The tourism industry had taken the lead in showcasing the magnificence of the Magaliesberg Biosphere. At a meeting last week the Magaliesberg Biosphere Route Cluster, chaired by Brent Laarman, charted an exciting programme for the coming year.
To highlight experiences in the Biosphere, a series of themes will be presented over the coming months. These themes invite visitors to experience the Biosphere's natural and historical richness. Some of the planned themes include art and artists, battlefield tours, the kingdom of Mzilikazi, birding and hiking.
Committees have been set up to pilot each of the themed months. Other members of the Cluster will provide training for tour guides, environmental education, and marketing expertise.
Hermien van Skalkwyk, a member of the recently appointed Magaliesberg Biosphere Board, initiated the ides of a Magaliesberg Route two years ago. The Route Cluster brings together the main players involved with responsible tourism in the Biosphere region. Its members include tourism associations from Rustenburg, Hartebeespoort, Buffelspoort, Magalies Meander and the Cradle of Humankind, Moses Kutane and Bojanala municipalities, conservationists, environmental educators, journalists and others.
Partnerships will be formalised with NW Tourism Board and NW Parks and Roads Departments through memoranda of understanding. “We can assure the Magaliesberg Biosphere of our wholehearted support,” said Jeff Mabunda of the Tourism Board.
Visitors will be provided with material to enhance the experience of exploring the Biosphere Route.
“The Magaliesberg Biosphere is a gift to tourism.” explains Laarman, “All UNESCO Biosphere across the globe combine economic and social development with preservation of the environment. That model fits exactly with the Biosphere Route Cluster initiative.”