Cederberg, Western Cape
Once you've booked your hotel or Cederberg accommodation explore our destination pages below for info on attractions, events and what to do in the Cederberg.
The beautiful Cederberg, a wilderness area dominated by a craggy mountain range and a nature reserve that stretches from the Middelberg Pass at Citrusdal to just north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam - over 70 000 hectares of spectacular, rugged terrain - lies roughly two to three hours’ drive, depending on how leisurely the pace, from Cape Town. The Cederberg, named after the endangered Clanwilliam Cedar - a tree endemic to the area - is virtually synonymous with a series of impressive rock formations that emerged as a result of a combination of factors, including the chemical composition of rocks in the area, climatic conditions and the general flat-lying nature of the geology in the Cederberg.
This largely isolated and undeveloped part of the world is renowned for its hot, dry summers with typically cloudless skies, winter rains and incredible natural beauty. A period of severe exploitation of the environment, during which large amounts of cedar wood, rooibos tea, buchu and rockwood bark were unsustainably harvested, came to a halt in 1973 after the cedar was brought to the edge of extinction by constant felling to meet the growing demand for construction wood.
A conservation project now actively supports the Clanwilliam Cedar Tree - run by the Botanical Society, Western Cape Nature Conservation and individual reserves in the area in an effort to save this light, honey-coloured and highly aromatic wood from the endangered list.
The Cederberg is without doubt one of the most beautiful and finest areas in which to hike. Wolfberg Arch and Cracks (the arch is a long way from the cracks, but worth the effort), Maltese Cross, Tafelberg, Sneeuberg, Sneeukop and Krakadouw peak make for real mountaineering attractions, whilst the not-as-fit still gain a lot of pleasure from Maalgat pool and Stadsaal Caves. There are fine examples of San rock art in caves and overhangs throughout the area. Farming villages in the area make for leisurely days of exploration, particularly the Moravian mission station at Wupperthal.
Cederberg is now the generally accepted spelling for the area, which combines the English (Cedarberg) and Afrikaans (Sederberg) variants - Wikipedia
For more info about Cederberg see our articles on the SA Travel News Blog: • An Adventure Junkies Guide to the Cederberg
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of the Cederberg
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Biedouw Valley
The beautiful, fertile Biedouw Valley lies hemmed in by the Biedouw Mountains to the north, and to the south by the Tra-Tra Mountains, just 32 kilometres from Clanwilliam in the Cedarberg. The essence of this valley is captured ... biedouw valley information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Clanwilliam
Resting at the foot of the Cederberg Mountain range, a little over two hours’ drive from Cape Town, lies the little hamlet of Clanwilliam. Regarded as the only town in the world where rooibos is planted and cultivated, is also famous for ... clanwilliam information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Wuppertal
Wuppertal lies hidden deep in the Cedarberg Mountains, 72 kilometres behind Clanwilliam. It lies in the heart of the barren wilderness that is the Cedarberg Mountains, far from civilisation, a series of three terraces of neatly ... wuppertal information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in the Cederberg
This little talked about gem lies just 25 kilometres outside of Porterville, roughly 2 hours from Cape Town, in the Olifants River Mountains in the Cederberg. Over 5 000 hectares of wilderness gives one the opportunity to completely unwind amidst beautiful specimens of fynbos, naturally occurring waterfalls ... more information
The Cederberg Wilderness Area lies some 200 km north of Cape Town. This vast area stretches from the Middelberg Pass at Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam, encompassing some 71 000 ha of rugged, mountainous terrain. The Cederberg was proclaimed a wilderness area ... more information
Cape Flower Route
The southern section of the famous Cape Flower Route falls within the Olifants River Valley. Following good rains, Lutzville, Vredendal, Vanrhynsdorp, Klawer and Clanwilliam are all renowned for the extravagance of their wild flowers in August and September after the right amount of rainfall.
Bushmanskloof Wilderness, lying in the northern Cederberg wilderness roughly 270 kilometres from Cape Town, is a South African Natural Heritage Site and it is not difficult to understand why it deserved this label. Not only does it form part of the Cape Floral Region, itself a world heritage site, but it is also pretty ... more information
Katbakkies Pass has what is commonly known as a descriptive name. Others in the area include Houdenbek and Skitterykloof - although Skitterykloof (also known as Peerboomskloof) was incorrectly known as Katbakkies for a time, until the true Katbakkies Pass, some 15 to 20 kilometres west of it, revealed itself as the ... more information
The beautiful Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve lies on the eastern edge of the Cederberg Mountains, managed as part of the greater Cederberg conservation area, roughly three hours from Cape Town and 35 kilometres beyond Algeria. This arid part of the world that falls in a transitional zone between the ... more information
The Nieuwoudt Pass is a dirt road that occurs roughly halfway between Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, off the N7. It is actually an alternative route to Clanwilliam and takes one past two well known and loved holiday camping sites – Algeria and Jamaka. It is indicated by a road sign that says 'Algeria Cederberg' that ... more information
This wine route extends between Citrusdal, along the river, to Lutzville Vineyards. With its exquisite combination of river and ocean views, set against the backdrop of rolling vineyards that seem to go on for miles, Olifants River Wine Route is an idyllic escape from city living as you ... more information
Set on the northern edge of the Cederberg Wilderness area, roughly 300 kilometres from Cape Town and close to the town of Clanwilliam, the Pakhuis Conservancy is a project initiated by farmers in the area. They have banded together to convert degraded farm land into burgeoning conservation areas ... more information
The drive from Clanwilliam to Wuppertal in the Cederberg, the incredible wild and mountainous region that attracts hikers and lies roughly three hours' from Cape Town, takes one across three wonderful mountain passes, one of which is the Pakhuis Pass. The other two are Hoek Se Berg and Kouberg Pass, possibly not as ... more information
Peerboomskloof Pass, where the Karoo meets the Koue Bokkeveld, is also sometimes called Skitterykloof or Katbakkies, particularly by birding fanatics. The true Katbakkies Pass lies to the west of Peerboomskloof Pass (the two are connected by a rocky plateau), but birders continue to call the picnic area ... more information
Find the Piekenierskloof Pass on the N7 from Cape Town. Its descent takes one into the town of Citrusdal, and leaves behind the Swartland, a tapestry of wheat farms. It is one of the most scenic and easy to drive passes in the Western Cape, with views from the summit that are worth stopping for. The Piekerneerskloof ... more information
The Cederberg has some of the most incredible wild flowers during the flower season that usually happens around August/September. Particularly for those travellers who can't make it all the way up to Garies and other gems like Nieuwoudtville, the Cederberg is as wonderful an option. And a lot closer to Cape Town ... more information
Savour the peace and quiet of the Suid Bokkeveld and the Cedarberg Mountains on a route that links Nieuwoudtville and Wupperthal via Moedverloor (the route is also sometimes called the Moedverloor Route). En route are a group of authentic small scale farmers that you can visit, guided hikes ... more information
The Theronsberg Pass is one of four ways in which to reach the Ceres valley. Others include Michell's Pass from Cape Town (N1, R43, R46), Gydo Pass (the R303 from Citrusdal), and Theronsberg Pass (from Touws River, R46). The Theronsberg Mountains take one into the Tanqua Karoo, a gorgeous semi-arid area ... more information
Located in the heart of the Cederberg, Uitkyk Pass forms part of the myriad gravel back roads so popular with bikers, campers and hikers in this incredible wilderness. It also has one of the best view points at the top of the pass. Roughly two hours' drive from Cape Town takes you into an area filled with ... more information
Featured Things To Do in the Cederberg