Last week we headed to the beautiful craggy peaks of the Cederberg mountains.
The Cederberg area was inhabited by the San and Khoi people from the earliest times and features hundreds of rocky overhangs and caves with amazing examples of rock art. The most famous of these are the elephant paintings at the Stadsaal Caves on the Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve which vary in age between 300 and 6 000 years old. In 1903 European settlers arrived and began stock farming and exploiting the surroundings. In typical European settler style, their style of forestry and agriculture led to massive destruction particularly of the local cedar trees, with thousands felled for telephone poles, furniture and housing. The European arrival also led to the elimination of the San population.
The Cederberg is mostly covered by mountain fynbos, with the lower slopes supporting protea silky conebush, sand olive and Clanwilliam daisies, with wild olives and mountain maytenus on the rocky outcrops. The eye-catching purply-blue ridderspoor, rooibos and buchu grow against the lower cliffs. We saw a troop of baboons, lots of dassies and apparently there are leopards lurking around too!
Wandering around these beautiful mountain tops and checking out the flowers and plants was amazing and also pretty sad because so much of it has gone. However, the more I read about so many people, all over the world doing things to help, from creating permaculture food forests, seed saving to rewilding, I'm remaining positive!