Hidden travel gems revealed in the Western Cape
CapeNature’s second virtual Nature Talks webinar took place on Monday, 27 July 2020. Thousands tuned in to learn about these lesser-known, scenic eco-tourism treasures found around the Western Cape.
Hosted under the theme “Must see hidden gems”, the webinar provided insight into those off-the-grid reserves that offer truly unique tourism and conservation experiences for tourists. Now that nature lovers are finally able to access the great outdoors again with the phased reopening of CapeNature reserves for day visits, the virtual discussion was a timely opportunity for attendees to plan their first post-lockdown trip.
What is a hidden gem in the tourism sense? For some, it might be soaking up an authentic experience in nature from the comfort of eco-friendly accommodation. Others might find it in the first glimpse of an unspoilt waterfall at the end of a lesser explored hiking trail. For others, it could be the historical and cultural education gleaned from the location and the surrounding communities that imbue the stay with a unique and unmatched character.
Elaborating on all of this and more, were three travel savvy panellists, which included CapeNature’s Tourism Development veteran Wilfred Williams, Rim of Africa founder, Galeo Saintz and journalist and avid outdoor enthusiast, Magriet Kruger. The panel delved into topics ranging from the diverse experiences on offer at CapeNature reserves, the uniqueness of the terrain, the endemic fauna and flora, the matchless hiking trails, and the sustainable eco-tourism adventures to be enjoyed.
Some of the reserves casted in the spotlight were Rocherpan, the first purpose built CapeNature reserve to provide universal accessible accommodation including wheelchair access to multiple bird hides, Gamkaberg which now boasts an uber glamping experience including a honeymoon suite alongside its private eco-pool and Goukamma, a reserve centred on the majestic Goukamma River offering a wide array of water-based activities for visitors during their stay.
The event was a resounding success, reaching a record 10 060 live viewers. CapeNature’s Executive Director for Eco-Tourism & Access, Sheraaz Ismail, says it was a great way to once again interact and engage virtually with visitors:
“We are excited to have this virtual platform to share all the latest developments and offerings with our visitors. The sneak peak of the new products launching at Kogelberg Nature Reserve is to entice both locals and city-sleekers to a much needed time-out. We also showcased the concept designs for a new tourism precinct to be developed at Goukamma Nature Reserve as an appetiser before the development starts. Despite the challenges faced this year, our staff will remain hard at work during the global COVID-19 pandemic as we prepare to welcome you back to our reserves for all your overnight stays post lockdown.”
A replay of the webinar can be viewed on CapeNature’s YouTube channel.