Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve

Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve, a 12,800 hectare reserve nestled in the spectacular Cederberg, is without a doubt worth the visit. The reserve was proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 2014 and forms part of a very special section of the Western Cape – it’s located in the transitional zone where fynbos and lowland succulent Karoo vegetation overlap.

Main attractions

  • The reserve’s fauna and flora offer visitors representations of both biomes.
  • Stadsaal cave – a rare San rock art depicting ancient elephant drawings.
  • Truitjieskraal Interpretive Trail

Not only would this be my first time in the Cederberg, but also my first opportunity to come face to face with ancient San and Khoekhoe rock paintings.

– Arnold Ras, Wild Digital


  • Rock climbing – the Mountain Club of South Africa has developed approximately 37 routes in the area.
  • Sightseeing – sandstone formations, rock art, Stadsaal Cave, Maltese Cross
  • Hiking

Top sightings: World Heritage fynbos (taaibos, wild rosemary, sand olive and baboon rope), southern rock agama, southern double-collared sunbird, baboon, leopard, caracal

Accommodation: None in Matjiesrivier but there is self-catering mountain cottages in Algeria (Cederberg Wilderness Area) about 36,9km in the direction of Clanwilliam.

Office times: 07:30 – 16:00 (Monday to Friday)

Nearest centre: It’s an hour and a half from Clanwilliam (about 65km via Ou Kaapse Road), and an hour and a half from from Citrusdal (about 85km via the N7).

Know before you go

  • A permit is required to visit caves and rock art sites and can be obtained at any tourism office in the Cederberg Area, Algeria or Matjiesrivier during office hours.
  • The last cell phone reception point is the Algeria section of the Cederberg.

Contact reserve: +27 (0)27 482 9922

CapeNature Central Reservations: +27 (0)21 483 0190, [email protected]

Visit Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve’s home page.