Cederberg Mountains’ “Missing” Cedars
Right across South Africa, places have been named after events that took place there or natural phenomena and features that were observed in the area.
All in A Name
Likewise, the Cederberg Mountains were named after the Clanwilliam cedar trees that once proliferated in this part of the Western Cape, where they were an endemic species. The spelling of the name was altered slightly to accommodate both the English and Afrikaans languages, and “berg” – the Afrikaans word for mountain – was added.
Getting back to our cedar trees – have you ever had the pleasure of raising the lid of a cedar-wood chest, only to be greeted by the fresh fragrance of the planed and carved wood that comes from the magnificent cedar tree? The universal use of wooden chests has waned somewhat nowadays, so if you are lucky enough to encounter a kist or wardrobe made of cedarwood, it is probably an antique or highly collectable, expensive piece. Irrespective of age, cedarwood retains its fragrance. For many years, South Africa’s Clanwilliam cedar trees, found virtually only in the Cederberg mountains, have been on the endangered-species list. A few trees can still be found on less-accessible slopes. In this country, this now-scarce, slow-growing wood is no longer cut and used.
Returning from The Brink of Extinction
The blame for this sad state of affairs is entirely man-made. In the mid to latter 1890s, the powers that be and erstwhile settlers in areas adjacent to the Cederberg mountains cut down and over-exploited thousands upon thousands of Clanwilliam cedars – mainly for telephone poles and construction projects. At the time, cedar trees were used, since there were few other viable alternative tree species in the Cederberg mountains. Fortunately, there are now ongoing propagation plans in place to re-establish cedars in the species’ indigenous areas.
Conserving the Cederberg’s Mountain Terrain
Kagga Kamma is an expansive nature reserve and conservancy area right in the midst of this ancient landscape. Our resort, also known as Kagga Kamma, is one of the region’s preferred getaway destinations, a favourite of visitors who love the peace, tranquillity, serenity, unsullied nature, and ancient heritage of a truly unique region. Despite our commitment to conservation and our remote location, guests are accommodated in comfort at Kagga Kamma, in hut or “cave” suites, two spectacular open-air rooms (depending on season and weather), chalets (subjects to terms, conditions, and availability), or two rugged, back-to-nature campsites.
The resort also features a spa with a unique open-air massage area, swimming pools, restaurant, bar, and curio shop – unexpected comforts in the Cederberg mountains. Book your stay with us today.