West Coast Cederberg Tour
We leave Cape Town and travel through the Bloubergstrand area, past Melkbosstrand, Atlantis and Mamre and Darling, past Saldanha, which is South Africa’s biggest, deepest and safest harbour. From here we make the short trek to the Triplet-Towns of Velddrift, Port Owen and Laaiplek. These small, West Coast towns are known as the bokkom- capital of the world, situated at the estuary of the Berg River. Port Owen has a striking resemblance to Venice, with its streets of water. We continue our route through Dwarskersbos towards the Rocherspan and past Verlorenvlei with its rich diversity bird species before reaching Eland’s Bay. From here we push through the Sandveld and its historic towns Leipoldtville and Graafwater. Finally, we reach Clanwilliam from where it’s a short trip to Vanrhynsdorp, our final destination for the day, where we will spend all of our nights. The Namaqua Lodge in Vanrhynsdorp will be our home from home for the remainder of the tour. .
Today we visit Gifberg, part of the Matzikama mountain range, which is the northernmost mountains of the Cederberg mountain rang. The Matzikama Mountains are known for its rocky creatures and stone dinosaurs we’ll see during our tour on Gifberg Mountain. It is also here where we’ll see how a small mountain stream formed a hole in a rock over centuries and today is a waterfall. Gifberg earned its name from the poisonous tree endemic to this mountain series and which is not found anywhere else in the world. We also visit sights at Nieuwoudtville, like the Dutch Reformed church, Nieuwoudtville waterfall, the Quiver tree forest, as well as the glacier tracts.
Today we visit the Stadsaal-Caves. This route promises to be filled with imaginative surprises which will take you through the enormous high mountain sides and chasms. Here on route to nowhere you will find the turnoff to the Stadsaal-Caves which is the highlight of our tour. This is a part of our not yet discovered by the tourist. Here we’ll also see one of the finest examples of Rock art (Bushman paintings). This is where one’s imagination will take you into another dimension. Here one can wonder around for several hours without observing the same thing twice. This is an experience not possible to describe on paper. This is where you will use all the memory of your digital and video camera. After an unforgettable day in the Cedarberg Mountain we return to Vanrhynsdorp.
The final day of our tour takes us through the Olifants River Valley towards Clanwilliam. From here we enter the Pakhuis-Mountains, so named for the way the rocks looks to be stacked on top of each other. We visit the gravesite of the legendary C. Louis Leipoldt where we also see some extremely rare flower species. Next we travel back to Clanwilliam to visit the Ramskop natural garden on the banks of the Clanwilliam Dam. This garden is incredibly diverse with approximately 350 flower species. We travel through the valley between the Cederberg and Olifants River Mountain ranges up to the Piekenierskloofpas. Once we traverse the pass we enter the ironically named Swartland with its golden canola fields and green wheat plains. We finally reach Cape Town in what would most undoubtedly be the most soul satisfying, rejuvenating and inspiring experience.