The following books by Daleen Mathee are all highly recommended to anyone visiting the Knysna/Tsitsikamma area. The books are fictional but are based around actual people, places and events and are set in the late 19th to early 20th centuries in Knysna and the surrounding forest. Very interesting to read about the forest its people and Knysna of that time. One can almost smell the forest
The books were originally written in Afrikaans but several have been translated:
1. Circles in a forest (Kringe in 'n bos)
Born and bred into the tawny magnificence of Africa, Saul would fight to save the vanishing world of his inheritance.
Home of the wild elephants and the fiercely independent families of woodcutters, the Knysna Forest is under threat from the exploitative greed of the timber merchants, and the ruthless plundering of the ivory hunters.
Saul Barnard is a man with a self imposed mission – to halt the wanton destruction. For years he has protected the forest from intruders, finding a strange mystical kinship with the spirit of Old Foot, the indomitable and majestic elephant.
Then when the word goes round that Old Foot is on the rampage, Saul is propelled towards a terrible confrontation that will change his future, for ever.
2. Fiela's Child (Fiela se kind)
3. Moerbeibos (English version?)
4. Dream forest (Toorbos)
I have read the first three, busy with the fourth. Pasop vir die grootvoete
(Beware of the bigfeet - as the woodcutters called elephants. The woodcutters never called them by their name for fear that the elephants would think they are being called).