Nature Paradise in the Cederberg Mountains
Sunny South Africa is a large country with a character that’s all its own. Its diversities are even larger in number and apply to just about any aspect you care to mention – its peoples and places, landscapes and features, fauna and flora, cities and rural areas, and best of all, its diversity and number of nature and game reserves that continue to fascinate tourists and leisure travellers. Some of the country’s conservation reserves are rather commercialised nowadays, too much so according to many a South African, who recalls the days when the roads in the biggest national parks were unpaved and facilities at the rest camps were rudimentary, especially when compared with the modern facilities installed in the latter years.
Fortunately for true lovers of nature, there are still completely unspoilt areas where nature continues to rule the wild exactly as it has for millennia. The Cederberg is one such wonderland, likely to remain pristine for a very long time still. Environmentally aware nature reserve authorities and nature lovers are firmly focussed on preserving this natural paradise for posterity.
Cederberg Nature Reserve
For many years, only the initiated knew about the magical Cederberg Nature Reserve and the breathtaking, beautifully rugged Cederberg Mountains of the inland Western Cape, a mere two hours’ drive from Cape Town, but a whole world away. It is untamed, unexploited, unsullied, and tranquil – a sanctuary for lovers of nature.
Some 69 different mammal species occupy the Cederberg Nature Reserve. These include small antelope, larger ones like the gemsbok, Cape mountain zebra and bontebok, plus rock hyrax (dassies), mongooses, and predators such as caracal and leopard. Being solitary and shy apex predators, leopards avoid humans and are seldom encountered; the rocky terrain and wilderness offers ample habitat in which to remain unobserved and undetected. Numerous reptiles are also found in the rock-strewn Cederberg region, certain snake species included, but they tend to avoid contact with hiking human beings.
The Cederberg was named after the indigenous cedar trees which once grew here in abundance. Sadly, there are very few of these now-endangered trees remaining in the area; those which survive grow mainly on the cooler upper slopes of the Cederberg Mountains. Rooibos is synonymous with the Cederberg, the only place where these therapeutic plants grow wild. Two types of fynbos also occur in the Cederberg, one each on the eastern and western slopes of the mountains. As is usual in most mountainous areas in the Western Cape, Proteas are part of the 1000 floral species of the Cederberg Nature Reserve.
Where to Stay in the Cederberg
Nature lover or not, when visiting the Cederberg Nature Reserve, you’ll need a place to stay while immersing yourself in the wonders of the region. Kagga Kamma, a private nature reserve within the Cederberg Reserve, is that very place. Kagga Kamma’s Hut, “Cave”, Star, and Outcrop suites retain the essence of the rugged nature that surrounds you, while providing you with excellent comforts and amenities. All your needs (and more) are met at Kagga Kamma, right down to an a-la-carte restaurant, wine cellar, swimming pools, and spa. What more could you want in the heart of the Cederberg Mountain region?