Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer, will launch the fourth route in the Western Cape Government’s Cape Cycle Routes network in Swellendam on Monday, December 10.
The Overberg Meander is a 370-kilometre trail that can be ridden over three to six days, taking riders from Swellendam to Elgin.
The route includes some of the best scenery the province has to offer in what is known as the ‘breadbasket of the Cape’. Riders will be able to stop off at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, take in the history of the historic town of Elim, sample the wines of Hemel-en-Aarde valley, visit the Kogelberg biosphere and tuck into delicious cuisine at the Peregrine farm stall or the Elgin Railway market.
The Ministry of Economic Opportunities launched the cycle routes as part of the Project Khulisa strategy to grow the tourism sector and create new jobs.
“The routes are designed in such a way that they will take riders through many of the Western Cape’s small towns and really show off those hidden gems. Riders are encouraged to make use of local accommodation and hospitality establishments. We encourage riders to support the local businesses in these towns, whether it be a bike shop, a coffee shop or a pharmacy. In that way we will be able to grow these businesses so that they can support more jobs,” commented Schäfer.
The Western Cape is already home to several high-profile cycling events, including the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Absa Cape Epic and others, which together bring in over R1 billion (€64m) in revenue.
By focusing on also developing leisure cycling as a tourism initiative, the Western Cape is positioning itself as the premier cycling destination in Africa.