The San and Khoi peoples inhabited the Cederberg area from early times, leaving behind a rich legacy of rock art. It was only during the mid-1800s that another tough group of people set foot in the Cederberg – the Nieuwoudt family. The first Nieuwoudts arrived in South Africa during the early 1700s. Nearly 100 years later, their descendants moved to the Cederberg. In 1893 the present family moved to the farm Dwarsrivier, which is also known as Cederberg Private Cellar and Sanddrif holiday resort.
The Cederberg Wine
CEDERBERG PRIVATE CELLAR
South Africa’s most uniquely situated wine farm falls within the pristine environs of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which lies in the Cape Floral Kingdom. Here, among spectacular rock formations and fynbos, you will find the highest altitude vineyards in the Cape. Conservation is fundamental and Cederberg Private Cellar is a committed member of the Biodiversity & Wine Initiative.
Cederberg Private Cellar produces six ranges of wine – Cederberg, which includes its signature Bukettraube; Five Generations; David Nieuwoudt Ghost Corner; the Waitrose Foundation sustainable range; Cape Atlantic; and the Cape Winemakers Guild Auction wines. Sanddrif holiday resort, on the banks of the Dwars River at the foot of the Wolfberg, provides the perfect base for a relaxing break.
Six generations ago, no one would have guessed that this rugged, fynbos-covered area on the edge of the Succulent Karoo biome would one day become the Cape winelands’ highest-altitude wine farm. The farm itself is covered in unspoilt fynbos – since 2011 only 50,2 ha are under vine. Today, this award-winning winery is owned by Ernst and David Nieuwoudt – proudly fourth and fifth generation, with daughter Emma, the sixth generation.
Tucked away on the lush banks of the Dwars River at the foot of the Wolfberg, lies Sanddrif Cederberg Private Cellar’s holiday resort. In the late 1950s, the Nieuwoudt family started renovating existing farm buildings for hikers and rock climbers looking for a place to overnight on arriving in the mountains the night before their expedition started – this was long before the days when hiking and rock climbing became popular.
Sanddrif is the ideal base for nature lovers and the adventurous: trail hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers. It is accessible but retains an air of remoteness, which makes it the perfect break-away for city dwellers. There’s a lot to do and enjoy: four well-known day hikes, bird watching, swimming, rock climbing, camping, mountain biking, a unique observatory and rock art. The less fit can enjoy the cool crystal-clear waters of the Maalgat pools only a 35 minute walk away, wander through the Valley of the Red Gods, watch the sun set the mountains on fire and later admire the star-studded sky from around the campfire.
The Clanwilliam cedar is one of three indigenous South African cedar species. Only four cedar species are found in Africa – three in South Africa and one in Malawi. Widdringtonia cedarbergensis is endemic to the Cederberg, growing only in areas at 800 to 1 400 m above sea level (http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantwxyz/widcedar.htm).
For more Information on The Private Cellars and Cederberg wines, you can visit: www.cederbergwines.com
STADSAAL CAVES & BUSHMAN PAINTINGS (Cape Nature property)
On the road towards Ceres, 8 km from Dwarsrivier, a Nature Conservation sign will indicate the Stadsaal Caves. Take the turn-off, enter through the gate and drive in to see Stadsaal, a series of open caves and San paintings dating from the time when elephants freely roamed the area. This is one of two areas that can be reached within five minutes.
For more information on the above rock formations, you can visit: www.cederbergwines.com/sandriff
This picturesque place has been a Moravian mission station since 1865, although its origins are actually Rhenish. The name “Wuppertal” derives from the Wupper River in Germany, from where two Rhineland missionaries, Theobald von Wurmb and Johan Gottlieb Leipoldt (grandfather of renowned writer C. Louis Leipoldt) arrived in the Cape in 1829 to spread the Word among the indigenous people.
The village today consists of an old thatched Church, a store, and terraces of neat thatched-roofed little cottages and a meandering street with water flowing in furrows. A great deal of productive activity takes place which surprises any traveler descending the steep pass into the valley. Excellent velskoen (known throughout the country) are made and tobacco is dried and worked into rolls (roltabak). The other main products of the area are dried fruit, dried beans and rooibos tea.
A place rich in culture, history and hospitality.
The mountains and lake offer a natural arena for adventure lovers with canoeing, river rafting, water-skiing, hiking, climbing and abseiling all available.
In Spring the area comes alive with masses of wild flowers after the Winter rains. Flower-lovers will delight in the superb carpets of wild flowers such as diasies, vygies as well as delicate species.
For more information about Wupperthal, you can visit: www.wupperthal.co.za
Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat
This extraordinary haven, nestled at the foothills of the Cederberg mountains, is just 270km from Cape Town, and the ideal wilderness getaway to escape, restore and relax. Malaria and predator free, the reserve is a natural playground for those who want to reconnect with themselves and the essence of life, with wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear water falls, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
The spa is a sanctuary to wellness, well-being and holistic healing, where one’s spirit, mind and body can truly let go, and soothing pampering and restorative treatments are complemented with unique products made from indigenous rooibos, flowers and plants. The warm, caring service and hospitality, delicious organic cuisine, breathtaking dining venues, superb facilities and accommodation have repeatedly won Bushmans Kloof international recognition and awards. Exclusive and totally private, with 16 rooms and suites, this Natural Heritage Site is also home to many exceptional San rock art sites. Guests can discover the wonders of nature, choose from a vast range of outdoor activities, or do absolutely nothing but inhale the beauty and succumb to the peace, quiet and tranquility. A Relais & Châteaux property.
“One of the world’s largest open-air art galleries.”
Bushmans Kloof guards and conserves over 130 unique rock art sites, which can be viewed only by resident guests, archaeologists or researchers.
For more information of Bushmans Kloof, you can visit: www.bushmanskloof.co.za