or hunts and it is apparent that once huge herds of elephant use to freely roam these mountains. Today you are more likely to see a variety of antelope and rock dassies and if you are lucky the very shy Cape Mountain leopard. These beautiful animals are on the verge of extinction in other parts of the country but are commonly found here. Wildlife that is in the Cederberg but very rarely seen these days is porcupine, the Cape Clawless otter, honey badgers and aardvarks. The diversity of plant life is astounding in the Cederberg Mountains and come spring many wildflowers pop up, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world.
Walking, hiking, fishing and swimming are the order of the day and the Cederberg Mountains the perfect destination to indulge in them. Anglers should head to the Oliphants River, Clanwilliam and Bulshoek dams as should anyone interested in skiing, canoeing and other water sports. Adventure lovers can test their skills at rock climbing on the steep mountain faces or venture off-road on some of the challenging 4x4 courses laid out in the conservancies.
The Cederberg Mountains are a great place to rejuvenate mind, body and soul. This pristine wilderness area with its dramatic landscapes, ancient art sites and unusual rock formations is one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets. Contact the Southern Africa Travel team today.
The Wolfberg Cracks
The cracks or clefts into the rock stretch as deep as 30m at the furthest point and vary in width from a few metres to body width.
Found high in the central Cederberg area, this series of open caves and rock formations is a must-see in the region. There are San rock paintings nearby and this is a great destination for hikers and photographers wanting to capture the play of light and shadows formed by the unusual rock shapes.
This monolith of stone bared by erosion of its protective layers over the centuries now stands tall at the height of a five-storey building. The Maltese Cross is found in the southern part of the Cederberg as is a formation known as Lot’s Wife!
Cederberg Private Cellars
Visit the highest winery in South Africa, at an altitude of more 1 000m above sea level, Cederberg Private Cellars is also one of the only wine farms that is under snow during winter! They produce an outstanding range of wines that you are welcome to come and taste Mondays to Saturdays.
The Donkey Cart Adventure
Travel by donkey cart from the Pakhuis Pass to Heuningvlei on a three-night journey across the Cederberg wilderness. The accompanying guide will point out local wildlife and give you historical insights into the original inhabitants of the region, the San and Khoi people and the art that they left behind.
Visit the home of Rooibos Tea
The Rooibos plants used to make the popular and healthy tea are only cultivated in these mountains. Visit the farm and factory to discover more about the anti-oxidant and health benefits of Rooibos tea.
From $385 USD Per Person Sharing
A five star retreat set deep in the awe-inspiring Cederberg Mountains, Bushman’s Kloof Reserve offers you an unrivalled opportunity to immerse yourself in nature as well as view the more than 130 San rock art sites within this Natural Heritage Site. Look forward to sheer comfort in the rooms, gourmet cuisine and range of exciting adventures and activities.
We look forward to many returns and sending family and friends— Noelle Rantakari, USA
We had an Incredible Time— Nick Burdett, United Kingdom
Simply blown away how flawless this trip went— Mathias Hartmann, France