Cederberg donkey cart route to new jobs

12 April 2012

Already well loved by local and international tourists, the town of Wupperthal in the Cederberg mountains of the Western Cape now boasts a new, community-driven offering – the Cederberg Donkey Cart Route.

Speaking at the launch of the third phase of project on Wednesday, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said it would give visitors to the town – also well-known for its Rooibos and Buchu production – an authentic cultural and wilderness experience deep in the majestic Cederberg mountains of the Cape West Coast.

The project will see the development of a three-day tour through the Cederberg mountain area and Heuningvlei, and a donkey trek route through Heuningvlei with accommodation for overnight visitors.

The donkey is the traditional means of transport in the rugged Cederberg, and the locals have long used their carts to carry their produce to the larger town of Clanwilliam.

The initiative, part of the Department of Tourism’s national rural strategy, aims to create a community-driven bed and breakfast operation, catering for international and domestic tourists.

“The development of rural tourism can make a powerful contribution to poverty alleviation in areas that are often characterised by poverty,” Van Schalkwyk said.

“The department will focus more weight towards supporting tourism in rural areas with the involvement of rural communities,” he added.

The third phase of the project is expected to provide over 200 locals with experiential job training coupled with social upliftment programmes and tourism industry awareness activities.

The department’s rural strategy has identified the Cape West Coast as a node for tourism development, along with the Karoo, Maluti Drakensburg, Bushbuckridge and Vhembe nodes, all of which have high potential for tourism development.

Source: BuaNews, with additional reporting by SAinfo