In the Western Cape province of South Africa lies Cederberg, a mountainous region located about 300 km north of Cape Town. Here, you will find yourself amongst fascinating red rocks, standing at night under the most beautiful starry sky you have ever seen, and Cederberg is also the only place where rooibos is grown. Wondering why you should add Cederberg to your South Africa plans? Below are some reasons!
Murals and Rock Art
The Cederberg region is known for its rock art. You can see ancient murals everywhere in the area. Most of them were created by the original inhabitants and nomadic people of Cederberg. Various excursions are organized in the areas with the most beautiful murals, but it is also possible to explore independently. Many rock paintings depict animals such as elk, elephants, and half-human, half-beast. Some of the animals have symbolic meaning, while others show the main events. The animals are well hidden among the rocks when looking at this painting.
The Cederberg Mountains and Bouldering
Wherever you go in Cederberg, there are mountains and fantastic rock formations. For example, the often-photographed Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch. Another highlight is the area near the Matjes River, a nature reserve. When you visit Cederberg, be sure to hike and take plenty of breaks during your car trip to enjoy the rugged landscape.
Bouldering is popular in Cederberg, as there are many huge mountains. Even if you are not afraid of heights, you should definitely go out with a guide if you have never done it before. For the best spots, visit the CapeNature’s Rocklands site near Cliffy Campground. This place is known worldwide as one of the best places for bouldering. Keep in mind that a permit is required for private bouldering.
If you sleep in Heuningvlei or elsewhere, you will quickly realize how beautiful the starry sky is in Cederberg at night. But if you really care about the starry sky, you can go to the Söderberg Observatory, located about 2 km from Dwarsrivier. Here you can learn a lot about stars, galaxies, and planets. There are telescopes for astronomical observations, and on Saturdays at 8 pm there is a show of sorts, as long as it is not too close to the full moon. You don’t necessarily need a guided tour. And if you spend the night in Cederberg, go outside and look up, and be sure to enjoy the sunset! They are often stunning.
Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch
The Cederberg landscape is breathtaking. A three-hour drive north of Cape Town automatically takes you into the Cederberg Wilderness. Although only three hours from Cape Town, this place is like a completely different world. Mountains in the most beautiful colors dominate the landscape: golden yellow, deep orange, sun green, and terracotta brown. The highlights of this area are The Maltese Cross and Wolfberg Arch. The Maltese Cross can be reached by hiking. As the name suggests, it is a strange rock shaped like a kind of cross. It is powerful and impressive to see. The Wolfberg Arch is a huge arch formed naturally from the rocks in the area. Both are very photogenic sights.
One of the biggest towns in Cederberg is Clanwilliam. It is home to the largest Rooibos factory (Rooibos Limited) and is a must pass through on any road trip to Cedarburg. Clanwilliam also has a lot to offer, including the Clanwilliam Dam and a museum that gives you a glimpse into the past: the Wu Trunk Museum. In the museum, you can learn not only about rooibos but also about shoemaking! The museum is usually open from 08:00 to 13:00 and from 08:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays.
Have you ever visited any of these places? Share your experience with us in the comments below!