After leaving the guys from Jai Yen Yen, we drove through the valley from the river in the opposite direction. At a T-junction we turned towards Wupperthal and then found ourselves in the middle of the Cederberg Mountains You can enter the Cederberg Mountains via good (main) roads, or you can take the small dirt roads that meander across the mountains. We preferred the second option and followed a small dirt road towards Eselsbank. That what water crossings are for Sonja, are narrow mountain paths with steep abyss left or right for Guido. We found ourselves on one of these after leaving Wupperthal. A concrete mountain path, barely wider than a car, wound its way up the mountain. On the left, it went steeply downhill, and on the right was a massive rock wall. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened if we suddenly had oncoming traffic. Everything went well and we arrived well on the ridge.
From Eselsbank to Matjiesrivier – in the heart of the Cederberg Mountains
Eselsbank is a small settlement in the middle of an inhospitable and barren mountain landscape. After crossing rugged rocky landscapes, you suddenly find yourself in front of fields and fences and see tractors driving. At first, this is a completely surreal image. However, nature seems to allow farming here and so this opportunity is also used. The waterfall, which is located at Eselsbank, had almost no water during our visit. Nevertheless, it is a popular meeting place for young people. Cars are positioned close to the waterfall with pools and all doors are ripped open. While completely overdriven music booms from the car stereo, the young people sit a few meters away at the waterfall, laughing and smoking shisha. We left Eselsbank quickly and made our way to Matjiesrivier. This nature reserve is on the way to Clanwilliam, our next destination.
Mango strips at Jamaka Organic Farm
While we were looking for the next accommodation, the sky was closing in fast. We decided to stay at Jamaka Organic Farm, which was located about 30 km further in the direction of Clanwilliam. By now a wall of fog was spreading and so we drove leisurely along the mountain slopes and reached the farm without incident. The weather cleared up again during the drive and we could enjoy the surroundings. Jamaka is a large farm that has been in the hands of a South African family for 250 years. The current generation consists of a South African and a German immigrant. They have been running the farm for 25 years now and have three sons. The specialty is dried mango strips. Without additives and in organic quality they are really awesome. The taste is clearly superior to those we bought in Montagu.
A gigantic campground
As a further, noteworthy source of income, Kathrin and her husband run a campsite. This is located along a riverbed and extends over more than a kilometer in length. Correctly read: the campsite is more than one kilometer long and includes more than 160 pitches. In addition to electricity and hot water, the site also offers free wifi at the on-site café. In high season, such a dimension must surely not please you but when we were there, it was very quiet. There were no more than 10 pitches occupied and so we had a good and quiet time. Finally, we treated ourselves another 500g of mango strips for the rest of the trip. We finally reached Clanwilliam, filled up some supplies and left the Cederberg Mountains for Namaqualand. Namaqualand and especially Namaquapark offer huge fields of blooming wildflowers at their best. As far as the eye can see, the ground then glows in shades of orange, yellow and purple. We were excited and full of anticipation, because August was supposed to be the perfect month.