Geology

Geology

The Cederberg is famous for its spectacular rock formations that were sculpted by wind and water over many millions of years. Almost the entire area consists of sedimentary rock, sandstone and shale. According to Barnard & Greeff (1993) the Cederberg was a prominent feature since before the breaking up of Gondwanaland 130 million years (Ma) ago.

The geology of the Cederberg comprises of the Cape Supergroup (Table Mountain Group, Bokkeveld Group and Witteberg Group) and the Karoo Supergroup (Dwyka Group, Ecca Group and Beaufort Group). The Cape Supergroup was formed about 700 – 600 Ma ago by a succession of sedimentation of sandstone (silt, mud and sand). The distinct reddish colour of rock is a result of minerals like iron and manganese that formed part of the sediments.

About 330 Ma ago climatic change set in and the rapid growth of the continental ice sheets resulted in a drop in sea level which exposed the upper Witteberg Group sediments that began eroding. This process was enhanced by scouring actions of large continental glaciers moving over these exposed layers. These moving glaciers played a big role in the forming of the high mountains and deep valley landscape of the Cederberg Mountains as we know it today.

The first layer of the Karoo Supergroup was deposited over the Cape Supergroup, about 310 Ma ago when the icy conditions subsided.

Due to intercontinental movement and forces about 300 Ma ago the stratigraphy of the Cederberg shows eastward-dipping of strata of the Cape Supergroup overlain by the Karoo Supergroup (Reid et al, 2000). This can be seen in the ridges (‘riffels’) east of the road between Mount Ceder and Wupperthal.

Accommodation

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Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

The Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve was proclaimed in 1997. It is situated on the drier eastern boundary of the Cederberg mountains.

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Cederberg Wilderness - Algeria & Kliphuis

The Cederberg is renowned for its spectacular landscapes and weathered sandstone rock formations, most notably the Wolfberg Arch and Maltese Cross.

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Activities

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Wine Tasting

At an altitude of more than 1000m above sea level, Cederberg Private Cellar is South Africa’s highest winery and a unique wine experience in every respect...

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Conservation projects

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Stewardship

Stewardship refers to the wise use, management and protection of that which has been entrusted to us.

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Open Days & Awareness

The Cederberg Conservancy hosts an annual Open Day to raise awareness among the farming community and to promote conservation initiatives.

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Biodiversity & Wine Initiative

The Biodiversity & Wine Initiative is a partnership between the South African wine industry and the conservation sector.

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SOB Data Collections

CapeNature launched its State of Biodiversity Programme to assess and monitor the state of biodiversity in the Western Cape in 1999.

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About Cederberg Conservancy

  • The Cederberg Conservancy was constituted in 1997 as a voluntary agreement between landowners to manage the environment in a sustainable manner. It consolidates 22 properties in the central Cederberg as one of the core corridors of the Greater Cederberg Biodiversity Corridor and it is active through quarterly meetings and awareness days.

    Visitors to the area can engage in bird watching or easy hikes to the Stadsaal cave and Elephant rock art. For the more adventurous visitor the Conservancy offers Mountain bike trails or overnight hiking trials that vary from one to five nights, depending on your level of fitness and ability.