Raw Africa Boutique Collection’s new Sky Trails Park in Plettenberg Bay enjoyed some successful collaborations this season. Its trails partner, Trail Lynx and the Plettenberg Bay Tourism Board teamed up with the Kwano Cycling Academy to ignite a new initiative that benefited all parties.
The collaborations began two years ago in 2020 when Sky Villa Boutique Hotel, its 5-star flagship Plettenberg Bay property, embarked on a visionary project. It was to integrate mountain biking trails right in the middle of Plett by combining Trails and a Botanical Gardens idea into a bio-diverse eco-estate.
Trail Lynx, a local Trail Association, was brought in to help plan, construct and manage the mountain biking trails component of this dream, where Sky Trails was officially launched in December 2021. Last December, Paul Duverge, Managing Director of Raw Africa Boutique Collection, announced the addition of a number of new trails in the park, as well as the establishment of Sky Hub, a new node opposite Old Nick’s, with secure parking and a place to gather, prepare and check in for rides.
The Plettenberg Bay Tourism Board identified a need for a qualified team of riders to manage the payments of annual/day passes at Sky Hub and monitor the trails to ensure they are maintained and rider safe. A proposal was presented to the Kwano Cycling Team to help fill this gap, with a portion of the proceeds going directly back to Kwano and to some other local community initiatives powered by Plettenberg Bay Tourism. The partnership was a great success, raising funds for the Plettenberg Bay Tourism Board and the Kwano Cycling Team.
According to Johan Vorster of Trail Lynx, the collaboration with Kwano worked really well as it gave the new trails a friendly and personalised face.
“The young team members were impeccable, going well beyond their mandate to show visitors around the Park and independently managing all the entries and payments. We hope to grow the relationship going forward, especially in the fields of local guides and other trail-associated crew as Bitou entrenches itself on the national and international MTB circuits”.
The new Sky Hub trails were constructed in a ‘progressive’ way so riders can use the trails to upskill and have fun. Four new Flowlines (550 -700m long) with numerous rollers and berms but no dangerous features were constructed.
“We believe all the trails at Sky must be rideable by all skills levels’ added Vorster, “although we did construct a small, dedicated skills area where more advanced skills can be learnt. Our vision for Sky Park continues.”
“All around, it was a resounding success for all partners, and we’ll definitely be repeating this arrangement for the upcoming season”, said Duverge.
* Trail Lynx and The Plettenberg Bay Tourism Board last year contributed annual passes and complimentary race entries to Kwano to the value of R11 000.