Cederberg rock art trail upgraded + 5 things to make you pack your bags and go

2016-04-26 14:44 - Selene Brophy
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - South Africa's rocky Cederberg Wilderness is an outdoor adventure's playground of note.

It is home to some incredible spots, including the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve and South Africa's Cape Floristic World Heritage Site.

CapeNature has recently upgraded its Truitjieskraal interpretive trail, part of the Greater Cederberg region which has more than 2 500 sites with rock art.

However, CapeNature says Truitjieskraal arguably boasts the most impressive of these sandstone formations in the area - with rock art dating back to 5 000 years ago.

To preserve this unique natural and cultural heritage, CapeNature says it has improved the trail, which takes visitors on an historical journey through San and Khoekhoe cultures spanning millions of years. 

“People have cared for this landscape for thousands of years. The rock art and artefacts left behind by the indigenous people is so valuable and cannot be replaced, so it is vital that we preserve these memories and ensure future generations have access to this unique natural and cultural heritage.” 

The Truitjieskraal trail will not only allow you to get an understanding of how the landscape formed but also how plants and animals contribute to it as well as how dynamic ecological processes continue to change it. 

Added to its preserved areas, Truitjieskraal is also hailed as a world-renowned sport climbing location, with its bolted routes forming part of 37 routes developed by CapeNature and the Mountain Club of South Africa.

WATCH: The art of climbing according to Mountain Club SA

The Truitjieskraal trail provides a wonderful addition to the tourism attractions in the Cederberg along the Cape West Coast.

Here are five key things to include in your itinerary. 

- Stay at Algeria campsite 

Algeria is a peaceful, grassy area on the Rondegat River. It has 13 self-catering cottages and 48 campsites for tents and caravans. Algeria offers a welcome shady break from the sun, with crystal clear pools to cool off in during the Cederberg’s hot, dry summers.

- Self-catering from R580; Camping from R220 
click here for full details


- Scale the world-famous Rocklands

A group of climbers spent a month documenting their month-long experience, take a look.

- Go check out Stadsaal cave

Just a few hundred feet from the rock art site is another landmark, though this one has more recent ties to South African history. Called Stadsaal (Afrikaans for City Hall), this cavernous dome has been carved out of the rock by thousands of years of wind erosion and other weather factors. The name Stadsaal was officially given to the cave after the National Party’s head honchos held a planning meeting there just before coming to power in 1948. However, it was used as a community meeting place well before that. There is historically significant graffiti preserved in the cave featuring some famous political names, including that of DF Malan, dating back to the late 1800s.

- Hike to Wolfberg Arch

Brought to life through the orange colour (caused by iron oxide) of the area - Wolfberg Arch is an energetic hike, worth the effort.  

- Picnic at the 30m-high Maltese Cross

Yet another spectacular rock configuration, worth combining with a hike to Wolfberg.



Key details if you do go:

- A permit is required to visit these attractions and is available for purchase at any of the CapeNature offices (Matjiesrivier or Algeria) or at any private tourism offices in the Cederberg area.

- Permits cost R60 per adult and R35 per child.

- Office hours 07:30 to 16:00 

What to read next on Traveller24:

6 Spectacular slackpacking trails in SA

Rim of Africa: 15 awe-inspiring facts about SA's longest mountain hiking trail

4 Exceptional SA hiking trails to tackle in 2016