The Cederberg is only two hours drive from Cape Town and yet the landscape is so different, warmer, wilder, raw and dramatic. It is any nature lover’s paradise and is where Jan Braai and the team will be exploring some heritage this week.
The majestic Cederberg is a 100km long mountain range known for its characteristic jagged sandstone, richly coloured by iron oxides to a deep orange, as well as its curious rock formations and Bushmen (san) rock art. Most of the Cederberg is a designated Wilderness Area and is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is a World Heritage Site. The central Cederberg is a hikers haven and Jan explored indigenous fauna and flora on his way to the Wolfberg Arch rock formations. There are shorter and full day hikes but which ever you choose, be well prepared in terms of food, water and sunblock. Although you cannot see it on the TV show we ran out of water, and one of the cameramen’s girlfriends who joined us for a hike fainted. It is perfectly safe to refill your waterbottles from the mountain streams as the water is pure but in summer some of these streams dry up and it is better not to rely on that.
Not only does the area brim with natural wonder, but it is also known for a rich heritage filled with the silent stories of the Bushmen rock art and picturesque mission village. It was at one such village, Heuningvlei where Jan took a ride on a donkey cart and while bouncing along the rocky road he learned how to use the handbrake, if not how to steer a donkey car.
Hiking and exploring can give you a hearty appetite and for that very reason Jan braaied the perfect pork spare rib. Vivacious RSG radio presenter Christene Wessels, our guest for the episode was not to be left behind and showed us a “vegan” braai demonstrating that Vegans aren’t just people on mushrooms.
The Cederberg is easy to access, has a great climate and scenic accommodation (book through Cape Nature). The only thing that you cannot find there is fuel, so make sure that fill up your tank before driving through Ceres or Citrusdal, otherwise you might run out of diesel as we very nearly did…then again…not a bad place to get stuck and have a braai!