Chairman’s Report to the 6th Annual General Meeting on 18 July 2012

The highlights of the year ending 29 February 2012 are as follows:

1. Our four overnight hiking trails continued to operate satisfactorily, with only some relatively minor problems. For 2012, in order to make the trails more affordable, we converted the Klein Krakadouw Trail from 3 nights to 2 nights and we reversed the direction of the Groot Krakadouw Trail so that the 4th night can be optional. We have also made the guided rock art walks optional on all trails.

A lot of effort was put into getting the new 4 night Gabriel Trail ready for operation.in 2012. This trail starts at the Driehoek Guest Farm in the central Cederberg, proceeds over Gabriel’s Pass to Langkloof and then carries on through Eselbank and Kleinvlei to Wupperthal. Assistance was provided for installing a solar hot water system in the Eselbank guest cottage, a very interesting hiking route over the mountain from Langkloof to Eselbank was marked out and Kleinvlei was assisted in procuring harnesses for their pack donkeys. This 5th trail is now operating.

There was a sharp reduction in bookings for the year to end-February 2012, compared to the previous years. Apparently this was a general tendency in the tourism industry. Unfortunately we do not have the financial resources to do more aggressive marketing and advertising of our trails. The Klein Krakadouw and the Pakhuis Trails were the most used. The results for our trails for the last four years are as follows:

Year Number of Bed Nights Sold
08/09 268
09/10 319
10/11 378
11/12 225
Totals 1190

Year Income to Service Providers (Rand)
08/09 118 807
09/10 171 911
10/11 227 336
11/12 157 849
Totals 675 903

2. Cedarberg African Travel has continued to provide a central reservation office for our Trails and to co-ordinate the activities of the many local Service Providers. I thank them for their efficient and enthusiastic support. However, they no longer make reservations for ad hoc tourism activities in the Moravian villages. These have to be made directly with the various villages.

3. Our website, www.cedheroute.co.za, has a page that advertises the Donkey Cart Trails, the guest house accommodation available in the various Moravian villages, contact details and hiking highlights in each area. Early in the year under review our trails were featured in articles in the Getaway and Wild magazines and in Sunday Times Travel. Unfortunately, most journalists who write up trails for travel magazines expect to get free trips, which puts a severe strain on our very limited financial resources.

4. Since having assisted the Heuningvlei community last year to set up the Heuningvlei Tourism organisation, with a formal Constitution, we have now done the same for the villages of Kleinvlei, Eselbank and Langkloof at their request.

5. The weekend guide training camp run for us by the Cape Leopard Trust and held on 3 to 5 February 2012 at Matjiesrivier went off very well. Feedback from attendees was very positive. It has been suggested that this might become an annual event. We will follow this up with the Trust.

6. Our Hon. Treasurer, Denis Le Jeune, has been working with the Moravian Church and with the Provincial Authorities to try and develop a plan and find funding for the up-grade of the Wupperthal Museum into a properly functioning Community Heritage Centre that could be a proud feature of the local community and a significant tourist attraction. Some progress has been made but there are still a number of obstacles to be overcome.

7. The feasability of offering an 8-night/7-day trail from Driehoek in the central Cederberg to the top of the Pakhuis Pass in the north is being assessed. It has been suggested that it be named “The Cederberg 100” as the trail would be about 100km in length. Two parties of six hikers each are going to test out the proposed trail in mid August.

8. Our Tax Reg No and Tax Clearance Certificate from SARS have both been received, so we are now able to receive donations that are tax deductible in the hands of the donors.

9. Kate Bergh suggested that an attempt should be made to get more people in the Cederberg area interested and involved in CHR activities by forming an informal “Friends” group in the area, that might meet two or three times per year in Clanwilliam. She has kindly arranged a first meeting for 5.30pm on Wednesday 18th July at her home.

10. The Management Committee has met three times since the last AGM.

11. I would like to thank the Moravian Church for providing the venue for our meetings, the committee members for all their efforts and the Service Providers for their enthusiastic support.

Peter Hart,
Chairman. .
5 Versveld Ave, Constantia, 7806.
Tel/fax: 021 794 6362
Email: pmghart@iafrica.com.

12 July 2012

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