Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve lies on the eastern edge of the Cederberg Mountains, managed as part of the greater Cederberg conservation area

Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

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 fynbos and succulent Karoo vegetation types, has a beauty all of its own, its 12 000 hectares home to the rather unique Stadsaal (city hall) rock formations, housed in the Stadsaal Caves, where wind and rain have shaped rock into some of the most amazing multi-coloured rock sculptures. There are also examples of San Rock art that include the well known elephant rock painting.

Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve and the Cedarberg Wilderness Reserve are considered officially part of the Wilderness. Summers here can get incredibly hot, whilst winters are cold with snow often falling in the higher parts of the Cederberg.

The Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve sits astride both arid to semi-arid zones, home to some incredible examples of fynbos, but also supporting mountain renosterveld, particularly the daisy family, because of the fine-grained clay soils found here.

The main reason for heading out into the Wilderness is the incredible beauty and solitude of the wild. Hiking and rock climbing are major draw cards to the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve where one can overnight in rustic accommodation.

Matjiesrivier is also central to both a 16 kilometre mountain bike trail, and a two-day 4x4 route that includes the Wolfberg Arch as part of its route. Both of these cross the reserve at various points and have to make bookings ahead of the time.

Popular Attraction in Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

Truitjieskraal Interpretive Trail

Walk in the footsteps of ancient hunter gatherers on the Truitjieskraal interpretive trail and see first-hand a selection of ancient San and Khoekhoe (pronounced kwekwe)rock paintings. Truitjieskraal is based on an old route used as a way to move...

More info and contact details: Truitjieskraal Interpretive Trail

Stadsaal Caves

The Stadtsaal, sometimes spelt Stadsaal, caves are a series of ancient inter-leading caves in the Cederberg Wilderness that hold excellent examples of !Xam (more often called San) rock art, in particular paintings of elephant. The !Xam lived...

More info and contact details: Stadsaal Caves

Popular Activities near Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

Cederberg Wilderness Trail

Where? Clanwilliam
Roughly 300 km of hiking trails on well maintained paths wend their way through what is, in essence, the Cape Fold Belt peppered with weathered sandstone formations, typical of the area, that include Wolfberg Arch and the Maltese Cross...

More info and contact details: Cederberg Wilderness Trail

Wolfberg Arch Trail

Where? Cederberg
The trail to Wolfberg Cracks is steep, but the path is good. But in the heat of the day it can feel difficult, so start early. There are two routes you can take, once you reach the base of the rocky cliffs. Most people opt for the main crack off...

More info and contact details: Wolfberg Arch Trail

Boschkloof MTB Trail

Where? Citrusdal
Your will ride along the Ceres Mountain pass and then head off onto single track with varied terrain, fabulous Fynbos, steep hills and descents and a lot of fun. Ride through the Boschkloof homestead, across a river and back onto the tar for...

More info and contact details: Boschkloof MTB Trail

Did you know?

The Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve is home to an array of animal species and also showcase some of South Africa’s gorgeous, indigenous fynbos..

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