The Cederberg Wilderness Reserve, stretching from the Pakhuis Pass in the north to the Grootrivier in the south, is loved for its rugged beauty and solitude. Rich with San rock art and endemic flora and fauna, it’s a wilderness so remote and wild there are places yet to be explored.

Did you know?

The Cederberg Mountains’ catchment area is home to the richest variety of endemic fish species south of the Zambezi.

The Cederberg Wilderness Reserve is a protected public-private mountain reserve, occupying 71 000ha of rugged terrain inland from the Cape West Coast and lying between the towns of Citrusdal, Clanwilliam and Ceres.

The reserve forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a World Heritage Site, and is host to numerous rare and indigenous plant, animal and fish species, including the rare Clanwilliam Cedar tree, after which the region is named.

The Cape Cederberg is the equivalent of an open-air arboretum, sheltering red data species plants, scarce fynbos, South Africa’s famous rooibos tea plant, many different varieties of buchu, and among the high-peaks of the Sneeuberg, the rare and endemic snow protea.

In spring, drive the Agter-Pakhuis pass where wild flowers carpet the boulder-strewn hillsides as far as the eye can see.

Some of the peaks of the Cederberg Mountains, in Clanwilliam, rise above 2000m. Amid the oxide-stained and lichen-covered red sandstone cliffs are hundreds of overhangs and caves adorned with San rock art, varying in age between a few hundred and a few thousand years. The Stadsaal caves are one of the best sites to view these ancient paintings.

Unforgettable in this pristine, elemental landscape, are the Cederberg Wilderness Area’s extraordinary rock formations. Fissured and weathered by the elements, the Wolfberg Arch and Cracks, the Maltese Cross, Tafelberg and the Spout leave awestruck hikers feeling as though they’ve stumbled across a rock garden conjured from the mind of Salvador Dali.

Walking trails criss-cross the landscape, leading nature lovers to ravines where rivers spill into cool streams and rock pools beckon hike-weary bodies. The Cederberg is also attractive to rock climbers, mountain bikers and quad bike enthusiasts.

Animals in the area include many species of birds, reptiles, antelope, baboons, caracal and leopard.

The Cederberg offers a true wilderness experience not easily surpassed. Head for these mountains to lose yourself. You may just find what you’re looking for.

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