This is a two-day guided African wilderness adventure which takes you to the beautiful Cederberg mountains outside Cape Town to explore the intriguing stone-age rock paintings (cave art) of the San bushman hunter-gathers in the place it was painted thousands of years ago. And to taste the superb wine at the highest winery in South Africa.
We explore several archeological sites, overnight in the mountains (camping in the summer; mountain lodging in the winter), experience the quiet breathtaking scenery of the Cederberg mountains, swim in natural rock pools, dine out with a traditional South African braai (BBQ), and do wine-tasting at the country’s highest winery.
You will learn about the Later Stone Age San hunter-gathers and their magnificent artist tradition spanning at least 30,000 years. You also learn a bit about the local geology and the unusual plants and animals that inhabit these mountains. The Cederberg, renown for its biodiversity, is part of the Cape Floral Region – a UNESCO World Heritage Site for nature. The rock art, which is found across southern Africa, is a protected national treasure.
This is a wilderness adventure, archeological exploration and cultural history tour rolled into one.
Day 1 For this uniquely South African experience, I'll pick you up at your Cape Town accommodation in the morning and we'll drive north out of the city on a 3-hour road trip through the expansive wheat fields of the Swartland and the rich citrus fruit farms of the Olifants (elephants) River valley to the Cederberg Wilderness Area - a beautiful mountain bio conservancy with awe-inspiring landscapes and fascinating wildlife.
We'll walk an easy, flat wilderness trail to see several original San rock art sites. This particular trail has a great collection of rock paintings clustered in a relatively small area – and is one of the best open-air rock art galleries in the country. You'll see paintings of eland (antelope), elephant, therianthropes (half human half animal figures), hunters, trance dances, human processions and many more interesting scenes.
What makes this trip particularly special is experiencing the place and seeing this ancient art where it was painted.
We’ll have lunch at a farm restaurant.
After lunch we’ll explore another very special large rock shelter, rich with art before heading to our camp site or mountain lodge. En route we’ll stop at the historic, farming town of Clanwilliam to buy food for the evening.
In summer, we’ll set up camp in a beautiful mountain campsite (with ablutions) and prepare the braai (BBQ). We can relax and swim in the nearby natural rock pools in the late afternoon. We’ll east under a super starry sky and I’ll show you a few important astronomical observations of the southern hemisphere.
In winter we stay in a warm mountain lodge.
Day 2 We start with a light breakfast, then pack up camp (or checkout of the lodge) before heading off on our next adventure. We will drive the mountain roads to see some very special remote rock art sites in the southern Cederberg, renowned for its unusual weathered red rock formations.
We will lunch at a farm restaurant famous for their good food and then visit the Cederberg winery, the highest in the country and renowned for their Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz (Syrah) as well as several other cultivars.
After the wine-tasting we head back to Cape Town and you will be back at your accommodation around sunset.
A wonderful two day adventure. The rock art was extensive and beautiful, and the terrain, rock form... - Zoe Newman.
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A wonderful two day adventure. The rock art was extensive and beautiful, and the terrain, rock formations, caves and overhangs were equally stunning. Callan was great and was a expert guide, and enjoyable to travel with, generous in sharing his extensive knowledge about the art, plants, history and geology. (And also the stars -- I learned how to distinguish between the Southern Cross and a somewhat look-alike.) Everything was provided, and Callan had thought of every detail, from providing a walking stick, to TP for the camp, spices and napkins for our tasty roasted chicken and vegetables dinner (he was also a great cook), flashlights for the tents, and more. It was great having the two days. Highly recommend the experience.