The Cederberg Wilderness is only three hours outside Cape Town, but it feels like a different world. The Cederberg Mountains, burnt orange by iron oxide, dominate the landscape. Jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch, and ancient San and Khoi rock art, make this area truly spectacular.
The Cederberg lies 200km north of Cape Town, stretching from the Middelberg Pass in Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam. The wilderness area encompasses about 71 000 hectares of rugged, mountainous terrain, making it a top spot in the Western Cape for hiking and rock-climbing enthusiasts.
The Cederberg, which forms part of the Cape floral region, is a World Heritage Site, is covered in mountain fynbos, including the laurel protea, the red disa, rooibos, and the rare and endemic snow protea. Rare Clanwilliam cedars, the area’s namesake, dot the higher mountain cliffs.
The area is also rich in wildlife. Visitors with a keen eye may spot porcupines, honey badger, the Cape clawless otter and aardvark. The lucky few may even catch a glimpse of the elusive leopard. There are also smaller predators like the African wild cat, lynx, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and Cape fox. Other, more common animals include baboons, dassies, grey rhebok, klipspringers, duiker and grysbok.