Fynbos on the Edge
𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲-𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗺 𝘁𝗼 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀
Last week saw the launch of a first-of-its-kind nature-based tourism experience in the Northern Cape — the 𝙑𝙞𝙖 𝙁𝙚𝙧𝙧𝙖𝙩𝙖: 𝙁𝙮𝙣𝙗𝙤𝙨 𝙤𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙀𝙙𝙜𝙚, an iron trail along the cliffs of Oorlogskloof Gorge. Situated on Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm on the Bokkeveld Plateau near Nieuwoudtville, the Via Ferrata promises a breathtaking exploration of the region’s landscape and local biodiversity, providing visitors with unique insights into the value and beauty of the Cape Floristic Region. The trail, accessible to beginners and families, takes approximately two hours to complete, with guides ensuring a safe and exciting educational adventure.
In 2020, work began to formally designate Papkuilsfontein as a Protected Environment under the Protected Areas Act 57 of 2003. Over the past few years, the Van Wyk family has collaborated with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, to shift from primarily relying on agricultural income to embracing an integrated model encompassing agriculture and nature-based tourism. This transition laid the groundwork for the development of the Via Ferrata and proceeds from the trail will now be used to manage the farm as a declared Protected Environment.
A huge congratulations to everyone who was involved in the trail’s successful launch: Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm (the Van Wyk family), the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Drylands Conservation Programme, the Department of Agriculture, Environment, Land Reform and Rural Development (DAERL), and Ventures ZA’s Justin Lawson, who constructed the trail.
We are proud to have funded this unique nature-based tourism initiative through the Table Mountain Fund’s Prosperity Programme. This programme aims to ensure that communities living in the Cape Floristic Region feel empowered to take up economic and social opportunities arising from fynbos, and Via Ferrata is a wonderful example of this in action.
“𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘮𝘭𝘺 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘵 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳-𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯.” – Cobus Theron, Senior Conservation Manager at the Endangered Wildlife Trust.