Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape (Mapstudio), by Fiona McIntosh
Mapstudio's Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape provides an overview of each route and its history along with a day-by-day description of the route that all have been walked by Fiona McIntosh.
What does 'Green Flag accreditation' mean when hiking the Western Cape?
The principle behind Green Flag accreditation is not to distinguish subjectively between "good" and "bad" trails but to give recognition to trail owners who adhere to the concept of responsible management: delivering a product that is "value for money" to the hiker and which is responsible towards the environment. Responsibility towards the hiker is ensured by relaying the correct information concerning the type of accommodation and environment (so that the prospective hiker can make an informed choice) and ensuring a safe hiking experience. Accommodation is classified as being either "excellent", "standard" or "rustic" according to the type of facilities (such as pit toilets vs flush) and not the quality thereof such as in hotels (e.g. TV channel list). The type of environment is classified as either being "pristine", "natural", or rural". It is portrayed with a symbol of 1, 2 or 3 trees. ("Pristine" would typically be wilderness areas, "natural" areas might be forestry/plantation areas, "rural" is a farming environment. ("Semi-urban" landscapes, representing Urban Green Belts are also identified). The difficulty ratings are calculated in terms of the energy (kCal) required to hike the trail - each day is given separately. These figures are "translated" onto a scale of 1 to 10+; representing "easy", "moderate", "difficult" and "extremely difficult" categories. The rating is done in terms of reasonably fit hikers who hike at least several times per year. Safety (and facilities) on the trail is measured in terms of items such as car parking, accommodation, en route walking (mugging, bridges and ladders, medical and evacuation procedures, cell phone access, etc).
Environment responsibility is done by evaluating the ecological conditions on the footpath as well as the overnight hut environment. Issues such as erosion, pollution, vandalism are investigated. A trail where negligence is shown in this regard will be removed from the system. The Green Flag Accreditation System (GFT) is run under the auspices of HOSA (Hiking Organization of Southern Africa) and is underwritten by SAHTOA (SA Hiking Trail Owners' Assn). GFT is a member of SATSA and is being implemented by all major trail owners in South Africa (such as SANParks, Cape Nature, KLF (Komatiland Forest), MTO, KZN Wildlife, regional and provincial authorities and major municipalities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria. This is the only national (and international) accreditation system for hiking trails.
This is an excerpt from the guide: Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape (Mapstudio), by Fiona McIntosh.
Title: Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape
Author: Fiona McIntosh
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
Softcover, 17x24 cm, 208 pages, throughout maps and photos
McIntosh, Fiona im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Mapstudio's Top 12 Hiking Trails of the Western Cape provides an overview of each route and its history along with a day-by-day description of the route walked and a summary.
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