Running Back to Childhood – Cederberg Mountains

There is a wish in the back of everyone’s mind. It is a wish to go back in time to a place where time means nothing. It is a yearning to be a child again, where responsibilities and worries have no hold on you. It is a desire for adventure; adventure in the great wilderness. And this small wish is stored in the back of everyone’s mind. It is there and it will always be.


This wish is never in the back of my mind however; it is always right up front. Adventure is always calling me and there is one place that best satisfies this yearning; the Cederberg. The Cederberg is a wonderful, peaceful and daring place, which provides adventure and relaxation beyond measure. You can find absolutely any reason to travel to the Cederberg be it a family outing or wedding celebration (which was an incredible experience by the way).

cederberg pathMalcolm Cerfonteyn

Let me tell you what a typical trip to the Cederberg would be like. It begins painfully, unfortunately. The four-hour car ride consists of aching knees, a growling stomach, a spinning head and anticipation reaching peak levels. But somehow it all seems worthwhile once you have arrived and you stretch your legs. You are met with a beautiful view, a lung-full of crisp, fresh air and an overwhelming sense of peace. The air itself promises you a brilliant holiday.

Sanddrif river, smokey waterMatthew philogene

Day one usually begins with unpacking the car, the setting up the tent, the exploring the land (just to see if anything has changed) and of course the meeting of new friends. Day one is the day to be over-enthusiastic. You have to try and do every single thing the Cederberg has to offers you. Once you have settled in, the day usually begins with an intense game of some sort on the vast open green field in the centre of the campsite. There is always something happening in the vibrant campsite. Once you have played a few games and you have made a few new friends, you are ready. Let the adventuring begin!

cederberg silhouetteMax Barners

Take a short walk of about 20 minutes to a place called “MALGAT”. Once you arrive there, you will immediately see that this place has been rightly named. It was given its name due to the massive rocks, which you can jump off into a beautiful rock pool below. The various jumps can be anything from 1 meter to 21 meters! The highest jumps are frightening and the water is ice-cold, but the adrenaline you feel and the beauty of it naturally makes it one of my favourite places on earth. It always leaves you in awe and wanting more.

stadsaal 1Malcolm Cerfonteyn

If you still have courage after jumping at Malgat, and you are seeking adventure which rewards you with the greatest views possible, you will absolutely love the Wolfberg Cracks. This day-long hike starts at the campsite and it takes you through a landscape of massive, artistically placed boulders until you reach the base of the mountain. The landscape opens up to reveal the truly challenging part of the hike. You zig-zag your way up the mountain on a tiny, rocky path that seems to take an eternity, but if I was able to do it when I was three years old, I’m sure you will be able to do it too. The path causes your legs to scream, but all that pain goes away as soon as you reach the top of the zig-zag path. You are met with a rock-face larger than life, riddled with holes where birds make their nests. The beautiful sound which comes from those nests is unmatched. My favourite part comes next…

On the way to Sneeuberg SummitMatthew philogene

You slip under, over and in-between massive rocks, which block your way as you clamber through the enormous crack in the rock-face. You are left with scratches and bruises as big as the smile on your face. Once you are through the crack, you see it. You see the most breath-taking view you will ever behold in your lifetime. You look out over the landscape and you can see from one end of the Cederberg valley all the way to the other. It is so beautiful that you sometimes wish that you never had to come down. But at some point, you must because the peaceful relaxation is calling you. As soon as you are back at the campsite, it is customary to throw on your costumes and dive into the river. It is a calm winding river which flows right past the campsite; so close that it sings you to sleep at night. Absolutely blissful.

Cederberg - rock formationsMatthew philogene

Now, the Cederberg may not seem like much to read about in an article written by some nobody, but do yourself a favour. If ever the stresses and daily routines of life and its responsibilities are proving too much for you, listen to that wish that is calling out in the back of your mind. Give in to that little boy who is bursting to be set free. Go on an adventure, which you will honestly never regret. The Cederberg is waiting for you. Give in and see all the wonder it holds for you. Run back to being a child all over again.

Before heading out to the Cederberg make sure to check out these three helpful links. There is a lot to do, and its a large area, so do your planning well. A map of the area makes for a fantastic travel companion.

Ryan Slabbert

Ryan, an accountant by day and a student by night, but come weekend and holidays, he is more than ready for a break! He is also a runner and outdoor enthusiast, enjoying the open spaces as an escape from the city.

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