Green Flag Trails is a voluntary quality and sustainability eco-label for trails.


Trails with Green Flag status ensures the best possible hiking experiences to hikers. Trails are however not graded subjectively from good to bad. Instead the system centres on the concept of allowing hikers, by supplying detailed information, to make their own informed decisions of the trails they’d like to walk. Green Flag Trails is thus an accreditation programme that seeks to offer hikers all the information needed to ensure the hike meets their expectations.


Contrary to other systems that make use of someone’s opinion of how a “good trail” should look like, Green Flag allows the hiker to make his/her very own assessment of what type of trail is preferred, and thus ensures a good experience.


By assessing the environmental conditions as well as safety along the trail, Green Flag ensures sustainable trails in terms of conservation of the environmental resources as well as the quality of experience had by hikers.


Green Flag accredits trails through its unique audit procedure and identifies, acknowledges and rewards those trails that demonstrate and practice responsible management.


Green Flag is a system that recognises hiking trails in South Africa that meet minimum standards in terms of trail outlay, accommodation, facilities and service, as well as the conservation of natural resources. In this way, routes with Green Flag Trail status strive to offer the best possible hiking experiences.




Walking trails meeting HOSA's minimum standards are also accredited through the Green Flag Trails programme.


Green Flag is essentially an accreditation programme that seeks to offer hikers the best value for money and to ensure trails meet their expectations. It was developed by the University of Pretoria and aims to provide accredited hiking trails that not only adhere to quality principles, but also minimum environmental standards, facilitating responsible hiking practices.


The Green Flag system is underwritten by the non-profit Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA). It centres around the concept of allowing hikers to make informed decisions of the trails they'd like to do, based on supplying the most accurate information on that product.


So trails are assessed according to their safety standards, service and trail facilities, accommodation, the type of environment the trail is set in and the difficulty rating of the trail. Perhaps most importantly, trails and their associated facilities also have to be managed in an environmentally responsible way.


The administration of the trail, including booking facilities and the honesty of the trail's marketing, is also taken in to account, along with the trail layout and its ecological impact.