The vast Cederberg Wilderness lies some 250km north of Cape Town, encompassing some 71 000ha of rugged, mountainous terrain. The Wilderness was proclaimed in 1973 and received World Heritage Site status in 2004 as part of the Cape Floristic Region.
The Cederberg is renowned for its spectacular landscapes and weathered sandstone rock formations, most notably the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross. The Cederberg received its name from the rare Clanwilliam cedar tree, Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, which you will find in the Welbedacht and Krakadouw areas.
To the hardy hiker the Cederberg Wilderness offers a true wilderness experience with about 300 kilometres of well maintained hiking trails. The visitor opting for a more relaxing experience can select from a variety of camping and self-catering chalets at Kliphuis and Algeria. The CapeNature office is based at Algeria which was named by a French nobleman, Count de Regne, who was in charge of state forests in the Cape Colony. The mountainous environment and the cedar trees reminded him of the Atlas Mountains in Algeria.
Activities in the area include, day hiking, overnight hiking, swimming and rock climbing.
No matter how much of a pathfinder you are, a 1:50 000 topographical map from the Algeria office will be indispensable in planning your hike (and for not getting lost!). Be well prepared since conditions can be extreme and weather conditions can change dramatically. Fires are forbidden, so take a gas stove and practice the ‘Leave no Trace’ principles when it comes to toilet habits and other refuse.