A symbol of the past. A beacon for the future. This is the Cederberg

 
 
 

December holidays defined Morgan Newman’s childhood. Every year, his parents drove through dusty roads to the Cederberg. In the valley between the mountains, Newman discovered his love for the outdoors. But the place that signified fun became a source of comfort when tragedy struck later in life. “A few years ago, I lost my brother,” Newman says. “He was my best friend.” Seeking solace, he returned to the Cederberg. “Coming back to these mountains reminds me of being with him,” Newman says. “I can look back and be grateful that I have those memories.”

For years, this place has played a powerful role in Newman’s life. As he starts a family of his own, Newman is now ensuring that the family values instilled at the Cederberg aren’t forgotten. “With the recent birth of my daughter, I want her to experience the upbringing I had,” he says. Situated 300 kilometres north of Cape Town, the mountain range takes some time to get to. But it’s worth the drive. Along the way, there are numerous lookout points offering a panorama of the spectacular views. Streams wind through the valley below, glinting like liquid gold in the sunlight. Upon arrival at the protected nature reserve, complete stillness greets you, broken only by the distant roar of waterfalls. Surrounded by nothing but the beauty of nature, Newman can focus on what lies ahead. “I want to pass on the spirit of adventure that I shared with my family when I was young,” he says.

Despite the calm that surrounds the mountains, the place is full of wonder and excitement. Hiking trails reveal extraordinary rock art – proof that people have been making memories here for generations. In winter, the sun breaks over the mountain, barely melting the snow-capped peaks. In the warmer months, wildflowers emerge, showing off their full splendour among fynbos shrubs. This is a place of renewal. As much as the Cederberg reminds Newman of the past, it’s also a beacon for his future. “This is where our traditions were forged and where they will continue,” he says.