Clanwilliam is close to the northern edge of the Cederberg, a mountain range known for its San paintings, its bizarre rock formations, and, once upon a time, its cedars. Most of the ancient cedars have been cut down, but a few specimens still survive in the more remote regions. The Cederberg is a hiking paradise—a wild, largely unspoiled area where you can disappear from civilization for days at a time. About 172,900 acres of this mountain range constitute what has been declared the Cederberg Wilderness Area. Try to visit in spring when the flowers are out and the area is carpeted in orange, yellow, and white flowers. You can get hiking permits from Cape Nature or the local tourism offices in Clanwilliam or Citrusdal. Be sure to tell somebody if you are planning to hike in the area.
A scenic dirt road that heads south out of town, past the tourism bureau and museum, winds for about 30 km (18 miles) into the Cederberg to Algeria, a Cape Nature campsite with self-catering cottages
and tent sites set in an idyllic valley. Algeria is the starting point for several excellent hikes into the Cederberg. The short, one-hour hike to a waterfall is great, but it's worth going into the mountains for a day or two, for which you will need to book and obtain a permit through Cape Nature or from one of the local farms, many of which have simple, self-catering cottages on their land.
Clanwilliam, South Africa