Two hours north of Cape Town lies a rocky terrain with jaw-dropping views and a history that dates back to the prehistoric ages. Avid rock climbers and nature enthusiasts hold the Cederberg Mountains very highly on their to-do list, due to its majestic landscape of unique rock formations that resemble slumbering giants. The nearest town is Clanwilliam, where visitors love to explore the scenic views of the surrounding mountains and an endless wildlflower field. In fact, this is where the world-famous annual wild flowers of Namaqualand are. The best time to see the flowers in bloom is from August to September when the barren land turns into an Eden of wildflowers. Of course, a copious amount of colorful flowers (more than 4,000 species!) during its peak season makes this a birding paradise too (especially in Biedouw Valley that’s about 80 km outside of Clanwilliam). Tourists and locals report spotting rare birds, baboons and springboks emerging in the yellow and orange field.
Another fantastic small town nestled in the Cederberg Mountain is Wupperthal. If the name hasn’t given enough of a hint, this town is predominately known for its Moravian German heritage. During its heyday, a suede shoe factory thrived in this town and was highly praised for its fine craftsmanship. Today, visitors can tour the shoe factory (that still operates) to learn of its history and how the industry provided the livelihood of early residents. Or take it to the coast at Lambert’s Bay, a sleepy fishing town with waterfront seafood joints serving up the best crayfish. It’s not uncommon to spot penguins resting on its shores.
History lovers listen up, you’ll love this. Evidence of rock paintings from the nomadic San People can be found throughout Cederberg. The rock art depicts early bushmen (sometimes up to 8,000 years old) hunting elephants, zebras and other wildlife. Nearby towns like Clanwilliam and Citrusdal have their own tours to bring tourists directly to the historic sites like the Sevilla Rock Art Trail along the Brannewyn River. But history isn’t the only star of the show here, Rooibos is grown and harvested in the area and visitors can join various tours to learn the process behind their favorite tea. Several farms like Skimmelberg Buchu in the Cederberg Mountains range work hard to grow the plants organically and offer tea tastings at the end of the tour. This is your chance to taste freshly made teas while enjoying the mirage of the mountains in the backdrop.
Hiking is an obvious must-do when it comes to exploring the Cederberg Mountains, but there are plenty of other exciting ways to get up close and personal with mother nature. Rock climbing is a popular activity in the area, thanks to the rocks’ odd shapes, making them easy to climb. As night falls, campers love to pitch their tents in designated campsites to sleep under the stars and listen to the natural sounds of life thriving in the mountains. But for those of you who wish to take your accommodation up a notch, you’ll definitely not want to miss out on Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve, a unique resort that is garnering attention for a very good reason. The resort has several suites that are located literally inside caves. Large rocks are hollowed out to make room for luxury Flintstones-esque suites and overnight guests can enjoy the rock formations from the comforts of their beds. When the weather permits it, Kagga Kamma has another unusual accommodation such as the Open Air rooms where guests can literally sleep outside. Comfy queen beds are placed on top of rock plateaus overlooking the stunning views of Cederberg Mountains so visitors can enjoy the surrounding nature in its full splendor. The amenities also include an outdoor shower, “Star Bath”, and a natural rock pool. Expect a meal of your lifetime during your stay in Kagga Kamma’s own restaurant known for its South African fare with vegan and halaal friendly items on the menu. Be sure to order the wine, you’ll want to taste the flavors of the very same soil you’re looking at. No matter what kind of accommodation you choose in the area, you’re sure to fall in love with it.
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