What you’ll find in the Cederberg Wilderness Area January 15th, 2018
What you’ll find in the Cederberg Wilderness Area
The Cederberg area consists of Clanwilliam, Citrusdal, Lambert’s Bay and Wupperthal. But today we will be looking at the three that surround the peaceful Cederberg mountains. We will explore the different towns and what activities and facilities they have to offer visitors.
The Cederberg Wilderness Area is a conservation area that forms part of the beautiful and indigenous Cape Fynbos Region, so the nature-views are bound to be breathtaking.
The town of Clanwilliam is one of the more popular towns associated with the Cederberg and many of the Cederberg Wilderness Area trails and adventures depart from here. It is one of the ten oldest towns in South Africa and is a big name in the rooibos industry. For all accommodation concerns, it’s rather simple: book a room at the Clanwilliam Hotel and from there, it’s easy to explore the beautiful area.
During explorations, a few adventures to consider include:
- Cederberg Heritage Trail: With a choice of either a three- or five-day hiking trail, the Cederberg Heritage Trail takes visitors through the Moravian Mission villages of Heuningvlei, Brugkraal and Wupperthal. This community-based hiking trail includes accommodation and luggage carriers in the form of donkey carts.
- Donkey cart adventures: This will take tourists along the same routes as the Cederberg Heritage Trail, but will involve less walking and more, sitting in the back of a donkey cart, taking the views in.
- Rooibos Route: With a rooibos tea manufacturer in the area, Clanwilliam would be silly not to utilise their rooibos farms as an experiential activity for visitors to take part in when coming to the small town. On the Rooibos Route, plan a trip around the cultivation phase (which includes trips to plantations, processing plants and factory), the history (Clanwilliam museum) and other activities around the rooibos culture in Clanwilliam.
- Sevilla Rock Art Trail: Visitors also have the opportunity to view some of the preserved native San rock art at nine different sites. Along the 5km trail, one could also hope to see Springbok, Eland and baboons along the way.
- Wild Flower Show: Visiting during spring will provide visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Wild Flower Show through the Cape Flower Route.
Surrounded by citrus orchards and in the Olifants River Valley, is the rural town of Citrusdal. A small town of only 5000 people and 60km from Clanwilliam this would be the first stop in the Cederberg area when coming from Cape Town.
Some of the attractions and activities available are:
- 4x4 Trails: Who says adrenalin and adventure can’t be found in the peaceful corners of nature? Citrusdal offers some 4x4 trails with rocky or sandy terrain and quad bikes or mountain bikes as alternates to the 4x4 vehicles.
- Freshwater fishing: With the Olifants River nearby, there are plenty of freshwater fishing opportunities where the indigenous species include the ClanwilliamYellowfish, the "Rooivlerkie", the Clanwilliam Sand Fish and Barnard's "Klipbaber”.
- Natural hot springs: The Baths hot spring resort is a place for those who enjoy relaxing in an environment that is comprised of nature and the silence that comes with it.
- Rock climbing: With the Cederberg being the mountainous area that it is, it’s no surprise that some people travel that way to get in on a bit of the rock climbing action.
- Citrusdal Museum: For a history lesson about the town’s first colonials and a look into the tools and lives of the Khoisan, the Citrusdal Museum is the place to be. And for a lunch-stop, the tourism bureau or Sandveldhuisie is close to the museum for something to eat and drink.
The smaller of the Cederberg towns is Wupperthal, founded in 1830. As small and old as it may be, there are still a few things to do.
- Gabriël Trail: This four-day hiking trail starts in Clanwilliam and is one way for you to make your way to the town of Wupperthal, where it ends. Unlike the Cederberg Heritage Trails, the Gabriël Trail covers the central area and not as many northern sections as the heritage trails.
- Scenic flights: The Enjo Nature Farm in the Biedouw Valley offers visitors a bird's eye view of the valley and the Cederberg Wilderness Area. A plane ride with and Cederberg views are a great combination for any and all visitors.
- Wupperthal Trail: Another stayover hiking trail is the Wupperthal Trail for nature-lovers to enjoy. There is even an additional day option that offers the more experienced climbers to climb Krakadouw Peak.
- Shoe factory: Visiting a shoe factory isn’t always top of the list for many tourists, but the Wupperthal Shoe Factory is the oldest (still operating) shoe factory in South Africa. Leather field shoes are their speciality as of 1836.
But the best thing about the Cederberg area is the chance to park off and relax to the sounds of nature, the sights of millions of stars that are otherwise lost in the city, and the calming properties of such an environment.