About Truitjieskraal Interpretive Trail

Start: Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve
Finish: Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve
Duration: a morning, the trail is short
Fitness: this is not a difficult trail
Our tip: you will need a high-clearance vehicle as the gravel road off the N7 to Matjiesrivier is not great

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 sheep and other stock animals from winter to summer grazing areas.

The name of the hike is believed to originate from the name Gertruida, who historians think was one of the local shepherd's wives or loved one when the cave, Truitjieskraal, was used to overnight en route.

The interpretive trail gives visitors access to over 2 500 rock art paintings.

The trail runs through the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site since 2014. The 12 800 hectare reserve lies in a transitional zone between fynbos and lowland succulent Karoo vegetation and has an incredible diversity of plants for visitors to experience.

The area's incredible sandstone formations and the beauty of the plants make this reserve an appealing option for a hike without the art. Much of the sand that formed these rock formations comes from rocks eroded by rivers in the area well over 500 million years ago.

You will also be able to spot, through a pair of binoculars, the well known Maltese Cross, a 30-metre high rock formation that rests at the foot of the Sneeuberge, from Truitjieskraal.

Information boards along the route are informative. And Truitjieskraal is also a climbing area with about 37 bolted routes developed by CapeNature and the Mountain Club of South Africa.

Not far from the rock art site is Stadsaal Cave, a cavernous dome carved into the rock by wind erosion and weather.

You will need a permit to do the walk from CapeNature offices in either Matjiesrivier or Algeria. If not there, then try other private tourism offices in the Cederberg.

Need to Know

WhereMatjiesrivier Nature Reserve, Cederberg, Western Cape

WhenPlease enquire. You will need a permit to do the walk from CapeNature offices in either Matjiesrivier or Algeria.

How muchPrices on request.

Telephone+27 (0)21 483-0190

OvernightThe closest town is Citrusdal, in Western Cape

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