Become one with nature in the Cederberg Mountains.

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I knew I should have printed the directions but, like always, I never actually did. The sun was setting and darkness approached quite rapidly as the mist eerily started to swallow the gravel mountain pass that we were driving on. I was convinced that we must have missed a turnoff somewhere because I couldn’t see any houses or lights.

This did not worry me at all, I felt so at peace. A crisp breeze blowing into the car carried the amazing smell of moisture on a dirt road. I love that smell, to me that is the smell of holiday. After going around another winding bend on the mountain pass, Sanddrif Holiday Resort miraculously appeared out of nowhere like a mirage. We were tired and sticky after our 4 hour trip (it was supposed to be only 2), so we quickly settled into our cozy 3 star self-catering cottages.

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The cottages are equipped with all the necessary essentials and are serviced daily. Bedding (blankets & duvets), towels and kitchen towels are provided. There is a nice fireplace inside to keep you warm during the winter months, and a fireplace outside that can be used for a braai (BBQ).

If you are running on a bit of a budget Sanddrif Holiday Resort also offers a beautiful shaded camping site as a cheaper alternative. Visitors are advised to book well in advance as the resort fills up rather quickly during weekends and school holidays. Also take note that due to strict Conservancy rules, Sanddrif Holiday Resort can only allow a certain amount of day visitors and hikers at a time.

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At first light the next morning, we set off to hike up the Wolfberg Mountain into the famous “Wolfskeure” or Wolf cracks. But to get to the cracks you first have to make your way all the way up the mountain. The climb is rather steep but I reckon that anyone who is averagely fit would be able to make the climb. Taking young children along might not be such a good idea as some parts of the overall hike can get a bit dangerous, and of course, if they get tired you will have to carry them.Image

As you make your way up the mountain you will have a spectacular view of the Dwars Rivier and the surrounding Cederberg valley. Nearly at the top of the mountain the little footpath just seems to disappear. I was quite alarmed at first when this happened because I was concerned that we have wandered off course, but right at the foot of the towering cliffs, we found a tiny arrow guiding us towards a crevice in the rock face.

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Armed with headtorches, we made our way into the crevice and wormed our way upwards to find a small cave chamber right above us. This part of the trail is appropriately named “The Chimney” because of the vertical climb in the tight little tunnel. If you have some issues with tight spaces you should probably turn back because there were quite a few more of these claustrophobic encounter further along the way.

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Climbing over and under a couple more rocks in our way, we finally reached the Wolf Cracks. It was even more spectacular than what I imagined. High walls of stone on either side gave me the impression that I just stumbled upon the set of a Lord of the Rings movie. The sheer size of the cliffs reminds you just how utterly small and insignificant you really are. I felt like I was the size of an ant because I could only see a tiny strip of bright blue light and clouds snaking it’s way forward high above my head.

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After we fought our way past various rocks blocking our way along the canyon, we finally made it to the top, which was surprisingly flat. From this perspective we could literally see hundreds of other cracks in the mountain, all dissolving into the mountain top. It looked as if though a giant cat took a swipe at the mountain with it’s paw and left it scarred with hundreds of parallel cracks. Be sure to pack a lot of snacks and water because once you sit on one of the cliffs and have a look at the beautiful view beneath you, you might not want to leave for a while.

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If hiking up a mountain sounds a bit too hardcore to you, you can always go and relax next to the riverbanks of the beautiful Dwars River. Only a short 30min walk from the Sanddrif campsite you will find the dark brown waters of the notoriously known “Maalgat”. On a hot summers day in the Cederberge, the “Maalgat” is the perfect place to go for a cool down. Here you can sunbathe on the rocks or plunge high off a cliff into the refreshing deep water below. I must admit that I was way too scared to jump from the highest point, but maybe you will be a bit braver than me.

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Sanddrift Resort is the perfect break-away for families, friends and couples. The secludedness and lack of cell phone reception really enables you to connect with nature once again and also allow you to gain a new appreciate for your surroundings. If you are wondering what to do during your next free weekend, try your hand at some hiking at the magical Sanddrif Holiday Resort.

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