Cederberg Heritage Route

by CapeNature

CapeNature is proud to announce the latest addition to its stable of eco-tourism offerings, the recently launched Cederberg Heritage Route – within the boundaries of one of the eight World Heritage Sites located in the Cape Floristic Kingdom – the popular Cederberg Wilderness Area – a mere two hours drive north from Cape Town.

“The main aim of this eco-tourism project is to provide income streams for community members on the route by offering accommodation, catering and guiding services” says CapeNature’s Sheraaz Ismail, Acting Director: Commercialisation and Business Development. The route will ultimately contribute to economic and skills development and is in line with CapeNature’s objective to create a conservation economy. The Heritage route also makes the Cederberg Wilderness more accessible for elderly visitors and hikers who prefer more comfortable conditions.

Historically, Wilderness users could only explore the area with heavy packs and camp in very rustic conditions. However the Cederberg Heritage Route now makes this beautiful area accessible for visitors to explore the Cederberg Wilderness with only day packs or on donkey carts and offers visitors the option of lodging in comfortable and charming accommodation facilities at Boskloof, Heuningvlei, Brugkraal and at Wupperthal.

Local guides accompany visitors on the trails. Thus walkers can explore some of the classic walks of the northern Cederberg: Heuningvlei, Krakadouw peak and Boontjieskloof. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the people and biodiversity of the area. The three walking trails range from three to five nights.

The trails are fully inclusive: guests stay at comfortable community guesthouses in the picturesque Moravian mission villages, guided in the Cederberg Wilderness by local community guides with their overnight luggage taken to their next night’s stay.

This community based eco-tourism initiative was developed with the collaboration of various stakeholders including the Moravian Church, a volunteer group from Cape Town, CapeNature as well as the Clanwilliam Living Landscape Project (specialising in rock art tours and marketed by Cedarberg African Travel, a Clanwilliam-based tour operator).

The Cederberg Nature reserve is nestled in the majestic and rugged Cederberg mountains. The 100km-long Cederberg mountain range is a tangled mass of sandstone, richly coloured by iron oxides, and rises above vineyards and citrus groves. Among its twisted rock formations farmers cultivate the world-famous rooibos tea (tannin-free). The Cederberg is also famous for its unique rock formations, fine examples of San (Bushmen) rock paintings and spectacular wild flowers in spring (August to early September). Most of the Cederberg is a designated Wilderness area and thus remains one of the most undisturbed areas of South Africa.

Notes:

The Trails
Most of the hiking/walking on the Cederberg Heritage Route Trails is not difficult and is suitable for regular walkers or people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, some optional hikes are more arduous to give keen walkers more of a challenge.

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