If there was ever a place that enticed the senses, it would be the Cederberg Mountains! With its enormous towering mountain peaks, painted with vivid colours at sunset, with citrus orchards drowning the air with the smell of orange blossom in the spring. Rocks, trails, streams, crystal clear rock pools. What more could you ask for in one area? And all of this only 300km outside of the Mother City, Cape Town. A trip which would take you from the familiar cityscape to a landscape that is completely different: wilder, warmer with a raw, dramatic beauty.
The Cederberg Mountains are located near the Western Cape town of Clanwilliam. But Clanwilliam is also the area endemic to the endangered Clanwilliam Cedar (Widdringtonia cedarbergensis), which gave its name to the mountain range, Cederberg. In Afrikaans the range is called the Sederberg and it is this combined with the word Cedar which led to the spelling Cederberg.
The Cederberg is one of those rare places that you can walk in the mountains with not another person in sight, swim in the clear mountain rock pools, enjoy bouldering and climbing at Rocklands or even just marvel at the delicate San rock art. The lack of busy streets and bustling cities means that this is an area where you can relax and enjoy the tranquillity of this unspoilt paradise. But the range is more than just a mountain range it also has an exceptional botanical diversity, and is included in the Cape Floral Kingdom of South Africa. The region is also home to the world-famous healthy rooibos tea, which is only cultivated by farmers in the Cederberg area of South Africa.
Visitors can take a fascinating journey to the picturesque mission village of Wupperthal deep in the Cederberg, or follow the walking trails to some of the ancient rock paintings. Some of the landmarks which may be worth visiting include the Maltese Cross, Wolfberg Arch and Wolfberg Cracks. But be prepared because there are very few places to buy food or drink, and most importantly, fuel outside of the towns of Clanwilliam and Citrusdal. It is therefore advisable to fill your tank before taking a day excursion. And remember to take a picnic lunch and plenty of water/drinks with you. There are some small farm stalls on the N7 highway and just outside Clanwilliam. Wupperthal also has a little coffee shop, but this is closed from Saturday afternoon to Monday morning.
Ensconced in the magical Oliphant's River Valley, Clanwilliam Hotel is situated off the beaten track. Only two hours drive from Cape Town, the hotel offers air-conditioned rooms, swimming pool and secure parking.
The philosophy at Enjo Nature Farm is a simple one: Escape, breathe, relax and chill. Not a difficult undertaking when the surrounding scenery leaves your mouth hanging open at every turn...
The Baths Natural Hot Springs is a privately owned resort situated 16km from Citrusdal.