The Cederberg Mountains & Namaqualand

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North of Cape Town heading towards the sparsely populated Northern Cape Province is an area of South Africa that feels more wild and remote than almost any other. In the Cederberg Mountains jagged rock formations hide beautiful valleys, and nestled under cliff edges you find amazing traces of the original indigenous inhabitants of South Africa, the San. Their rock-art dates back millennia and is eerily reminiscent of the rock-art of other indigenous cultures the world over, and is equally moving. You’ll also find herds of game here: the Cape Mountain zebra, the bontebok, and the red hartebeest, animals that are magnificent to watch, but typically get overlooked in the famous game reserves in the dash to get a glimpse of the Big Five. Continuing north you come to Namaqualand. It’s most famous for the stunning spring flower displays, but there’s so much more than just this somewhat unpredictable event to see here, whether it’s 4×4 drives along miles and miles of deserted beach, punctuated only by the rusting hulls of shipwrecked vessels, or visits to the legendary De Beers diamond mine. Not a typical stop on most South African itineraries, this area really does deserve closer attention, especially from those who want solitude, open skies and an intriguing glimpse into a very different South Africa.

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