Sunday, 28 July 2013


If you have any photographs of the entries in this blog that are not illustrated, or better pictures of those that are, and you are willing to let us have your minimum-res 800 x 600 pics, please contact us.
The Uilsgat ‘jeep track’, looking south
Uilsgat Jeep Track : “owl’s hole” + jeep track; a jeep track from the old Welbedacht Forest Station that only ascends towards Uilsgat as far as a bridge over the Driehoeksrivier. Thereafter, even though it is a carefully constructed ‘road’, it is certainly not a jeep track – unless you’re driving a pretty narrow jeep, of course!
The Uilsgat Needles, from the track above
Uilsgat Needles : “owl’s hole” + needles; a 1537m peak that consists of a series of spires or needles, between Dassieberg and Middelberg South
Uilsgatkloof is the righthandmost ravine in this view, taken from the Welbedacht oak trees
Uilsgatkloof : “owl’s hole ravine” [Afr]; a ravine at the source of the Driehoeksrivier that runs southwards between the Uilsgat Needles and the Welbedacht Cliffs
The original Uitkyk farmhouse
Uitkyk : “look out” [Afr]; the old farm at the head of the Grootkloof, now a cottage for hire belonging to CapeNature
The Uitkyk Pass in 2014

Descending Uitkyk Pass
in the Kromrivier lorry,
1959; pic by Ken Howes-Howell
Uitkyk Pass : as above + pass; as you stand at the head of the Grootkloof, facing south, the old Uitkyk Pass ascends the slopes on the eastern side (your left). The new pass on the western slopes was completed in 1958 and was originally known as the ‘Cederberg Pass’; however, this name did not last long and the new pass is now the Uitkyk Pass, while the old one is the Old Uitkyk Pass

The classic view north through the Grootkloof, from the Uitkyk Pass
Uitkykpiek : “look out peak” [Afr]; the 1545m peak south of the new Uitkyk Pass
Uitkykrivier : “look out river” [Afr]; the river that is in fact the upper Rondegat River, arising in the Koerasieberg and running down east of Uitkyk Peak and past the hairpin bend on the Uitkyk Pass
Uitkykskloof : “look out’s ravine” [Afr]; absolutely nothing to do with the above, a small ravine/tributary of the Elandskloof, west of Middelberg Peak in the northern Koue Bokkeveld mountains
Uitsig : “view” [Afr]; a farmstall at the farm near the Marcuskraal turn-off from the N7, south of Ukholo
Uitskietdrif, looking south
Uitskietdrif : “shoot out drift” [Afr]; the drift at Tonteldoekkloof on the Algeria/Dwarsrivier road which has concrete ‘ramps’ on either side leading to a flat bottom, an appalling design that results in many an unwary driver banging his head on the roof of his Chelsea tractor, or many an unfortunate rider in the back of a bakkie being ‘shot out’ into the road. Eina.
Ukholo : “faith” [Xhosa]; a resort, backpacker’s lodge and/or family holiday stay off the N7 near the Marcuskraal turn off; the owner gave it that name because of his faith that his enterprise would succeed
Upper Biedouw : upper + “milkbush pass” [Khoi]; a rock art site on the Bushmans Kloof reserve, situated in the upper Biedouw Valley as the name suggests
Upper River Trail : a trail on the banks of the Rondegat River, at Jamaka farm


Vaaldam : “grey/buff dam” [Afr]; the Afrikaans word ‘vaal’ should not be translated merely as ‘grey’; it also means buff- or dun-coloured, almost pale beige. This dam is in the Mooibergvlakte at Bakkrans Reserve

The private house at Vaalfontein, near Eselbank
Vaalfontein : “grey spring” [Afr]; a farm about 2.5km south of Eselbank; also the trailhead for the path to Sneeukop
An unusual view of the Vaalheuningberg, from Sas se Kloof
Vaalheuningberg : “grey honey-mountain” [Afr]; the mountain south east of Wupperthal, with a highest point of 1119m; the ‘vaal’ presumably refers to the dun colour of the mountain, rather than the honey
Vaalkloof : “grey ravine” [Afr]; a dry, dun-coloured ravine downstream of the Bakkrans waterfall
The Vaalpillaar, from the Heuningvlei Noodpad
Vaalpillaar : “grey pillar” [Afr]; in this case a prominent grey rock pillar that is a landmark north of the Noodpad, in the view from Swartgat Hill
Vaalpoort : “grey pass” [Afr]; a gap in the Koue Bokkeveld mountains south of Meulsteenkop, between Boontjieskloof and Elandskloof
Vaalvlei : “grey marsh” [Afr]; a normally-dry pan inside the Matjies Rivier reserve and south east of Leopard Rock
Valley of the Red Gods, near Sanddrif
Valley of the Red Gods : a rocky slope between Sanddrif and the Shale Band below the Wolfberg Cracks, named for the array of extraordinary rock pillars there that glow in the light of the setting sun; the reference is to Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Feet of the Young Men”, which includes the lines:
And we go — go — go away from here!
On the other side the world we’re overdue!
’Send the road is clear before you 
when the old Spring-fret comes o’er you,
And the Red Gods call for you!
Kipling’s poem is about Native Americans, which just goes to show how daft this name is in the Cederberg, as is its namesake on Table Mountain, Cape Town
Rudyard Kipling ...
Van der Merwe’s Day Walk : a walk from Algeria up the Rondegat River to Uitkyk and back down the other side – or starting and returning at Uitkyk – named after an unknown van der Merwe – any ideas?
Van Rooyenskraalkloof : “Van Rooyen’s corral ravine” [Afr]; a shallow ravine that enters the Agter-Kruis Vallei from the western side, at Dons se Werf
Cedar trees in Van Zylsgatpoort
Van Zylsgatpoort : “Van Zyl’s hole pass” [Afr]; the shallow pass between Vanzylsklip and the Anvil Swemgat is so called, though I have no info anout Van Zylsgat itself [is it the swemgat?]
Vangstasie; photo by Mike Scott
Vangstasie : “catch (arrest) station” [Afr]; a set of large boulders sheltering a well-known overnighting point, and the path between Skerpioenspoort and Vanzylsklip. There are various explanations offered: a. there used to be a stone leopard trap here: this is problematic as there is no trace of one; b. much more fun: the local forester was on the track of buchu and rooibos tea poachers from the Wupperthal side; he set an ambush and arrested them here
Vanzylsklip, at the turn-off to Banglyn
Vanzylsklip : “Van Zyl’s rock” [Afr]; a useful, sheltered overnighting point at the northern end of Van Zylsgatpoort. Who was Van Zyl?
Varkfontein : “pig spring” [Afr]; a ruined, abandoned subsistence farm west of Cederhoutkop in the Pakhuisberge
The Varkkloof rhino
Varkkloof : “pig ravine” [Afr]; an old subsistence farm and ravine north of Mount Ceder well-known for its rock paintings that include a rare rhinoceros painting; also a cottage for hire
Vaughn’s Weir, on the Kromrivier
Vaughn’s Weir : a weir on the Kromrivier between Kromrivier farm and the ruins of Klein-Kromrivier, and due south of the Stadsaal. Olive Nieuwoudt writes: ‘It was at Klein Kromrivier that Jan Vaughn hired property from the Wageners to farm tobacco.  His father had been a British soldier in the Anglo Boer War, and his mother a coloured lady. Jan was successful and bought a red Dodge Lorry and, with great ingenuity, built a big cement weir in the Kromrivier opposite Truitjieskraal, thus ensuring sufficient water for the summer months. For more than seventy years, the weir, a feat of engineering, has withstood the force of the river, as winter after winter it comes down in flood.’
Veewerf se Kop : “cattle farm’s hill” [Afr]; a 927m hillock due west of Heuningvlei
Vensterberg North : “window mountain” + north  [Afr]; a 1294m peak south of Die Venster, west of Algeria
Vensterberg South : as above + south; the 1427m twin of the peak above
The Rocklands Vensterklip
Vensterklip : “window rock” [Afr]; a large rock with a window-hole, at the western end of the Old Rocklands Wagon Road
The Veregat concept; this is actually somewhere else, but it’s the same idea
Veregat : “hole/basin/pool of feathers” [Afr]; the head of Tielman Roos se Kloof, below Tielman Roos se Kop, is frequently filled with misty clouds. By repute, some foresters working on top of the mountain wished that the clouds were feathers so that, instead of climbing all the way down on foot, they could merely jump into the feathers and so land softly at the bottom
Verkeerdevlei : “the wrong lake/marsh/valley” [Afr]; a large marshy area at KolĂȘlstasie, in the Pakhuisberge; why it was/is the ‘wrong’ vlei is unknown
Vermeel se Kloof : “Vermeel’s ravine” [Afr]; a small ravine that bisects Teekop from Langkop, and meets the Rondegat River south of Vleituin 
A part of he View of Africa; the distant hills are the Hantamberge
View of Africa : a place north of the Wupperthal road, a few hundred metres from the turn off at the Englishman’s Grave, where there is an enormous view for hundreds of miles over the Onder-Bokkeveld Karoo as far as the Hantam
Visgat : “fish hole” [Afr]; a generic name for a deep pool in a river; this one is on the Matjiesrivier, about 5km downstream from its confluence with the Kromrivier
Visgat Trail : as above + trail; a trail to the above that originates at Cederberg Oasis or Nuwerust; it is also known as the Dassieklippe Trail and is not well marked
Vlakkie Trail : “little flats” + trail [Afr]; a short, 2km trail that links Nuwerust to Cederberg Oasis
The gate at Vlakpoort that marks the Wilderness boundary
Vlakpoort : “shallow pass” [Afr]; a shallow nek between Syferfontein and Klein-Jongensfontein in the south western Cederberg
Vlakpoort se Kloof : “shallow pass’s ravine” [Afr]; a small ravine immediately to the west of the above
Vlakrug : “shallow ridge” [Afr]; a farm north of the road from Citrusdal to Boschkloof
Vlaktes : “flats” [Afr]; a generic term, but in the Cederberg specifically to applied to some flat, marshy areas on the Vogelgesangvallei path to Kleinvlei
Vleiplaas : “marsh or valley farm” [Afr]; a farm in the vicinity of Alpha and De Pakhuys in the Agter-Pakhuis
Vleituin : “marsh or valley garden” [Afr]; a farm just south of Grootkloof farm, on the Rondegat River road
Vleituin se Holte : “marshy garden’s hollow” [Afr]; a dip in the Rondegat River road  to the immediate north of the above farm
The Vlerkboog near Spinnekop peak; I have lost the author’s name – can you refresh my memory, please? A better resolution pic would also be great
Vlerkboog : “wing arch” [Afr]; a natural rock arch between Spinnekop and Bloukop in the Sandfontein Peak area
Vlerkboog Cave : as above + cave; a comfortable cave near the above
Vlieboskraal : “fly-bush corral” [Afr]; an abandoned subsistence farm on the Heksrivier, south west of Onderkruis
The seasonal waterfall in Vlierfonteinkloof
Vlierfonteinkloof : “elder spring ravine” [Afr]; a long ravine running north westwards in the Kraaiberg; normally dry but with prominent and impressive waterfalls in winter, a great sight from the Biedouw Valley
VoĂ«lfontein : “bird spring” [Afr]; original name of the subsistence farm that is now called Leopard Rock, a cottage for hire on the Cedar Rock reserve
Vogelaarsvallei : “Vogelaar’s valley” [Afr]; a valley that exits at the top of Krakadouw pass, having run westwards from Heuningvlei Peak. Vogelaar is an Afrikaans surname; the relevant individual is unknown
Vogelfontein : “bird spring” [Ned]; a farm at the northern foot of the Grootrivier Pass, where the road crosses the Breekkrans River. It is one of the oldest farms in the Cederberg, having been granted to Jan Matthys Kok, son of the farmer at Driehoek, in 1785
Vogelfontein Mountain Bike Trail : as above + mountain bike trail; an MTB trail that runs up the eastern side of the road from Vogelfontein to the summit of the Grootrivier Pass
Looking down the valley of birdsong: Vogelgesangvallei
Vogelgesangvallei : “bird-song valley” [Ned]; a name to rival the beauty of ‘Sterrebosbank’, this is the valley of the Sand River and the upper part of the ravine sometimes called the Wupperthal Kloof, between Skerpioensberg to the north west and Sneeukop to the south
Voor-Warmhoek : “before hot corner” [Afr]; a valley north of Teekop and west of Agter-Warmhoek that adjoins the Grootkloof near the farm of that name
Voorstehoek : “foremost corner” [Afr]; a rather dry corner in the hills; travelling from Eselbank southwards it is the corner before Langkloof
Voorstehoogte : “foremost heights” [Afr]; a height of 1013m at the top of the Kouberg Pass, it is the last height before descending to Wupperthal
Vrede : “peace” [Afr]; a farm and farmstall on the N7 north of Sonop Motors
Vrededam : “peace dam” [Afr]; a large dam at the above farm between the N7 and the Olifants River
Vuilpoortjie; a tough weekly climb for a 6-year old!
Vuilpoortjie : “dirty little pass” [Afr]; a small nek in the mountains between the Agter-Tafelbergpad and the Die Hoek path from Sneeukop to Eselbank. This was the way that coloured primary school children from as young as 6, who lived at Driehoek and other nearby farms, would walk every Sunday to the boarding school at Eselbank and, on Friday afternoons, would walk home again; so called by the kids because they had to go that way, whether in snow or February heat
Vuurslaanbos: Leucadendron dubium
Vuurslaanbos se Vlakte: “fire-beating bush’s flats” [Afr]; a small flats not marked on the current map but situated next to the Oupad at the Witwater turn-off, near Heuningvlei, which is known for the occurrence there of Leucadendron dubium. Vogts says, “the vernacular name is well chosen, as the mature fruiting cones ... lend just the right weight at the end of the long thin branches to make an effective bundle for beating back the savage blazes which often rage through these mountains.”  The Protea Atlassing project manages ‘Cederberg conebush’. There are at least ten or more conebushes in the Cederberg, so that’s really helpful ...


  1. Vanzylsklip (Jan Rabie,Droomberge-Sederberge 1985) is genoem omdat Ene Van Zyl destyds daar geboer het,maar soos baie ander plasies na aan die Sederberge se hart deur Bosbou uitgekoop is.N weerligstraal of "swaarweer" neergeslaan en Van Zylse huis verbrand.

    1. Thanks, Lizette - but I am not sure that Jan Rabie is correct here. The old Cape Colony government took over the Cederberg in the 1890s and many subsistence farmers and woodcutters were evicted, but those lands were never subdivided into farms so van Zyl would not have been paid. The purchase of farms on the edge of the Cederberg such as Welbedacht came much later. I wonder whether your van Zyl was anything to do with the van Zyls who farmed for many years at Boontjieskloof [now Bushmans Kloof]

  2. Vangstasie se naam kom van lui werkers wat deur n inpekteur betrap is.

    1. Thanks, Lizette, a nice possibility! Who can say which story is true?