Have you ever visited the Cederberg Wilderness Area in the Western Cape, South Africa? The area is an otherworldly landscape of mystical stone figures, indigenous fynbos-covered hills and plains and of course, some of the most spectacular mountain ranges around. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventurer, a wine connoisseur or a foodie, there’ll be something that will bring you back for more!
If you plan to do just one thing when you head to the Cederberg, then let it be camping! It’s the perfect way to experience these vast, pollution-free skies at night; to enjoy rustic living and natural beauty, unmarred by human interventions; and, of course, to bring out your inner adventurer, as you spend days trekking about and exploring the vast Cederberg Wilderness. Gecko Creek Wilderness Lodge is well-equipped to ease all those camping jitters. They offer, among other things, safari tents (with a rustic twist – and a delightful little porch too), delicious home cooking, a communal kitchen and bathrooms and honestly, one of the most peaceful, far-removed and private accommodation escapes you’ll find in South Africa.
Choose from 1-8-hour day trails, or overnight hikes, depending on your mood or level of fitness. Walk to the waterfall from Algeria’s campsite, to the strange rock formation called the Maltese Cross (get a permit from Dwarsrivier office, about 28km from Algeria) or go the full hog to the Wolfberg Arch. Remember to take water, hat, sunglasses and sunblock in summer, and something warm in winter. Tell someone which route you’re taking in case of emergencies.
Admire rock art
Plan a day trip from Cape Town and walk the Sevilla Rock Art Trail in the Cederberg. You can expect to see ten rock art sites along this four kilometre route with hundreds of paintings. It is estimated that the paintings date back between 1600 and 8000 years, so it is understandable that some of them are faded and difficult to see. The path to follow starts at Brandewyn River – please remember to obtain a permit from Travellers Rest. This trip is worth the three-hour drive from Cape Town but if you don’t feel like rushing back from the peace and quiet of the country, you could always overnight in the area.
Horse riding at Mount Ceder
Enjoy the rugged beauty and tranquillity of Mount Ceder in the Cederberg on horseback. They offer 1hour or two-hour rides for all levels of ability and a full day ride for intermediate and experienced riders. Enjoy riding through the olive groves, past old farm ruins and visit Khoi San paintings. Ride on strong Boerperd / cross horses in the comfort of Leon Liversage’s Trails Rider saddles whilst enjoying the scenery; with a chance to see good birdlife and some of the elusive wildlife found in these mountains.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area is a magical and mysterious place. It is an area of immense physical beauty that merits its inclusion as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites within the Cape Floristic Region. Make sure you support tourism in South Africa by taking an amazing trip to this lovely region!
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