Cederberg Wilderness Area Travel Guide
With the Cedarberg Mountains at its core the Cedarberg Wilderness Area is known for its spectacular scenery, and the Western Cape's greatest collection of San Rock paintings.
A Travel Guide to the Cedarberg Wilderness Area
The Cedarberg Wilderness Area is located 200 kilometres (124 miles) north of Cape Town off of the N7 national road. The closest towns are Clanwilliam to its north-west and Citrusdal to its south-west. When travelling to the reserve, visitors will need to cross a bridge over the Olifants River, between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam.
This bridge is occasionally flooded in the winter months and visitors are advised to contact the Algeria Campsite office to get an update on the road conditions prior to departing. There is an alternative route into Algeria via Citrusdal and Clanwilliam should the bridge be un-crossable.
The closest airport is Cape Town International Airport, from which the reserve is a 2.5 hour drive along well-maintained tar roads for a majority of the drive. The final stretch of road is gravel and visitors are advised to proceed with caution.
Internal Road Network
There are a number of dirt topped roads that visitors can navigate along however the area is mostly explored on foot on the numerous hiking trails.
The Cedarberg is a spectacular destination for nature lovers with beautiful scenery and an incredible diversity of plant life mainly from the Cape heathland (fynbos) and succulent varieties. A hiker's paradise there is an extensive network of over 254 kilometres (157.5 miles) of dirt top trails to exploring leading one up into the mountains to caves, rivers and beautiful waterfalls. The area is also known for its large collection of San Rock Art and visitors can view a number of these rock paintings from certain easily accessible sites.
Whether you are camping in one of the two Campsites or staying in on one of the guest farms or in one of the luxury lodges, the isolation and secluded nature of the Cedarberg Wilderness area is guaranteed to soak into your core, leaving you feeling relaxed and without a care in the world. The extensive network of hiking trails can keep one occupied for days and whether you choose to head out on a short walk or a day long hike up the mountain you will be met with beautiful scenery, great bird watching and spectacular plant life. There are a number of mountain biking trails in the area and rock climbers will be in their element scrambling up the cliff faces all around them.
Cedarberg accommodation offers a range of options to suit all needs and budgets. There are a number of self-catering stone cottages sleeping 2 - 8 people available to rent from Cape Nature. The two well-maintained campsites offer camping and caravan sites and there are also a number of luxury lodges to choose from.
Lying in bed and listening to the trees whisper above you and the stream trickling along the rocks and the sun rises above the mountains is a perfect way to start a day filled with the promise of peace and tranquillity. The Cedarberg Wilderness Area is a magnificent piece of Africa, with a seemingly harsh yet beautiful landscape overflowing with delicate and beautiful plants and wonderful panoramic vistas out into the middle of nowhere. Heading out on a hike up to a waterfall where the children can splash in the water as the adults sun themselves on the rocks only adds to the feeling of bliss. Time passes more slowly here and one cannot help but feel more relaxed and at peace.
The nature reserve is located in a winter rainfall area and 70% of the annual rain occurs between May to August especially on the west facing slopes of the mountain. Snow falls regularly and frost is known to last for up to 10 days. Summer temperatures soar to between 29°C (84.2°F) to 40°C (104°F) while in winter the average minimum is 4°C (39.2°F).
Temperatures in summer can be extremely hot and visitors are advised to drink lots of water, to wear sunblock and hats and to try to be out of the midday heat whenever possible. The weather has been known to change suddenly and hikers are advised to always be prepared for extreme conditions and to descend to lower reaches during thunderstorms.
Hikers are advised to always stick to the trails as it is very easy to lose ones way. Puff Adders and Cape Cobras are regularly seen and one should proceed with caution when hiking especially on lesser travelled trails.
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