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5 Top Knysna Forest Walks and Hiking Trails

21 Jan 2015

A visit to Bamboo Guest House Accommodation in Knysna would not be complete without exploring the lush and magnificent forests that Knysna has to offer.

Also commonly known as the “Garden of Eden”, Knysna is a playground for the outdoor enthusiast and nature-lover and offers many hiking trails and forest walks suitable for all fitness levels.

Whether it’s a relaxed one-hour walk through the lush forests and valleys in search of tranquility or a more strenuous full day hike through the dunes and mountains, we’ve selected our top five hiking and forest trails in the Knysna region.

Woodcutters Trail

Distance: 3km or 9kms
Time: 1.5 hours (3km) and 4 hours (9kms)
Intensity: Light to moderate
Suitable for: All ages and fitness levels

Surround yourself by majestic mountains, 600-year-old Outeniqua Yellowwoods, 3 meter high Tree Ferns, serene streams and Red-billed Wood Hoopoes in the heart of the Knysna Indigenous Forest. This forest walk is perfect for the entire family. Be sure to keep a look out for sightings of bushpigs, Bushbucks, Baboons and porcupines.

Knysna Forest

The Elephant Walks

Distance: 3 to 5 hours
Time: 7km, 8km, 9km or 15km
Intensity: Light to moderate
Suitable for: All ages and fitness levels. Perfect for the tree lovers!

You may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time to the Jurassic Park age when you find yourself surrounded by the forest giants in their natural habitat: 800 year old Outeniqua Yellowwood trees and huge leafy ferns. You can choose from three Elephant walks in the Diepwalle Forest, which was once home to herds of 500-600 elephants. It is said that only three elephants remain today. The forest is magnificent and features an old forest railway line, beautiful trees and plenty of forest birds, fungi and bushbuck. For the more advanced hiker, you can choose to do two walks back to back to make a full day hike of 15km.

Elephant Walk

Goukamma Nature Reserve

Distance: 8kms
Time: 4 hours
Intensity: Light to moderate
Suitable for: Ages 10 and up with a moderate fitness level.

The Goukamma Nature Reserve walk offers superb views and is a fantastic coastal walk. After crossing the river in a boat, the walk starts by climbing through the dune forest and up to the top of the dunes for outstanding 360-degree views of the beach, Goukamma River, indigenous forest and George Mountains. This fairly easy walk comes to an end after walking through the Milkwood forest, which has plenty of forest birdlife.

Natures Valley

Distance: 16km
Time: 6 hours
Intensity: Moderate to high
Suitable for: Hikers with a fairly high fitness level

This walk is for the more advanced hiker with a high fitness level. It offers a 16km circular route in Natures Valley in the De Vasselot area of the Tsitsikamma National Park. There are more than 60 species of birds from three different habitats to marvel at, so ensure your binoculars are packed and kept handy. This walk also features magnificent and unspoilt surroundings, the Salt River Estuary, plenty of wildlife, yellowwood trees, mountain Fynbos and stunning views.

Natures Valley

Millwood Mines Circuit

Distance: 6km
Time: 2.5 hours
Intensity: Light
Suitable for: All ages and fitness levels. Perfect for the history-lover!

This walk is steeped in history and was the site where gold was first discovered in South Africa in the middle of the Knysna Forests. Here you can experience the unique mountain Fynbos, bird life, high forest trees and explore the old shafts in the forest hidden behind waterfalls. You can also visit the old mining museum and original site in the Millwood village, although nothing remains of the old village except some mining equipment.

If you’re looking to escape the city life, why not book your accommodation at Bamboo the Guest House Knysna and spend your weekend surrounded by nature’s tranquility and exploring the lush and peaceful forests? We look forward to welcoming you soon!

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