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Posted on: Thursday, 30 May 2013

An Adventure Junkies Guide to the Cederberg

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Stunning Cederberg

Stunning Cederberg

With winter fast approaching in the Western Cape, why not plan a trip to the Cederberg where you’ll find a dry and sunny climate all year round? You can escape cold, wet Cape Town and drive for two and half hours until you reach the serene Cederberg. You’ll find peace, quiet and adventure amongst the mountains, streams and fynbos.

On your feet

If you’d like to explore this beautiful part of the world but prefer to be on your own two feet, set off on a multi-day wilderness hiking trail. After you get a Cederberg Wilderness Permit from Cape Nature, you can sign up for a hike. Explore the ancient rock art found within caves and on rock walls and feast your eyes on the vast expanse of mountain ranges, scenic valleys and truly unforgettable rock formations. It’s up to you whether you prefer to sleep in a forestry hut or beneath the stars, but huts cannot be pre-booked and will depend on a first come, first served basis.

Whilst on the trails, you may not bump into anyone else for days, so make sure you travel in a group and inform people where you’re going. Pack water, sunscreen and adequate food for the trail as well as warmer clothes just in case. Grab a map from Cape Nature before setting off.

On a horse

Get on that horse

Get on that horse

If you’re not keen on legging it all through the Northern Cederberg on your two feet then join one of the many horse trails on the go. Whether you’re a beginner or very experienced rider, there are enough horses to suit your skill. Most trails will take you and your four-legged stead to view the spectacular rock wall paintings at Salmanslaagte caves.

The area boasts abundant wildlife such as Grysbok, Rhebok and Klipspringer, baboons and leopards. The snakes in the area seldom offer any danger to those travelling through the region. Travellers Rest, Karukareb Wilderness Reserve, Mount Ceder Lodge and Kromrivier all offer horse-riding trips in this area.

On a quad bike

What a unique landscape to explore by quad bike? Even if you’re not around during the flower season, you’ll encounter weathered sandstone rock formations, historical Bushmen paintings in caves and hopefully spot some of the Cedeberg’s highlights such as Wolfberg Arch and Cracks, the Maltese cross, Tafelberg and the Spout, Sneeuberg Peak and some of the wildlife found in the area. Begin your quad bike adventures from Citrusdal Quad Farm or with Eco-Quads near Clanwilliam.

In the water

Brave the water

Brave the water

The Clanwilliam and Bulshoek dams provide ample opportunities for those who love to play on the water. You can enjoy days filled with water-skiing, jet-skiing, white water rafting and tubing in the heart of the Cederberg. If you’re not afraid of heights and love jumping from cliffs, visit Maalgat and Algeria to do just this. You‘ll find many sparkling rivers, mountain pools and waterfalls along the way which all serve to make your visit that much more spectacular.

Up a boulder

For those who enjoy climbing up boulders unaided and give themselves a challenge, then bouldering at Rocklands in the Northern Cederberg (near Pakhuis Pass) is a must. This has become a popular spot for professionals and visitors from around the globe. The best time to try your skills on the incredible rock formations would be from May until August when the winter sun is not as strong.

Privately owned farms such as De Pakhuis, Laughenis Farm and Traveller’s Rest have bouldering areas on their land, but there are also camping sites near Rocklands.

Cederberg Information:

Get out there and find all the exciting things you can do in this wonderful part of South Africa.


Cederberg rock pools


Lauren Manuel McShane


Six continents later, Lauren Manuel McShane still has itchy feet and wanderlust for adventure in all corners of the earth. She recently married the love of her life and together they are traveling the world pausing only to find work, take photos and write. She is currently in Asia and sharing everything about her expat life on The Travel Manuel.

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2 comments about An Adventure Junkies Guide to the Cederberg
  1. May 30th, 2013 at 10:46
    Helen says:

    Great ideas for the Cederberg – would love to do a horse trail!

  2. May 30th, 2013 at 11:37
    Michelle says:

    When I was growing up, I used to go on holiday to Cederberg all the time. It is the best place to go on holiday and get away from everything. The weather is fantastic and there are loads of fun outdoor activities to do here.