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Cederberg Wilderness Area forms part of the Cape Floral Region due to its fascinating mountain fynbos, but it is also known for its San rock art, sandstone rock formation, and of course, its wildlife.

The Cederberg is characterised by the sharply defined sandstone rock formations, often reddish in colour, some of which contain important fossils or primitive fish, dating back 450 million years. The predominant vegetation is Mediterranean fynbos in the wetter south and west, changing to semi-desert scrub in the north and east. The endangered Clanwilliam cedar and the snow protea are endemic to the area, and only found in remote locations in high altitude.

Wildlife in the area is rich, with predators such as the elusive leopard, bat-eared fox, Cape fox or caracal. Other mammals include the chacma baboon, rock badger, meerkat, other mongooses and a variety of antelopes such as gemsbok, oryx, and the vulnerable Cape mountain zebra. There are also many birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects.

The Cederberg region is also famous for its historical background. It was considered the southernmost battleground of the Second Boer War, where a small band of Boer guerrillas came looking for support amongst the local farmers of Dutch descent. However despite their little sympathy for the British, the farmers refused to get involved. It is said that the Boer commandos were confronted in the Cederberg by a lone Englishman, who ordered them to surrender. They tried to reason with him, pointing out the hopelessness of his position. He refused to back down and was in the end shot dead. The place where he fell is today called Engelsmanskloof ("Englishman's ravine").

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Cape baboon, bat-eared fox, meerkat, oryx, Cape mountain zebra
  • Where: Western Cape, South Africa

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

Flower Photography in Namaqualand

Join award-winning macro photographer Chris Mattison to capture the magnificent spring flowers in two distinct biomes known as the Cape Floristic and the Succulent Karoo regions. Visit the fascinating Cederberg Wilderness, known for its floral beauty as well as its ancient San Bushman rock paintings.

  • When to go: Aug-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 16 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,395 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Spring Flowers from the Cape to the Kalahari

From the flowers, birds and stunning scenery of the Cape, to wonderful flower-rich Namaqualand, this trip visits an astoundingly beautiful and varied land, rich in wildlife. All this at a time of year when the flowers and birds here are at their best, and when whales are displaying close inshore.

  • When to go: Aug-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,245 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour