Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails
Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails – slackpacker trails on the West Coast!
The Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve (CWCBR) is a recognised UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, one of only 6 in South Africa and just over 600 world-wide. It extends from Diep River in Milnerton in the south, to the Berg River of Velddrif in the north, Malmesbury / Moreesberg in the east, and the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
At the heart of the reserve lie attractions like the West Coast National Park, the town of Darling and the West Coast Fossil Park, fishing villages (like Paternoster), lagoons, rivers, flora and birdlife in amongst the obvious marks of development and a growing population (biosphere reserves are there esssentially to protect plant and animal species whilst also dealing with a growing population and its resource needs).
One of the aims of the CWCBR is to improve the socio-economic well-being of communities that fall within the biosphere. In line with this there there is now a network of five trails (supported by the Development Bank of SA and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund) that start, end and pass through eight of these communities – Atlantis, Mamre, Darling, Velddrif, Paternoster, Jacobsbaai, Langebaan and Yzerfontein.
The slackpacker trails are guided and catered for, comfortable and safe. Hikers need carry only a small daypack. All lifts and luggage are organised, with meals prepared locally in West Coast style.
The Darling Stagger (2.5 days, 10 km cycle and 15 km walk) is a slow-paced combination of hiking and cycling from the coast to !Khwa Ttu San Cultural Centre, through the hills, via wine and olive farms, to Darling.
Eve's Trail (2.5 day 30 km hike) is a wilderness hiking trail from Yzerfontein along 16 Mile Beach, veering into the West Coast National Park and along the restful Langebaan Lagoon.
Five Bay Trail (2.5 days 28 km hike) is a gentle coast-hugging trail between the fishing villages of Paternoster and Jacobsbaai.
Wheels of Time (4 days 146 km cycle) is a recreational, supported back road cycling trail from mamre to Darling, Elandsfontein Farm, the West Coast National Park and !Khwa Ttu.
Berg River Canooze (2.5 days 28 km) is an effortless downstream kayak from Hopefield to Velddrif with farm stays en route.
Groups are no larger than 12 people with special rates for groups of 6 or more.
To book or enquire about trails:+27 (0)86 187-2457
Cape West Coast Biosphere Central Office:+27 (0)22 492-2750
Where to Stay?
For accommodation before or after your adventure on the Cape West Coast Biosphere Trails see Cape West Coast Accommodation (with preview images and description) or consider Cape West Coast Hotels (ranging from 3-5 star). If you prefer to do it the self catering way, you will find our list of Cape West Coast Self Catering options useful.
Cape West Coast Trails
The Berg River Canooze, one of five trails that take place within the Cape West Coast Biosphere, is a relatively easy downstream kayak from Hopefield to Velddrif, with farm stays en route. The emphasis of this trail is on relaxation. There are no rapids and all of it is downstream ... more information
One of five slackpacking trails in the Cape West Coast Biosphere, the Darling Stagger emphasises food and wine, together with a walk and a cycle that allow one to experience the surrounds of the gorgeous town of Darling. The trail follows a route once walked by both the short-necked giraffe ... more information
The theme of this trail, as the name suggests, is walking in the footsteps of Eve, who is regarded as the mother of all human life. The spectacular scenery and lack of human activity gives one an idea of what it must have been like to be governed only by the sun, the stars and the tides. The idea is that ... more information
The trail starts with a late afternoon stroll along the beaches of Paternoster as far as 'Tweede Mosselbank' (named such by local fishermen) and on to dinner at a local restaurant. Day two takes one through the fishing village of Paternoster along the beach to Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and ... more information
Aimed more at recreational cyclists than Absa Cape Epic trainees, the mountain bike ride traces the secondary roads of the West Coast, with varying destinations and overnight stops. You can be assured of incredible scenery and fun, but at times challenging, cycling. The trail can be divided up ... more information
Cape West Coast