FARM GODE IS – Hiking trails have been identified as one of new niche tourism markets aimed at enhancing values of farms around the capital that offer unique landscapes.
New hiking trails are being promoted by the Namplace project, which is mandated to advocate and educate the public about landscape conservation in the identified pilot landscape conservation areas such as Sossusvlei Namib, Fish River Canyon, Waterberg, Mudumu and the Windhoek Green Belt.
“These efforts are to make farms more sustainable and encourage farmers not to deplete natural resources on farms. Rather we recommend they venture into tourism to preserve the natural environment for the future,” said Manini Kandume, project communication consultant, while guiding the media on a tour of farm Godeis outside Windhoek last week Friday.
Farm Godeis, situated approximately 70 kilometres west of Windhoek, in what is known as the green belt, is one of the farms where the hiking trail intervention has been implemented.
The Namplace project in partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism has developed a Khomas-Hochland hiking trail in Windhoek’s green belt landscape, which is a pilot study of the Namplace project stretching 100 kilometres along five farms.
Farm Onduno, Otjiseva, Monte Cristo and Daan Viljoen are among the Windhoek farms included in the green belt.
“The project is expected to promote tourism elements and attractions of the landscape; and develop public private partnerships with the government and private sector to ultimately educate hikers about responsible conservation efforts taking place in the country’s different landscapes,” elaborated Kandume.
Geza Kock, the hiking trail tour guide on farm Godeis, said they accepted the offer as the farms were losing value as they mostly depend on livestock sales, which makes it difficult to sustain the farm.
“We are livestock farmers and depend on selling livestock to earn money but at least now we have an option through which we can generate some income through the tourism initiative,” said Kock adding that her farm has been in her family for four generations.
Furthermore, she said they are intending on hosting a biking trail competition this winter.
“We don’t want to confine ourselves to hiking only but we want to venture into every scope of tourism that we can,” said Kock.
The Namplace project is administered by the United Nations Development Programme through funding from the Global Environment Facility.