Kromrivier Cederberg Park
“The heart of the Cederberg”

HISTORY

Kromrivier was one of several farms in the Cederberg used mainly for grazing, until in 1856 when Gerrit Nieuwoudt of Vogelfontien purchased the property for his son Ernst to farm upon. The Cederberg was named after the Cedar tree (Widdringtonia Cedarbergensis) which grew between the rocks near the mountain peaks taking thousand years to reach maturity. It has been virtually extinguished by mountain fires and over harvesting.

Kromrivier remained an isolated farm amongst the Cedar Mountains until about 1925. When the Mountain Club of South Africa discovered that there was a magic world for climbing and hiking to be found in the Cedar Mountains, many of their members undertook the long arduous journey for a week or two trekking through the mountains. Their trip was assisted by Ernst’s grandson, known as Wit Andries who, - as well as the forester at Algeria - provided donkeys and men, known as Donkey Boys to carry the climbers’ packs and gear.

More and more people visited the Cederberg and Andries often joined these trips helping to open up unknown areas. Wit Andries’ children also became climbers and friends of the visitors and many spent happy holidays staying on the farm. Eventually the house became so crowded that Andries’ son, Rens, decided to build bungalows giving people with children a few modern facilities and open fire-places during the cold winters. Being on a farm the children could enjoy the farm life and animals.

Kromrivier is the oldest tourist destination in the Cederberg; with the 7th generation farming here. Olive, Rens’ wife, has written a book: “Stories of the Cederberg”. It is currently being reviewed and will be published shortly.

 FacebookTwitterGoogle+