Dedicated to walking the earth lightly

Constructing lifelong products in harmony with nature’s unique ecosystems.

Songlines specialises in the construction of boardwalks, hiking trails, pathways and integrated approaches to erosion control and land management. We combine a love of nature and hiking trails with a passion to train and develop people to care for nature.

We recognise that every place in nature is unique; we work with nature’s lines, celebrating the diversity of the soils, plants and surrounding life, and promoting ecological harmony by working with nature.

Songlines has constructed and maintained over 300 km of hiking trails and boardwalks in South Africa and trained hundreds of people in erosion control and boardwalk construction. This has given us an in-depth understanding of the erosion impacts of water on trails, tracks and wetlands.

We can assist you with assessments of appropriate designs, construction, as well as ongoing maintenance and monitoring. We  also offer advice on appropriate indigenous plants ensuring that any construction is integrated into the surrounding environment.

We will design and build your customised pathway and boardwalk, working with nature to create eco-sensitive products that are beautiful and long lasting.

James Nowicki established Songlines in 2008. He has an Honours degree in Environmental Science UCT, specialising in human – environment relationships and soil erosion issues. He has worked in environmental education for the city and NGO’s in a variety of fields throughout his career and he has received numerous awards for his dedication and commitment to excellence in hiking trail design, construction and maintenance as well as training and staff motivation.

Having spent over 20 years hiking and repairing trails in the Western Cape, James has come to love and appreciate the diversity of our surrounding mountains and ecosystems.  He has self published a book with over 210 species of flower macro photographs in order of genera and species. Some of James’ artwork can be purchased online at his Fynbos Art website.

James continues to add rare and interesting flowers to his Instagram site “flowersoftablemountain

“Nobody knows and understands trails quite like James does”

James has self-published a macro photography book with 210 fynbos species, and he is passionate about fynbos; textures, smells, uses, colors and designs. For those who believe in fyn-bos magic James offers a full day Hiking Table Mountain with Songlines as a vetted AirBnB Experience.

Book on AirBnb

We will touch, smell, taste, and discuss the inner nature of the plants, rock sculptures, soils and forests.


James is an award-winning, Honours degree qualified environmentalist specialising in human – environment relationships and soil erosion issues

James comments that his favorite paths that were reconstructed include many of the historic trails on Table Mountain and those above Kalk Bay. The Smuts track, Platteklip gorge, Disa gorge, and the Diagonal route are mentioned as favorites. Almost all construction was done with local sandstone integrated with original stonework to create sturdy, comfortable and virtually erosion free hiking trails.