Cedarberg and West Coast

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Cedarberg and West Coast

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

Far removed from the craze of cosmopolitan lifestyles lies South Africa’s West Coast; a gateway to nature’s untouched landscape, scattered with the quaintness of little towns, fishing villages and a multi-coloured tapestry of blossoms, woven by the hands of Mother Nature herself. The area that stretches along South Africa’s Atlantic seaboard, from Blaauwberg in the Western Cape to Namaqualand in the Northern Cape, has become known as the West Coast.

The coastal areas of the West Coast National Park are hotspots for migrant and water birds. During spring the park bursts into bloom covering the sandveld like a vivid carpet; drifting from red and pink, to shades of purples fading into orange and bright yellow. As spring blooms across the West Coast National Park, a majestic flock of migrant waders and curlew sandpipers flap they way toward the Langebaan Lagoon. Birdwatchers are inundated with outstanding views of flamingos, black harriers, swift terns, cape gannets, crowned cormorants and African black oystercatchers.

Infused with the outstanding beauty of the West Coast, the Cederberg is a unique wilderness, renowned for is sandstone rock formations. The mighty mountain range, majestic rock formations and massive boulders embrace Mother Nature’s imagination and her creativity can be seen in hints of auburn, brown, tan, copper and bronze that colours the sandstone surfaces. The legacy of the ancient Hunter-Gatherers and their lifestyle has been preserved in rock paintings that adorn nooks, caves and crannies of the Cederberg mountain range.

Much like the West Coast National Park, Cederberg embraces the colours of earth and forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which has been deemed by UNESCO as a Natural World Heritage Site.

Access Details

By road, the West Coast National Park may be accessed by taking the N7 national road out of Cape Town towards the Cedarberg, or the R27 coastal road to visit Lamberts Bay and Langebaan along the West Coast.

Suggested Stay Details

As a secluded wilderness area, we suggest a 2 to 3 night stay when embarking on a hike or visiting Bushmans Kloof. If you are visiting the West Coast for the spring bloom, then about 1 to 3 nights would be sufficient to appreciate the vast plains of multi

Type of Experience

NATURE RETREAT: Surrounded by nothing but vast plains of untouched vistas, the natural landscape of the West Coast National Park and Cederberg Wilderness is the ideal location to find inner peace and tranquilly. Offering visitors isolation from the craze of everyday life, the wilderness has become a spiritual retreat, visited my many in search of creative awakenings and to seek spiritual enlightenment. Journey to the West Coast, explore the Cederberg and allow natures beauty to inspire you.

Infrastructure

Preserving its natural appeal, the West Coast National Park and Cederberg Wilderness is largely an untouched, undeveloped landscape. On the other hand, the towns and fishing villages are accessed by a well-developed transport network, consisting of paved road and railway.

Geography

Consisting of 34 biodiversity regions, the West Coast is predominately made up of the fynbos biome and the succulent Karoo biome.

History

"Named after the endemic cedar tree, Cederberg was initially inhabited by San and KhoiKhoi people from as early as the Stone Age era. With the arrival of European settlers in the 18th century, the areas were used as grounds for stock farming. It is believed that in 1876, the area was appointed a forester, but despite these efforts, the land was exploited for its natural resources from the early twentieth century to 1973.

Back then, the now endangered cedar tree was felled extensively to be used as telephone poles between towns. With the proclamation of Cederberg Wilderness, the harvesting of cedar trees stopped in 1967. Following closely behind, all exploitation of natural recourse within the Cederberg region ended in 1973.

With the recognition of the Cape Floral Kingdom as a Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004, the natural landscape of Cederberg too shared acknowledgment as it consists, in part, of the floral kingdom."

Activities & Highlights

WILDLIFE: The West Coast and Cederberg is home to regular appearances of klipspringers, grey rhebok and duiker. Predators such as the African wild cat, bat-eared fox, caracal and cape fox wander through the landscape, and though, the Cape Mountain leopard is rare, it too hunts throughout the wilderness. Some springbok and reedbuck hop through the park, as well as zebra, bontebok, eland and orynx. Social meerkats and mongoose stalk the smaller creatures, such as scorpions and other reptiles. The Cederberg has a recorded growth of about 4840 plant species, and about 1940 are endemic to the region. More than 250 species of birds are attracted during the spring and summer months, and from the specially designed hides; bird viewing can be done in close proximity of massive migrant birds flocks. The West Coast’s coastal regions frequented by the migration of whales, as well as being home to ocean mammals such as dolphins, cape fur seals and Great White Sharks.

ADVENTURE: The West Coast lends itself as a haven too many adventurous activities. Cederberg is becoming increasingly known as a mountain climbing hotspot. With more than 250 marked hiking trails, you are free to explore the area, while passing by outstanding rock formations such as Maltese Cross, Wolfberg Cracks and Wolfberg Arch. Hiking and mountain bike trails range from an overnight exploration or may last for up to about five nights, depending on your endurance level.

TOWNS: Visit the little whitewashed fishing and mission villages such as Krakadouw, Boontjieskloof and Wuppertal. Situated far from the cosmopolitan hustle of city life, these quant villages are oddly preserved with thatched cottages and the slow pace of country living. Locasl are pleasantly welcoming and boasts the diversity that makes South Africa a rainbow nation.

WINE ROUTE: The Swartland and Olifants River Wine Routes are both situated within the West Coast. Visit the area and your will get the chance to enjoy succulent seafood accompanied with locally produced wine. The West Coast has some excellent restaurants hidden along its shoreline. With views of the Atlantic Ocean, fine dining and the exceptional quality of South African wine, what more do you possibly need?



Season Travel Details

The West Coast National Park and Cederberg Wilderness are both located within the Western Cape Province, and as such, the areas have a Mediterranean climate. The dry summer months are from November to March.

During this time temperatures may reach highs of 30°C (86°F). Rainy season sets in during May and last up until September, with temperatures falling below 0°C. Snowfall is common on elevated areas such as mountain ranges. With the onset of spring in early August to early September, the land bursts in an array of blooming flowers

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