On 6th of May our team of five, including Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat's two General Managers, embarked on an unforgettable four-day hike through the majestic Cederberg Mountains. Our mission was twofold: to raise awareness for the critically endangered Clanwilliam cedar tree and to support our newest conservation partner, Sustainable Ceder. Along the way, we planted 100 trees, captured vital data, and experienced the raw beauty of one of South Africa’s most remote mountain ranges.

Day 1: The Journey Begins

Our adventure was a team of four, all passionate about conserving the Cederberg Wilderness Area. We hiked towards the picturesque Moravian village of Heuningvlei, covering the first 10km on an old donkey trail known only to the local community. Gershwin led us to an incredible rock art site, and we learned about the legendary Kootjie Dawid, named ‘Robin Hood’ by the local Cederberg community. As we reached the top of the first mountain ridge overlooking Heuningvlei, we planted our first cedar tree. A dog from the village decided to join us, following us up to the Boontjieskloof Hut, where we spent the night. This unexpected companion, whom we named Flash, stayed with us for the entire journey, adding a touch of warmth to our expedition.

Days 2 & 3: Ancient Giants and the Arch

The team underneath the Wolfberg Arch 

The next two days took us through the heart of the Cederberg Mountains, where we planted trees at five of Sustainable Ceder’s ten monitoring sites. Each site aims to plant 100 saplings, with the goal of spreading them throughout the Clanwilliam cedar’s historical range. Using the EarthRanger App, we measured and uploaded data for each sapling, contributing to the 1,455 trees already planted in 2024. We aim to plant another 3,500 this year. One of the trip’s highlights was sleeping under the stars at the Wolfberg Arch, surrounded by otherworldly rock formations and a sky full of stars, a truly magical experience.

Sustainable Ceder

Find out more about Sustainable Ceder and their mission to develop a self-sustainable Clanwilliam ceder tree within the Cederberg Mountains in South Africa. 

Day 4: Cleaning Up and Heading Home

On the final day, we focused on cleaning up the rubbish left by irresponsible hikers. The Wolfberg Arch and Wolfberg Cracks are not only beautiful but also heavily impacted by climate change and wildfires. We closed two illegal fireplaces and made our way through the Wolfberg Cracks towards Cederberg Winery. This last stretch of our hike was special, as we encountered our first fellow hikers and realised how rare and precious our solitude in the Cederberg had been. This journey wasn’t just about raising awareness and funds for Sustainable Ceder; it was also about connecting with like-minded individuals who want to leave a positive impact on this incredible wilderness.

Looking Ahead

Our hike through the Cederberg Mountains was an inspiring and humbling experience. We’re excited about the future of Bushmans Kloof, Sustainable Ceder, and the Heuningvlei community. We hope to involve more guests in our tree-planting experiences, fostering a deeper connection with nature and a commitment to conservation. Together, we can make a lasting difference in preserving the natural beauty and biodiversity of the Cederberg Wilderness Area.