Trails & Tourism

The Trails and Tourism Project of the CWCBR, is a flagship project established to create new responsible tourism products that enable visitors to enjoy the Cape West Coast region whilst at the same time stimulating community involvement, jobs and skills development.

The vision of the CWCBR is to be “…the best international example of integrating rapid growth and change with biodiversity conservation, sustainable living and heritage preservation.”

A feasibility study conducted in 2008/09 indicated the CWCBR holds great potential for establishing a sustainable network of trails and tourism routes, and a business plan was developed to guide the development of this network.

In line with the business plan, the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) has established a division (“Trails Division”) within its existing legal entity (Section 21 Company) to develop, operate and market the set of 5 trails for leisure and related tourism.

Click here to view the trails and book

CWCBR Trails Launch

Expecting to generate direct local spend of R21-million and create fifteen full-time jobs over five years, the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve launched its five new visitor-ready, responsible tourism trails at the historic Kersefontein Guest Farm near Hopefield.The anticipated income represents a return of R18 for every R1 invested by the Development Bank of South Africa and National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund. A textbook case study of balancing development and conservation to preserve the area's rich heritage, the more than 200km of hiking, cycling and canoe trails all have Environmental Management Plans, while the hiking trails are Green Flag accredited. The trails will be marketed and operated in line with responsible tourism principles. Delivering the keynote address at the launch, Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, said:

"The Western Cape Government is a signatory to the South African National Minimum Standard for Responsible Tourism and we are fully aligned to the national strategy that encourages responsible tourism principles. A number of responsible tourism initiatives are currently being run in the Western Cape, including the City of Cape Town's Responsible Tourism pilot project. It is important that all tourism operators in the province ensure that they operate responsibly. I commend the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve for this initiative that will not only augment the local economy and create job opportunities, but also ensure that they do so responsibly."

Addressing a current gap in the market for shorter trails, the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve's three hiking trails, cycling trail and canoe trail are designed to be two-and-a-half-day 'power breaks', without the schlep. All trails are guided, catered, comfortable and safe. Hikers carry only a small day pack, while lifts and luggage are organised and local folk prepare meals in traditional West Coast style.