Cederberg

South Africa

A mere 3 hours drive from Cape Town, but it feels like you set foot on another planet... This extensive barren landscape offers a multitude of hiking trails among a landscape dominated by high jagged sandstone rock formations – a true wilderness experience! Think of it as the Sedona of South Africa. The Cederberg Wilderness area is situated at the foot of the enchanting Cederberg mountain, and the required hiking permits are included for this activity. The Cederberg Mountains are in the Western Cape province and consist of an area of about 100km2. The sparsely populated region is well known in South Africa for its back-to-basics natural beauty, Bushman rock art and jaw-dropping displays of colour in the flower season from Aug-Sept. The horison is lined with unusual sandstone formations that contain bands of soft finely stratified sedimentary rock, rich in fossils dating back to the Ordovician Period, over 450 million years ago.

Although the arid landscape is dominated by orange mountains (burnt by iron oxide); the region is also rich in wildlife. Keep an eye out to try spot honey badger, porcupines, dassies, grey rhebok, klipspringers, duiker and aardvark. Smaller predators like the African wild cat, lynx, bat-eared fox, aardwolf and Cape fox usually hunt at night. Do a spot of birdwatching as you take in the diversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom and wonder at the rich heritage of San and Khoi art hidden amongst the ancient caves, overhangs and rock formations.

In summer the West Coast & Cederberg area is hotter and drier than Cape Town. Langebaan is consistently windy and has become a major kiteboarding and windsurfing destination, especially during the blustery summer months. It becomes increasingly drier further north and fog banks hug the coastline in winter. Further inland at places like Clanwilliam and the striking Cederberg mountain range temperatures can soar to above 50 degrees C. In winter temperatures can plummet with occasional snowfalls on the Cederberg peaks.