Established in 1912, Cedarville is located in the Eastern Province of South Africa in a rural region known as East Griqualand. The town is sited on a floodplain of the Umzimvubu River. The river itself originates north of Cedarville in the Drakensberg Mountains and travels 300km to the seaside town of Port St Johns.
The area surrounding Cedarville falls under a protected environment and consists mostly of commercial farms, sprinkled with all manner of inviting accommodation, from cosy log cabins to high end lodges.
Cedarville is visited for the fantastic scenery, the snow in winter, the bird life, hiking trails, 4x4 routes and the crisp clean air. The town is named after the 1932m-high Cedarberg Peak that looms over the town.
Whether you are seeking a relaxing holiday in a quiet, scenic spot or an outdoor adventure, Cedarville should be on your list of must-dos.
Top 6 reasons to visit Cedarville
1. Birders are regular visitors to Cedarville for the diverse birdlife in the area, including South Africa’s 3 majestic cranes, the highly endangered grey-crowned and wattled cranes, as well as the country’s national bird, the blue crane.
2. Pack a picnic basket and head for the Mount Currie Nature Reserve. Spend time on the banks of the Crystal Dam, visit the old laager site and grave of Adam Kok III, and walk the various trails to view the proteas and a possible sighting of an aardvark.
3. Two 4x4 trails, the Dagga Three Sisters and the Cedarville Scenic are suited for experienced and novice 4x4 drivers respectively. The Dagga Three Sisters traverses three peaks and passes through challenging gorges that require a fair amount of driving skill.
4. Grab your rod and head out for trout fishing in the Umzimvubu River. This breed of fish was introduced and is not endemic therefore it’s not necessary to catch and release, ask your host to prepare your fish for dinner.
5. Travel to the Mariazell Mission Station to see the beautiful church built by Trappist monks in 1896. This is one of 21 churches built by a Trappist missionary movement in the 1880s that span much of the Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal. There is an official Trappist Trail, ask your host for details.
6. Hire a set of clubs and caddy at the Matatiele Golf Club and enjoy a round of 9-holes on the pretty parklands course bounded by mountains. Visitors welcome.
The nearest international airport to Cedarville is King Shaka International Airport approximately 330km away. Pietermaritzburg’s domestic Oribi Airport, for flights to and from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg, is 230km away. Shuttle service companies operate at the airports, however, to best enjoy Cedarville and surrounds, hiring a car is the practical choice. To hire a vehicle, simply order one online.
Did you know?
In 1936, the largest cheese was made in the area for an exhibition in Johannesburg. The cheese factory is now defunct.
Adam Kok III was a Griqua Chief who led his people on a great trek from the Mount Currie area, over the Lesotho Mountains, to a peaceful area free from persecution. He founded the town of Kokstad to self-govern East Griqualand and he is buried in the Mount Currie Nature Reserve.