What we do
The Agulhas Plain offers unique tourism opportunities. The region's rare fauna and distinctive
wildlife are ideal for nature lovers. Shark-cage diving lures the more adventurous; others come to
spot whales. Then there are the Agulhas Plain's well-known draw cards: the most southern tip of
Africa, the beaches, the Agulhas Lighthouse, the Waenhuiskrans cave, the harbours, the shipwrecks,
and much more.
Now the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area will bring a new nature-based tourism
experience to visitors to the Agulhas Plain. Already buffalo tours are available. Here tourists are
introduced not only to our disease-free buffalo, but also to the Special Management Area.
Other responsible tourism activities are being set up: bird hides have been constructed along our
wetlands and vleis. Hiking trails are being planned. Fynbos tours will be available for fauna
enthusiasts. And game drives will be offered to show off wildlife unique to the Agulhas Plain and the
Special Management Area.
But the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area is also about ensuring conservation and
agriculture work together sustainably. As such, the Elim wine ward - the newest wine ward in the
country - also falls within the Special Management Area, with most of the wine growers serving as
active members.Given the extreme fruity tastes of these wines - thanks to the small berries formed
in the Agulhas Plain's cool winds - this wine ward is attracting considerable interest.
The small missionary town of Elim - already a sought-after tourism destination - is also a member of
the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area. The town was founded as an historic German
mission station in 1824, and has been declared a national monument. It holds the only monument in
the country commemorating the freeing of the slaves in 1834, and has one of the last working water
mills in the Cape.
Effectively marketing these opportunities, and creating further products and tourism activities
within the Special Management Area, will help us to create a conservation economy. Securing an
income from nature-based tourism activities will help 'flip' the economy from intense agricultural
practices that may negatively impact the land, to a more sustainable way. Through a conservation
economy, our ultimate aim is boosted: to achieve true triple bottom line results to benefit all within
the Special Management Area.
Crucially, a nature-based tourism programme, which includes using our natural resources sustainably
for tourists, will help improve the wellbeing of all who live here. Through the tourism launch,
prospective operators and entrepreneurs will be trained, guides will be required, and products will
need to be made and sold. If successfully implemented, this could create hundreds of sustainable
jobs on Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area land.
The Nuwejaars Wetland SMA is rehabilitating its
key areas and cultural features. More
Our tourism venture will include training for
operators and entrepreneurs. More
Production and food security is enhanced through
sustainable use of land. More
Sustainably-utilised products will prove a key
economic driver for communities here. More
By developing the SMA's infrastructure, we can
unlock the area's sustainable capital. More
Enhancing the wellbeing of all who live here is an
imperative for the SMA. More