(West Coast Way)
Cape Town - West Coast Biodiversity Corridor Initiative has launched an exciting new venture that will see the iconic West Coast of Southern Africa come into its right in the years ahead.
Although the west coast has countless tourist attractions scattered about in every nook and cranny alongside the coast, finding all those hidden gems can be a daunting task for a visitor and tourist, especially if you’re making a maiden voyage through the West Coast.
Therefore, the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor Initiative has come up with two clearly laid-out routes which travellers will be able to follow with the help of a well-marked map.
The West Coast Way, as it has been dubbed, has been conceptualised to become the gateway to the West Coast, and will be actively marketing and showcasing the West Coast Biodiversity Corridor, with a view to increase visitors to the area and thereby improve economic growth for the stakeholders and people of the area.
The initiative can be compared to the similar, highly successful Midlands Meander map, which helped boost the tourism and traveller experience at the foot of the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, exponentially.
The 2 routes in the West Coast Way, namely the Groenekloof and BlueBenguela Routes, directs visitors trough the West Coast on a convenient path to see all the amazing sites and experience established local restaurants along the West Coast.
The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor stretches from Blaauwberg to Saldanha and back to Darling, and also hosts world famous cultural heritage sites such as Mamre, !Khwa ttu and the West Coast Fossil Park.
Shameelah Kinnear, the face of West Coast Way, can be seen in the photograph below.
A map of the 2 routes can be obtained from various hotels, B&B's and tourism centers in Cape Town, however, the West Coast Way has an informative and interlinked website that tourists can access through their mobile devises when driving up the West Coast, which might even be a better option for travellers.
This website gives detailed information about the landmarks, shows the exact distance between spots and also gives the driving time and distance from Cape Town, a natural departure point or point of arrival when travelling up the West Coast.
Apart from the details regarding the fixed landmarks, the West Coast Way also details, supports and creates an advertising platform for events happening in the quaint towns and villages you’ll find along the West Coast.
You can thus plan your trip to coincide with iconic, local West Coast markets, races, runs and MTB challenges as well as parties, festivals and concerts happening along the West Coast.
Apart from the advantages the new West Coast Way will offer tourists to the West Coast, the new initiative also strives to help improve, uplift and protect the livelihood of the local communities, as well as protecting the natural reserves and heritage sites of the West Coast.
Carmen Lerm, founder of the West Coast Way explains, “The aim is to increase the frequency that people return to the West Coast as well as the amount of time and money spent in the area by marketing the 101 things to do and see and attracting visitors to a wider range of experiences on offer. Increased tourism to the West Coast will also provide opportunities to community members in towns such as Mamre and Atlantis to start new tourism directed businesses - such as walking tours, horse riding tours, bicycle tours, arts and crafts market and food festivals etc.”
The West Coast Biodiversity Corridor Initiative is led by SANParks in partnership with key stakeholders such as the: DBSA/Green Fund, Cape Nature, Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, City of Cape Town, West Coast District Municipality, Saldanha and Swartland Local Municipalities as well as local landowners, tourism product owners and communities.