Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site, located in the transitional zone where fynbos and lowland succulent Karoo vegetation overlap

Proclaimed as a nature reserve in 2000, and a World Heritage Site in 2014, Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve occupies a very special part of the Western Cape. The 12 800 hectare nature reserve is located in the transitional zone where fynbos and lowland succulent Karoo vegetation overlap. The diversity of fauna and flora found on the reserve thus offers visitors representations of both biomes.

This semi-arid nature reserve also contains some excellent examples of the region’s geological and archaeological heritage, including the imposing Stadsaal cave, rare San rock art depicting elephants, and the newly opened Truitjieskraal interpretive trail. A permit is required to visit these attractions and is available for purchase at the CapeNature offices or at any private tourism offices in the Cederberg area.

Watch some beautiful timelapses of the nature reserve, filmed on the Truitjieskraal interpretive trail, below.

Video shot and provided by Liesel Kershoff. View her work on her website here: lieselkershoff.com

How to get there

From Cape Town: Take the N7 highway north from Cape Town. Stay on the N7 past Citrusdal, after 28km take the Cederberg/Algeria turn-off to the right. Follow this main gravel road for 17km and you will come to the Algeria office. From this office, carry on the dirt road for another 46km, over the Uitkyk pass, past the turn off to Krom Rivier (take the left fork in the road, following the sign for ‘Ceres’). The Stadsaal caves are just a few kilometres into the reserve, while the office complex and Truitjieskraal turn-off are further along. This is a 300km drive, but will take you at least four hours due to the long stretch of gravel road along the last 80km.

Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve contact information

Reserve office hours: 07h30 – 16h00, Monday to Friday
Reserve office phone number: +27 27 482 9922
Permits can be obtained at any tourism office in the Cederberg Area or at Algeria or Matjiesrivier during office hours.
Cellphone reception: No reception, last reception point is the Algeria section of the Cederberg.

GPS: 32° 30’ 0.5’’ S 19° 20’ 10.0’’ E