Cederberg Mountains: Wilderness within reach…

The Cederberg Mountains lie 2½ hours north of Cape Town and the Winelands. Yet this is like no other area of the Western Cape. Here, there are no manicured gardens, glitzy shops or boldly- marketed attractions teeming with tourists. Rather, you experience a raw, rugged beauty and a sense of peace and tranquillity. The Cederberg feels like it is far away. But in fact it is surprisingly easy to get to. It is truly wilderness within reach.

As you arrive in the Cederberg, you realise the landscape has changed. It’s wilder and warmer. The Cederberg Mountains, brilliant purple in the late afternoon light, tower over the fruit-filled valley which is laden with the scent of orange blossom in the spring.

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Why we love it

Spectacular Views

Untamed wide open spaces and spectacular views

Beautiful Nature

Famous for its hiking, unusual rock formations, Bushmen rock art & stunning spring flowers

Great Bouldering

One of the world’s top 5 bouldering destinations

Wine Region

Up-and-coming wine region


Getting to the Cederberg…

It takes an easy 2½ hours from Cape Town or the Winelands to get to Clanwilliam in the northern Cederberg (all on well-maintained tarred roads). 

Similarly, Swellendam and Robertson (great stopping points for the Garden Route) are only 3 to 3½ hours away. Whilst the West Coast (Paternoster and Langebaan) is only 2 hours away.

For exact driving directions to Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge, see How to Get There on our lodge page. 

Closest Airport

Cape Town

Drive time from Cape Town


Dry Season


Wet Season


(sporadic & low rainfall)

Best Time to visit the Cederberg

If you are a sun-lover then the Cederberg climate is for you! We have a much warmer climate than Cape Town, even though we are only 2½ hours’ north. Plus our winter climate is also noticeably warmer and drier. But we do have big seasonal differences…

Summer in the Cederberg

Our summers are hot, but dry, (so you don’t get sticky!) Perfect for the northern Hemisphere visitor keen to get some sun. If you want to be active, the ideal is to get up early, then come back for a late breakfast/brunch, and then do something less strenuous in the morning. In the afternoons you can relax around the pool or in your suite.

It generally cools down pleasantly in the evening and you can dine outside throughout the summer months. The Cederberg climate in early summer (November to December) tends to be less hot than January and February. Average daytime temperatures are typically 30-38°c. Evening temperatures are 25-30°c.

Some days can be very hot. But you can always either head up into the mountains where the higher altitude lowers the temperature. Or you can head to the Atlantic Coast. As, even though it is only 40 mins drive away, the sea breeze makes it remarkably cooler. It is usually only 25-28°c in summer..

Autumn for the Active

Our spring and autumn months are our favourite time of year. The day time temperatures are warm to hot, but you can still be active. The evenings are cooler but you can dine outside as long as you’ve got something warm to put on. Average daytime temperatures are typically 24-30°c. Evening temperatures are 15-20°c.

Daytime temperatures are such that hardy people try a dip in the pool. But we’ve built a heated pool at Cederberg Ridge to make the most of this time. 

Winter sunshine

There is a lot going for the winter climate in the Cederberg. Daytime temperatures can reach a pleasant 20-24°c, (much warmer than Cape Town!) So you can be active for the whole day, and still enjoy sitting outside for lunch. But our mornings and evenings are cold so this is the time for a long lie-in in bed, and red wine around the fire in the evening. Thus usually our activities start after breakfast. We are still a winter rainfall region, (like all of the Western Cape), so it can rain for a day or two. But we are officially a semi-arid region (less than 200mm per year) so you’re not likely to see much rain.

See our article on Reasons to Visit in Winter


Spring flowers & fynbos

Spring is one of the best times to visit. The day time temperatures are warm, rather than hot, so you can still be active. As with most Spring weather, it can be quite variable, with some cooler days, some rain perhaps and some warmer days.

Early spring (August and early Sept if you are lucky) is the time of the wild spring flowers. Later on, the fynbos continues to flower into October. And everything is green, compared to the Mediterranean dryness of summer.


Unique in the Cape

We think that the Cederberg is the most African in feel of all the Cape destinations. What do we mean by that? Cape Town and the Winelands have a slightly Mediterranean feel to them. The Whale Coast and Garden Route are lush and verdant. They are all stunning destinations to visit. But the Cederberg feels very different even though it is only 2 hours to the north. Much wilder, much hotter, and very few people.


Amazing Hiking

The Cederberg Mountains rises majestically above the vineyards and citrus groves of the Oliphants River valley. There are a number of stunning hiking trails in the Cederberg.


Rock Art

The Khoi-San were the first inhabitants of Southern Africa, present from the Stone Age. For many thousands of years, the so-called Khoisan (in fact, several tribes of both hunter-gatherers and herders) were the largest human population on earth. Much of what we understand of the culture and beliefs of these indigenous people comes from paintings and engravings hidden in the landscape.

With some 2,500 documented rock art sites, the Cederberg is one of the best area in world to see some of their ancient rock paintings. These are usually to be found in lower-lying areas close to rivers often in caves or deep overhangs.



The northern Cederberg, which is where Cederberg Ridge is situated, is one of the top 5 areas for bouldering in the world.

The epi-centre of the bouldering sites is Rocklands which lies approx 15 minutes easy drive from us. The best time for bouldering is May to August as this is our winter time so the days are usually sunny and warm. But not too hot.  

Check out our article about Bouldering at Rocklands in the northern Cederberg


Spring Flowers

The northern Cederberg makes a great base to visit the wild spring flowers which bloom on mass during August (and early September if you are lucky.) The best displays are to be found in the Biedouw valley, the Doring River and Nardouwsberg which are all a scenic drive from Simbavati


Wine Tasting

The Cederberg is also an up and coming wine region, with a number of boutique wine estates joining the more established Cederberg Cellars. You can visit some of these wine estates, either en route to us. Or during your stay. Kromrivier, Cederberg cellars and Driehoek are all in the high Cederberg. Whilst Tierhoek and Piekenierskloof are en route to us. Yet more wine estates are to the north.  



Rooibos is a major industry in the Cederberg. The Cederberg also happens to be the only place in the world where rooibos tea can be successfully grown. So this healthy caffeine & tannin-free tea is exported throughout the world to Europe, Japan and the USA for example. You can enjoy a Rooibos farm tour with us, or visit the House of Rooibos in nearby Clanwilliam.


Cedarberg Lodge(s)

Into the wilderness, out of the ordinary…

Cederberg Ridge is a luxurious wilderness lodge offering delicious food, warm hospitality, and adventure. Enjoy panoramic views over the natural rugged beauty of the Cederberg Mountains and the range of excursions and activities we offer.

A stylish ‘away-from-it-all’ experience, yet it’s only a 2½ hour scenic drive from Cape Town or the Winelands.

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There’s a spring in everyone’s step, the bees start buzzing, temperatures start rising and the rains are almost done. It’s that time of year again here in the Western Cape when the days eyes (Daisy’s) are abundant and there are so many more flowers.

Murphy (famous for his ‘law’) may be happy because this time last year the world was closed and the flowers bloomed amazingly. Unfortunately for most visitors longing to see our famous Blooming Desert, they could not get here to see the carpets of colour that were around. This year, though,  there's been quite a bit of rain throughout the area and it's been another good year for the flowers.

Clanwilliam is a central town where all the flower routes are reachable, and can be done in a day. Even in and around the town itself there are some amazing spots to see not just the daisies but lots of little flowers that get overlooked because they are not in abundance or are quite small. It is worth doing some of the trails in the area to get to see these small beauties as they are the hidden treasures.

At Simbavati Cederberg Ridge, even just on our property itself there are some walking/ hiking trails that can reveal some of these hidden gems, due to the different terrains and altitudes. This time of year one need not worry about high temperatures and can be out longer during the day to be able to admire these flowers.

Below I’ve put together a list of flowers that I enjoy seeing when out and about during the Spring flower time.

  • Bulbine praemorsa: Flowers from June – September, it’s average height is 40 – 60 cm
  • Lachenalia mutabillis: Flowers between July – September, only gets to about 10 – 45 cm
  • Pauridia capensis: Also known as the Peacock flower, flowers between July – October and gets to 10 – 30cm in height.
  • Moraea miniata: It flowers between August – September and grows to 15 – 60 cm
  • Ferraria variabilis: Not a big flower because it only gets up to 20 cm and flowers between August – November.
  • Disperis capensis: A very pretty and proud looking flower which grows to 50 cm and flowers between July – September
  • Oxalis purpurea: This one stays close to the ground and flowers from May – September. A common name is the Ground Dutchess Sorrel.
  • Leucospermum vestitum: One of the Pincushion family, the flower heads get to 50 – 70 mm in diameter and flowers between July – January.
  • Melianthus major: Quite a large prehistoric looking plant growing up to roughly 2 meters and flowers August – September.
  • Euryops speciosissimus: This is a special one because it’s found in a small stretch of the Western Cape and its common name is the Clanwilliam Daisy. It can get up to 2 meters in height and flowers between August – November.

I’ve been out and about and due to the rains we’ve had the flowers are coming out fast and furious. Hoping that this year we will get to share the flowers of the region with more people than last year and if you are in the area I hope you will keep an eye out for these ten.

Happy flower hunting!

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Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - wild spring flowers


Cederberg Ridge


Natural Wonder

Spring Flowers in the Cederberg

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Simbavati Cederberg Ridge owner, Kate Bergh, shares the benefits to selecting our Full Board and Activities option

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - walking

When Simbavati Cederberg Ridge opened its doors, we naturally wanted to accommodate people who were passing through the Cederberg, as well as those coming to spend a few days at our wilderness lodge. So we offered a Dinner, Bed & Breakfast rate.

However, this does not suit most guests best, and many of them don't realise it until they stay. If you're staying for longer than 1 night and planning on enjoying some activities while you take in the Cederberg splendour, the Full Board and Activities option is ideal.

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - rock art

Benefits of booking Full Board & Activities

  • It’s the best value for money, if you plan on doing excursions during your stay rather than to book Dinner, Bed & Breakfast and pay for activities and lunch when you arrive
  • You get first choice in the activities
  •  There is less to pay when you’re on holiday, as you’ve paid more in advance. (We even have a drinks supplement so that you can pay for that ahead of time as well, if you wish)
  • Some Value Adds are included in the Full Board and Activity rate, such as the complimentary use of E-Bikes and ad hoc yoga classes
  • We take care of your stay. You don’t have to research what there is to do in the area. Simply select which planned activities you feel like doing each day. Fewer decisions makes for more down-time
  • The extra cost of booking Full Board and Activities is much less if you stay for 3 or 4 nights. Our long stay offers are 50% off your 3rd night's stay or stay 4 nights but only pay for 3 nights
Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - firepit

Linger a little longer

The lodge is an inviting place to relax and unwind. The Cederberg beckons to be explored and the views are an allure to stay and breathe for a while. That’s why we encourage longer stays of 3 nights or more.

Though we have enough activities to entertain guests for 4 night stays or longer, we will gladly swap out a morning or afternoon activity for a 30 minute treatment in the spa.

Valid for stays of 3+ nights only. 

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - spa

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Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - walking


Cederberg Ridge

Why Choose Full Board and Activities

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We compare the Cederberg to the rest of the Western Cape during winter, sharing the top reasons to visit this wilderness in the cooler months of the year.

Cederberg mountains


Daytime temperatures are typically 5°C warmer than Cape Town with a sunny Cederberg winter’s day averaging at around 21°C-23°C.
Cederberg's winter is much shorter than elsewhere in the Cape, typically spanning from mid/late May and ending in early August.


Cederberg rains do fall in the winter but its classified as a semi-arid area, with only 180mm of rain per year. The region gets only one third of the amount of rain Cape does Town, at most.

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - romantic dining


Winter in the Cederberg is beautiful and green. It's described as a rejuvenating time of the year, where the landscapes seems to flourish. Colours change from browns to vibrant greens, the flowers bloom, and crisp air adds to the refreshing sense that winter brings.

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge owner, Kate Bergh says, "The jagged sandstone rock formations of the Cederberg, with their burnt orange colour, are even more striking at this time of the year surrounded by the vibrant veld. It is quite simply, a beautiful place to visit."


During a Cederberg winter your days are not ruled by the hot African sun and its limitations on your schedule. The milder, temperate climate means time can be spent comfortably exploring the great outdoors.

Savour a lie in followed by a leisurely breakfast and then head out for a long walk. Alternatively, you can enjoy an excursion in the morning and a bike ride in the afternoon sun.

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - rock art


Early mornings are cold, but Simbavati Cederberg Ridge is a lodge built to withstand both the summer heat and the winter morning cold. Underfloor heating and log-burning fireplaces make the suites very cosy. The main lodge also has a fireplace in the library, dining room and sitting room, for when it is a little chilly.

Simbavati Cederberg Ridge - exterior


Cederberg celebrates an early spring, compared to the rest of the Cape. Depending on the rains, the spring flowers bloom from late July to September, along with the early flowering fynbos.

There is a magic in experiencing the spring flower spectacle while the rest of the country is still in winter-mode.

Wild spring flowers in Biedouw valley, Cederberg mountains

An escape to Simbavati Cederberg Ridge and the rugged splendour of Cederberg's wilderness is always a good idea, but is especially appealing in wintertime.

Explore more about Simbavati Cederberg Ridge and contact us to book your stay.

Find further reasons why the Cederberg winter is idyllic, here.

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Cederberg Ridge


The Joys of the Cederberg inWinter