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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

About the Trails and Tourism Feasibility Project

The West Coast Trails Project was identified as a Flagship Project for the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR), which has over 200 kilometres of pristine coastline and a wealth of hinterland treasures. It also has a rich history and has great diversity that can be exploited to create a network of very interesting trails, along with great potential to link to community projects, in the form of new accommodation facilities, guides and wardens.

A set of specific trail products were identified by the CWCBR that are now being evaluated in terms of their feasibility, including the identification of additional or alternative trails that would achieve the goals of the project. This will be followed by implementation of the resulting trail products. These initial products are:

  • To develop a beach and coastal trail along the entire coastline of the CWCBR
  • To design a multi-purpose trail allowing for hiking, equestrian and biking trails
  • To provide additional access points to beaches
  • To train hiking guides to accompany tour groups
  • To develop accommodation infrastructure for the trail in some communities along the trail
  • To develop specific eco-adventure routes as part of the main trail

The goal of the programme is to enhance the sustainable economic well-being of at least 8 communities within the Cape West Coast Region. The purpose of the programme is the establishment of a network of community owned and sustainably managed tourism initaitives within the Cape West Coast.

The current phase of the project is this feasibility study. This is being conducted by Silimela Development Consortium and the Nature Management Company, who were awarded the tender. The work is being conducted in seven phases from April through October 2008.