The Cedarberg Africa Story – 25 years & counting
I’m Kate Bergh, co-founder of Cedarberg Africa (South Africa), and people often ask why we are located in such an unusual (and beautiful) area of South Africa. Why are we not to be found in Cape Town or Johannesberg. So here’s the story behind our company.
I grew up in the UK, but in my mid twenties I fell for a young South African, who happened to live in the Cederberg mountains. It was the mid 90’s and a very exciting new beginning for South Africa. And so, after we married, we moved back here. I already knew that I loved the continent having spent several months travelling through Africa.
Luckily in 1995 I was able to persuade my sister, Ginny, to start our safari travel business. Today we offer trips to 17 countries in Africa. But back then our vision was to make South Africa and Namibia (our ‘starter” countries), accessible to people who wanted the expertise and knowledge of a specialist Africa tour operator. But also the freedom to explore at their own pace.
We were one of the pioneers of independent, tailor-made travel in South Africa. We were also one of the very first to offer self-drive itineraries extensively throughout the country. That seems crazy now – when this is the mode of travel for so many of our clients – especially those from Europe. But back in the 90’s it was the time when scheduled group tours was very much the norm!
Ginny and I are still very ‘hands on’ and we like it that way. We remain passionate about hand-crafted holidays which are designed around YOU. Whether it’s taking a self-drive meander through the Cape. Or opting to have your own private guide. Or a enjoying a fly-in safari to Botswana, Zambia or Namibia.
We have a team of friendly, dedicated travel experts and their enthusiasm, expertise and passion for Africa has led to people travelling with us again and again.
We are keen travellers, visiting our destinations regularly, vetting the hotels and lodges we recommend.
We travel the roads, sample the activities and test the beds. Its a hard life! Óver the many years we’ve built up an excellent network of suppliers offering you the most amazing travel experiences.
We don’t offer cookie-cutter safari trips. Honeymooners, families and couples are all different. Some are into food and wine, others into walking or scuba diving. Some want a round of golf thrown in, other are keen on trying out a horse riding safari. We enjoy designing truly personal trips for each client.
We also believe that tourism can drive positive change in Africa in terms of sustainable development, wildlife conservation and empowerment of people. We support a number of community initiatives such as the Cederberg Heritage Route, and also have set up our own pre-school for farmworkers’ children, Lemoenland, a project which is very dear to our hearts.
Cedarberg Africa is unique in that we are a specialist tour operator. But we are also a family-business, run by the two sisters with offices in South Africa and the UK.